How does Diversity affect Organizations?

The diversity that exist in the workforce requires managers to be more sensitive to the differences that each group brings to the work setting. For instance, managers may have to shift their philosophy from treating everyone alike to recognizing individual differences and responding to those differences in ways that will ensure employee retention and greater productivity. They must be in a position to recognize and deal with the different values, needs, interest, and expectations of employees. They must avoid any practice or action that can be interpreted as being sexist, racist, or offensive to any particular group; and, of course, at the same time managers must not illegally discriminate against any employee. Lastly, managers must find ways to assist employees in managing work / life issues.

Mars, Incorporated Diversity Philosophy:

Distinctive voices working together within a common culture is one of the ways we have described how we do business at mars. We believe that the success of our business can be enhanced by having a workforce made up of associates from many different backgrounds much as our society and consumer base consist of a wide variety of individuals. We value the talents and contributions of our diverse workforce in reaching toward our future and in playing responsible leadership roles.

How can organizations help employees balance work / life concepts?

The typical employee in the 1960s or 1970s showed up at the workplace Monday through Friday and did his or her job in eight or nine hour chunks of time. The workplace and hours were clearly specified, a given that no longer holds for a large segment of today’s workforce. Employees are increasingly complaining that the line between work and non work time has become blurred, creating personal conflicts and stress. A number of forces contribute to blurring the lines between employee work and personal lives. First, the creation of global organization means their world never sleeps. At any time and on any day, for instance thousands of Daimler Chrysler employees are working somewhere. The need to consult with colleagues or customers or 10 time zones away means that many employees of global firms are “on call 24 hours a day. The outsourcing of call centers to India has meant a dramatic change in lifestyle for operators employed in these companies. Since most of the work is outsourced from the USA and Europe, the operators have to work night shifts. There is now increasing media attention on consequences of these lifestyles, which not only eats into leisure and social or family time but also leads to increased stress levels among employees. Second, communication technology allows employees to do their work at home, in their cars, or on the beach in Tahiti. This capability allows many people in technical and professional jobs to do their work at any time and from any place. Third, organizations are asking employees to put in longer hours. It’s not unusual for employees to work more than 45 hours a week, and some work much more than 50. Finally, fewer families have only a single breadwinner. Today’s married employee is typically part of a dual career couple, which makes it increasingly difficult for married employees to find the time to fulfill commitments to home, spouse, children, parents, and friends.

More and more, employees recognize that work is squeezing out their personal lives, and they’re happy about it. For example, recent studies suggest that employees want jobs that give them flexibility in their work schedules so they can better manage work life conflicts. In addition, the next generation of employees is likely to have similar concerns. A majority of college and university students say that attaining a balance between personal life and work is a primary career goal. They want “a life” as well as job. Organization that don’t help their people achieve work / life balance will find it increasingly hard to attract and retain the most capable and motivated employees.