Lack of Diversity in the Workplace | Assignment Collections |


Literary Review

  1. Introduction

The central aim of the literature review section is to explore what different researchers and scholars have highlighted on diversity in the workplace. The section will review workplace diversity and its research findings. Workplace diversity is a fundamental concern for all organizations today. All organizations are expected to recognize the need for diversity and how to manage it effectively. Diversity in the workplace is believed to enhance the different perspectives and skillset within the organization.

Furthermore, the research will center on the problems that occur when a firm fails to enact diversity. To overcome the future challenges of workplace diversity, the study has proposed certain solutions that can be made in future research agendas. The study will contribute to the theoretical perspective that will enhance existing diversity in organizations to have an optimum advantage of workplace diversity.

The discussion will summarise journal articles, books, and research studies on diversity in the workplace to accomplish all these. The whole concept of workplace diversity has been debated in the last five years. The presence of workplace diversity has been blamed for causing positive and negative results in the organization. A better understanding of workplace diversity will enable employees to understand each other better, which improves performance. The study is also important to employers to know what approaches to implement to promote workplace diversity. Diversity issues are vital and have become more important because of the increasing differences in population. Some of the questions that will be used in this discussion include; What is workplace diversity? What are the benefits of enacting workforce diversity in organizations? What can the leaders of an organization do to increase workplace diversity? What does the lack of workplace diversity cause in a firm? Handling these questions will be the central theme in this discussion.

  1. Meaning of workplace diversity

The term “diversity” means having distinct or unlike characteristics. Diversity in the workplace means acknowledging that employees do not come from the same background (Gomez & Bernet, 2019). Some differences that diversity considers include; physical appearance, level of education, age, gender, sexual orientation, and religion. In the past, the issue of corporate culture took into consideration a very narrow spectrum. However, the new emerging issues such as technology and globalization have made workplace diversity broader.

Enacting workplace diversity in the workplace is a fundamental aspect that the management should implement.  Managing higher standards of diversity has become a norm and ethical concern that should be addressed. Some of the employers are also realizing that embracing diversity is not a burden but a powerful tool. Changing demographics in the world is one of the reasons why there is an increase in the adoption of diversity in the workplace (Attaran et al., 2019). For example, the last census in the US proved that Hispanics occupied nearly 15% of the US population. The number of Hispanics had surpassed that of African Americas, which had been the largest minority group.

The high rate of diversification in the country is a true representation of the situation in organizations. Most organizations have a combination of people from different backgrounds. The combination comes with varied experiences and language barriers in extreme cases. Therefore, employers must realize that they have to attract, retain, and work with a full spectrum of people to achieve success. Progressive employers have taken into consideration the aspect of workforce diversity (Ely & Thomas, 2020). They have developed specialized programs that deal with workforce diversity. One of the enacted programs is “valuing differences programs” geared towards bringing employees closer in their individual and interpersonal relations. The main objective of diversity programs is to promote personal relationships among all organizational stakeholders (Hawkins, 2017). The programs are also aimed at minimizing the blatant expressions of prejudice. Most times, these programs are geared at analyzing how people of different races or men and women will combine their thinking. From different cultures, races have different ways of thinking, values, attitudes, and behavioral styles. The programs introduced by the managers will have the sole objective of teaching employees to embrace their differences.

The educational programs usually focus on fostering acceptance and awareness of human differences. The programs also seek to promote a deeper understanding of the dynamics and nature of our differences. One objective that managers seek to achieve is to help all employees understand their feelings and the attitudes of other people who are not themselves (Huy & Zott, 2019). The ultimate goal is to trap the differences in people as strength but not a weakness. Organizations should view the diversity in people as an asset rather than a liability.

In the past, workplace diversity was used to address ethnic and racial differences. However, the term has expanded to encompass many other types of differences between employees in recent years. These differences include; gender, age, ethnicity, race, and sexual orientation. Other diversity aspects include; physical abilities and disabilities, religion, education, political beliefs, language, and culture. In the modern world, the world is closely connected through technology and globalization. Because of this, workplace diversity is becoming a necessity in which companies use to show their devotion to employees’ differences (Tamunomiebi & Ehior, 2019). Workplace diversity is vital to the customers, just as it is to the employees. Most of the companies that have embraced diversity easily sell their products and services worldwide without many barriers.

  1. How to manage a diverse workforce in the company

Workplace diversity is a complex approach that managers utilize to manage teams within the organization. The senior management will utilize employee diversity as a tool that can be used to increase organizational effectiveness. Researchers have argued that diversity is a powerful tool used to cultivate a company’s future success. The issue of workplace diversity has become fundamental for both public and private organizations. The free movement of people due to globalization has brought the importance of workplace diversity. Research according to Roberts & mayo (2019) presents that the need to manage diversity has also come from the fight for the rights of certain minority groups. Workforce diversity emerged as a way to have equal opportunities in the workplace.

3.1: Having full support from top management

One of the major ways to have a diverse workforce is to ensure that team members have full support from the top management. For the best results, an organization should ensure they enforce workplace diversity to a senior manager. The manager will have the responsibility of overseeing workplace diversity and inclusion. All decisions concerning diversity should also be linked to human resource management. Deters (2018) explores that different managers and HR must collaborate to make major decisions around hiring, selection, placement, planning, succession and even performance management. Workplace diversity cannot be achieved without involving the HR function.

3.2: Creating a friendly working environment

The organization should also create a friendly working environment to increase diverse people’s satisfaction, motivation, and commitment. Additionally, the performance standards in the organization must be stipulated so that some people are not favored. The performance standards must also be effectively communicated to all employees. All these must also be done according to the culture and strength of the organization. Additionally, training and development are essential to handle the daily diversity challenges that organizations experience. Training and development are used to know the many stereotypes attached to different groups (Wynn & Correll, 2018). Training will also be used to manage employees’ expectations of other people.

3.3: Creating mentorship programs

Mentoring programs that are closely related to training and development is another strategy to enforce workplace diversity. Mentoring involves using experienced advisors that will assist the organization in embracing diversity (Torrens et al., 2017). Mentors will play a fundamental role in assessing an organization and the most useful values to promote cultural diversification. They will also lead the organization to create a support system intended to reduce discrimination and isolation. Mentors can suggest the formation of formal and informal systems that will promote the interaction of employees. Other key elements must be present in language competence and a strong will to interact with one another. The lack of language skills is a significant mark to the barriers towards a multi-cultural organization.

However, diversity-training programs might not achieve their objectives on some occasions because some employees might misunderstand them. Leaders must communicate the rationale of workplace diversity to manage it more effectively (Buengeler et al., 2018). The scenario of the organization should be presented together with the social changes and changing demographics.

3.4: Enacting workplace diversity

Another strategy that will be used to promote workplace diversity is enacting intercultural communication. Through intercultural communication, employees will have the ability to understand how different cultures and ethnic groups work. Employees will also understand how different individuals understand conflict and how to solve them. Most of the challenges in the workplace will be easily solved with cultural differences in mind. Both the seniors and juniors should capitalize on the existing diversity in the organization.

The employees should also be open-minded to talk about areas where they received unfair treatment. Such feedback is necessary so that the management has ideas to fix so that organizational diversity is promoted. All these initiatives are geared towards creating awareness of the concept of workplace diversity. A lot of information distribution is required to ensure workforce diversity.

3.5: Widening the meaning of diversity

Most people view diversity as a one-dimensional tool that refers to gender and race differences. However, diversity means much more than that. Having a broad concept of what cultural diversity means will open the minds of people. Widening the meaning of organizational diversity is vital to discover ways in which employee experiences can be maximized. Diversity without inclusivity will bring disconnect. Inclusiveness is a core value that should be included in diversity.  Inclusion and diversity exist in the small day-to-day activities within the organization. For example, a senior manager being open-minded to lunch with diverse professionals without considering the differences proves organizational diversity.

  1. What lack of diversity causes

4.1. Low performance

Having mismanaged diversity in the workplace brings long-reaching effects. Employees satisfaction, productivity, and morale become low. Ramstad (2014) states that when employees view themselves as included and valued, they will work harder, become more involved and create innovativeness. Unfortunately, employees may feel less valued due to reasons such as exclusion, ethnocentrism, and prejudice. Mismanagement of diversity in the organization can also be due to lack of motivation and inhibiting workers’ abilities. A lack of workplace diversity will generally lead to lower job performance. Such as situation occurs when the differences of employees are not given a top priority.

4.2: Low integration levels

Some of the workplaces will have issues with bringing diverse employees closer. Assisting employees to feel included will bring a high integration level. When companies do not have the right programs to bring diversity, it will be impossible to integrate new people into the firm. Multiple levels of integration, such as improving social connections, enacting equality, fairness, and ensuring balanced work, are essential to improving workplace diversity.


4.3: Poor communication

Organizations that lack diversity will have a breakdown in their communication channels. Poor communication will result from mistrust, unintentional offenses, and unclear practices within the organization. Businesses that have diverse workforce may find communication barriers, especially with employees that use different languages. Having poor communication will easily cause unintentional offenses, especially with diverse people.

A lack of diversity in the workplace may make managers have poor communication. Leaders might have an issue explaining expectations. Leaders might also have difficulties when addressing challenges that face the employees. Managers also want to there to solve difficulties that diverse employees face. However, a lack of enforcing diversity will lead to managers being unsure of the best methods that they can apply to make sure everyone is on the same page. Other major illegal and unethical behaviors resulting from lack of diversity include; racism, stereotyping, and the workforce being resistant to changes.

  1. Benefits of workplace diversity

5.1: Bringing in new perspectives

When people are hired from different backgrounds, cultures, and nationalities, there is a high likelihood to bring fresh perspectives to the table. New perspectives will consequently lead to other benefits such as better problem solving and increased productivity. Some of the managers might feel awkward by introducing unpopular opinions. However, research proves that diverse teams can bring a 60% improvement to the decision-making process. Information will be gathered more quickly when teams split up strategically.

5.2: Having cultural diversity can increase profits

Research from scholars has proved that cultural diversity in the workplace will lead to greater profits. One of the surveys conducted suggests that diversity within the senior management will improve their competitiveness in the market. 40% of the companies with diverse management reported a growth trajectory (Amorelli & Garcia-Sanchez, 2021). In the US alone, 48% reported having improved market share because of diverse senior management. Having diverse management is also essential for increasing global business trends. For example, A diverse and open-minded mindset will lead to investing in foreign countries like China. Therefore, all these will lead to increased sales and improve profits as well.

5.3: Improved employee engagement

As employees learn about each other, their engagement will increase. There is no better way for people to learn about each other apart from learning about the other person’s ethnicity and culture. Employees from different cultures will learn about each other during the breaks or after work. There is no point in having diverse employees that do not want to learn about each other’s culture and lifestyle. When employees share more about themselves, they build a trusting relationship with their colleagues (Phong et al., 2018). Knowing each other is great because it increases employee engagement and motivation.

5.4: Reduction of employee turnover

Research proves that companies that embrace cultural diversity in the workplace attract a wide pool of candidates interested in working for them. Higher motivated and educated candidates who have experienced diversity in their previous workplaces already acknowledge the importance of diversity. Therefore, such employees will have high interests and be motivated to find that the company they will work for is diverse. Companies recruiting from a large pool of people will pick the most qualified group (Kappes et al., 2018). When companies select recruits from a large group, they have a large likelihood of hiring the best.

In the constantly changing economies, talents and skills are fundamental to bring growth to the company. Putting the most diverse set of candidates will lead to success in the market. Studies also prove that most of the candidates are attracted to work in companies that have diverse workforces. Such companies do not have employment discrimination.

5.5: Cultural diversity brings a positive reputation

Another major benefit of enacting cultural diversity in the organization has a positive reputation. Companies that do not have cultural diversity might face a bad reputation in the market. Companies who can recruit from a wide background will receive praise as being good employers. Employers will feel valued even when they come from minority groups. According to Brown (2017), potential clients will feel welcome if an organization is culturally diverse. A wide range of skills and experiences allows the company to provide good services to customers. The company will have the ability to understand diverse clients better because diversity is part of them. The organization will go another level to understand customers on a personal level.

  1. Gaps in existing Literature

A detailed analysis of the various Literature presented shows that workplace diversity has been discussed to sufficient levels. However, some areas have not been analyzed adequately. For example, the Literature on organizational development diversity is limited. Additionally, not many researchers have focused on the role of HR professionals in promoting and improving workplace diversity.

Another major area with limited content is what steps senior managers have taken to retain the diverse talent in the organization. Managers have the responsibility to cultivate a heterogenous work environment that will ensure a competitive edge.  Some of the managers cited that they did their best to form a diverse team. However, their predicament came when many team members did not last for long in the organization. A quick look at Maslow’s hierarchy of needs proves that having discomfort will affect the ability of an employee to perform. After a long period of working in a fragmented environment, an employee may feel disappointed with the system and eventually leave. Inclusion is an emotional feeling that all human beings have within the psychological world.

  1. Conclusion

The Literature analyzed provides that most of the organizations have not achieved workforce diversity. Despite having emerging trends such as globalization, most organizations have not fully achieved minority races and women diversity. As earlier discussed, diversity is not as complex as many people might think. Diversity in an organization results from the simple things that are incorporated at all levels in the organization. Leaders have to understand that implementing workplace diversity is one aspect that keeps employees close to one another as a team. Managing diversity should be viewed as one component that improves organizational growth, performance, and teamwork. Organizations that have incorporated workplace diversity in their operations improve their creativity and innovation. Organizations that embrace diversity can reach more people and customers. All these will enable the company to increase its profitability and gain a competitive advantage.

Companies need to focus on workplace diversity and look for how they can be inclusive to all stakeholders that rely on the business directly or indirectly. Valuing and managing diversity is one of the components for achieving effective people management. Having unmanaged workplace diversity is a key obstacle to achieving organizational goals. Therefore, we can state that diversity is a key-edged sword. Diversity includes different dimensions such as language, color, ethnic group, race, gender, and religion within the academic context. Diversity also includes incorporating young, aged, the disabled people and providing them with equal opportunities within the workplace. Organizations use the equal opportunities philosophy to maximize a diverse workforce. If a firm is not diverse, a lot of talent will be lost through high turnover.


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