Organization Culture/Workforce Diversity

Abstract

Different organizations are defined by the unique characteristics displayed by their workforce. Developing unique behavior enables workers to share responsibilities and attain a strong bond that helps the company to realize its corporate goals. This paper will analyze organizational culture and workforce diversity and evaluate their contribution towards organizational success.

Organization Culture

Organization culture is defined as a unique and different way of thinking and behaving that is demonstrated by workers from the same organization. It is a characteristic pattern that is distinctive and recognizable, one that enhances the operations carried out in a particular organization (Moffat, & McLean, 2010). For an organization to develop its unique culture, there must be shared understanding between the workers.

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The shared understanding is derived from the executives, who encourage joint operations. Through the shared understanding, organizations are able to perform better. The coordination that is created within organization’s workforce increases productivity and encourages workers to focus on organizational objectives.

In the development of an organizational culture, workers must be given an opportunity to express their views, present proposals and engage in debates that are all geared towards realizing the organization’s goals. When the workers are given the freedom of expression, they develop a coordinated and shared understanding, which is unique for all organizations.

Organizational culture can also be defined as an invisible web that enhances decision-making, and employees’ behavior and thinking (Schein, 2010). The routine and common practices seen in every organization is the culture that is sometimes taken for granted.

In the development of these unique characteristics, there must be agreements between the executives and the junior members on how to proceed. The culture is not forced into the employees, but rather, it is nurtured and slowly developed to perfection. The nurturing process allows the employees to fully understand their responsibilities and develop shared interests for enhanced coordination (Moffat, & McLean, 2010).

Some of the tools that can be used by organizations to enhance culture are the social networking sites. The main objective of a culture is bringing together employees’ behaviors and ways of thinking to one common and shared characteristic that is geared towards achieving the company’s goals. Communication is the key to realizing this objective and social networking sites provide a good framework on which workers can communicate, give their views and consent on certain issues in the company (Tan, Lee, & Chiu, 2008).

The possibility of communication and sharing ideas increases the commonality among employees and shapes up a shared way of thinking (Moffat, & McLean, 2010). Conversations within an organization are the most effective ways of ensuring that ideas and interests are shared.

Without proper communication, employees would be disintegrated and this would lead to varying behaviors and thinking. The leaders must make the most sensitive decisions for a company. However, through the social networking sites, ideas can be generated from the rest of the workers and help in establishing the best decision for the company.

These tools are effective in developing the ‘both-and’ strategy that allows for contained debate from all the employees within an organization. Ambiguity can cause the company to collapse. However, all the information concerning the company that is in circulation can be verified through social networking sites. Through conversations and communication, any ambiguity detected in an organization can be discussed and this can lead to new possibilities (Schein, 2010).

The social networking sites are frameworks on which corporate members and employees can meet and discuss the issues affecting the company. In addition, the tool can be used to come up with development ideas from the workforce despite the fact that the executive management has to approve them.

Shared interests and understanding shape up organizations and enhance communication between workers and executives. While this feature goes undetected in many organizations, it is present through common behaviors and unique characteristics (Tan, Lee, & Chiu, 2008).

All organizations have their unique characteristics and any new employee is expected to study and be connected with the existing culture for shared understanding to exist. New employees can learn about the existing culture by observing, or following the conversations in the social networking sites.

The expectations from the organization are defined in the sites and they assist in determining the best strategy to be adopted by the company. The management has to set up effective communication channels that are to be used by the workers in developing a unique culture (Moffat, & McLean, 2010).

While social networking sites are some of the best communication channels, other ways may be considered provided they enhance dialogue and allow all workers to express their views. With increased freedom and opportunities to contribute to organizational matters, a culture is formed that streamlines all employees’ thoughts and behaviors towards realizing corporate goals.

Productivity is increased when the workers and the organization develop common interests. Development of opportunities by the managers increases the efforts from the workforce and ensures that corporate objectives are prioritized.

Workplace Diversity

The concept of workplace diversity can be defined as the existing differences between workers in an organization. It is a wider definition of the employees in an organization in terms of gender, race, age and ethnic background. In addition, it also encompasses personal behavior, cognitive styles and experiences among others. In workforce diversity, there are various benefits and challenges present.

One of the benefits is increased adaptability in the workforce (Herring, 2009). Employees with different characteristics will provide different solutions to the problems within an organization. For a company to be successful, the employees must have the potential to embrace diversity.

Since employees possess different and unique characteristics, they provide the required skills and experiences that are required to realize corporate goals. The other benefit is the availability of many viewpoints to a problem. In a company with same employees, the viewpoints and ideas for solving corporate problems are limited. However, in a diverse workforce, there are different ideas and viewpoints that help in reducing the problems in an organization.

Efficiency and effective execution of requirements is realized only amid a diverse workforce. This is due to the potential held by each of the workers, which helps them utilize their unique traits to the company’s benefit. Each employee acts as a representation of a larger group and hence offers his/her best (Kundu, 2003).

A young worker would want to prove that young employees are competent and perfect, while an old worker would like to prove that experience brings about perfection. Through such competition, an organization increases its output.

A diverse workforce also ensures that there is a broader service range. In a multi-cultured workforce, offering services on a global basis becomes an easy task. Barriers to communication and other issues are dealt with by the diversity present within the organization.

With a diverse workforce, a company can allocate specific employees to specific tasks depending on the nature of the job and customers’ expectations. A company can exploit languages, cultural understanding and experiences possessed by members of its workforce (Kundu, 2003). This helps in ensuring that there is equal representation and improving service delivery.

There are various challenges that are associated with a diverse workforce. One of the challenges is communication (Herring, 2009). The diverse workforce may bring about cultural, language and perceptual barriers that may hinder effective communication.

Whether intentional or unintentional, employees may develop certain perceptions about certain factions and hence limit openness and coordination. Without proper coordination, the company may reduce productivity and record losses. The other challenge in workforce diversity is that some of the workers may be resistant to change.

When joining a new company, employees must be willing to change and adapt to the culture and expectations of the company. However, people from different regions may bring into the company different beliefs that may compromise its organizational culture.

Workers with different beliefs may fail to change and comply with the organizational expectations. Bringing along experiences and strategies and sticking to them, even when they are not workable, are some of the common characteristics of a diverse workforce (Corinne, & DiTomaso, 2004).

The other challenge of workforce diversity is experienced in the implementation of policies to cater for it. All the employees must feel appreciated and represented in the best way possible by the company. The company must ensure that all its policies are fair and just and that there is no discrimination and prejudice against any employee (Herring, 2009). The implementation process is very tricky as it can compromise certain values hitherto held by the company. In addition, it may favor some employees at the expense of others.

To prevent the challenges from affecting an organization, the management should frequently assess their diversity process to determine whether there is need for change. Assessment allows the management to determine all possible challenges at an earlier stage so that solutions can be easily developed. Training of the workforce should also be prioritized to prevent some workers from resisting change. The training is meant to help the workers learn about the existing culture and the expectations of the company and its customers.

Workforce diversity is therefore beneficial to a company, but can also affect the operations if not properly handled. The workers should work together with the management to ensure that all challenges are addressed and that corporate goals are not compromised. References

Schein, E. H. (2010). Organizational Culture and Leadership (4th ed.). San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.

Moffat, A., & McLean, A. (2010). Merger as conversation. Leadership & Organization Development Journal, 31(6), 534-550.

Kundu, S. C. (2003). Workforce diversity status: a study of employees’ reactions. Industrial Management & Data Systems, 103(4), 215 – 226.

Herring, C. (2009). Does Diversity Pay? Race, Gender, and the Business Case for Diversity. American Sociological Review, 74(2), 208-224.

Corinne, P., & DiTomaso, N. (2004). Workforce Diversity: Why, When, And How. Research in the Sociology of Work, 14, 1-14.

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