The Manager's Pocket Guide to Diversity Management

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This pocket guide will teach you the skills required to effectively manage a diverse workplace; not because it's the 'right thing to do' or your organization requires it. But because it is good for business. Gain diversity awareness, tools, knowledge and techniques necessary to lift morale, improve processes, bring access to new segments of the marketplace, enhance productivity and improve your bottom line. Step-by-step, this interactive workbook will help you: Test your skills in managing diversity; Save management time; Navigate difficult situations Build teamwork; Improve your interpersonal effectivene. Complete the 'Managing Diversity Profile' to examine your current level of skill and get feedback on six key competencies for managing diversity. The book also contains workplace applications for weaving diversity into recruitment and selection, employee retention and development, team building, customer service, market share improvement throughout your organization. Topics include: Differences between EEO, Affirmative Action and managing diversity Barriers to diversity: Prejudice, stereotyping, discrimination and non-verbal communication; Diversity and organizational change; Working together productively; Management action plan. Whether you're ready to launch a new diversity initiative, build a diverse work team or plan a new and innovative product launch, this pocket guide will be an invaluable tool for developing managers and leaders.

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Chapter 1: Assessing Your Skills

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Chapter 1

Assessing Your Skills

The purpose of this chapter is to provide you with information to help assess your current level of skill in managing diversity. Although you may be eager to get right to work learning and developing your skills, the best place to start is with an assessment of your current skill level to indicate your starting point.

The Managing Diversity Profile

Before you begin reading this pocket guide, take a minute to complete Exercise 1-1, the Managing Diversity Profile

(adapted from the comprehensive 360° Diversity Leadership

Competency Profile from Hubbard & Hubbard, Inc.). This self-assessment examines your current level of skill for managing diversity and provides you feedback on six key competencies for managing diversity.

Exercise 1-1. Managing Diversity Profile by Dr. Edward E. Hubbard

Directions: This profile is designed to help you examine your diversity management skills. We hope that you will be frank and honest in rating these items and that you indicate your rating based on what you believe to be true about how you respond in a diverse work environment. You should indicate your rating by placing a single checkmark on the number in

 

Chapter 2: What Is Diversity?

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Chapter 2

What Is Diversity?

Definition and Terms

Any useful discussion of the topic of diversity must start with a fundamental clarification of the term. The term diversity itself has a number of different interpretations. Diversity can be defined as a “collective mixture characterized by differences and similarities that are applied in pursuit of organizational objectives.” Diversity management then can be defined as “the process of planning for, organizing, directing, and supporting these collective mixtures in a way that adds a measurable difference to organizational performance.”

Diversity and its mixtures can be organized into four interdependent and sometimes overlapping aspects: Workforce diversity, behavioral diversity, structural diversity, and business diversity.

Workforce diversity encompasses group and situational identities of the organization’s employees (i.e., gender, race, ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation, physical ability, age, family status, economic background and status, and geographical background and status). It also includes changes in the labor market demographics.

 

Chapter 3: The Differences Between Equal Employment Opportunity, Affirmative Action, and Managing Diversity

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Chapter 3

The Differences Between

Equal Employment

Opportunity, Affirmative Action, and Managing Diversity

Knowing the differences between Equal Employment

Opportunity (EEO), Affirmative Action (AA), and managing diversity (MD) is often cited as a major step forward in understanding what diversity really is. For many people, these three concepts are synonymous, but there are a variety of examples that illustrate how they are very different. Some employees see these terms as nothing new—simply a repackaging of Affirmative Action.

Confusion of Terms

One of the reasons for the confusion in the terms is the way they are discussed in the media. Dr. Taylor Cox and Ruby

Beale, for example, cite a Business Week article (1991, July 8, p. 65) that clearly illustrates the media’s influence and genesis that cause some of the confusion:

“Call it affirmative action. Or minority outreach. Or perhaps you prefer ‘managing diversity,’ the newest, politically well-scrubbed name for policies aimed at bringing minorities into the mainstream through preferential hiring and promotion.”

 

Chapter 4: Barriers to Diversity

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Chapter 4

Barriers to Diversity

People are diverse in many ways. We have a number of differences that offer a wide range of opportunities and possibilities to make organizations successful and our world a better place.

When we accept our differences and learn to work with them, we enrich our lives and improve the creativity and productivity of the organization. However, too often organizations find they work against the effective use of differences and allow them to hinder instead of help.

Why do we have so many problems dealing with diversity?

Diversity itself isn’t a problem—our differences have always been there; they are what make us unique. The problems lie in our attitudes toward diversity. People who have negative attitudes toward other people’s differences often engage in negative behaviors including

E Prejudice

E Stereotyping and discrimination

E Ethnocentrism

To keep these negative behaviors from becoming barriers to organizational diversity, we must learn to recognize and avoid them in all types of situations such as working with employees, business relationships, customer relationships, hiring, firing, and the like. Prejudice, stereotyping, and discrimination hurt people and ultimately destroy an organization’s effectiveness and bottom line. Let’s explore these barriers in more detail.

 

Chapter 5: Developing Competencies for Managing Diversity

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Chapter 5

Developing Competencies for Managing Diversity

Introduction

When it comes to managing diversity, many managers often ask, “When I’m managing a diverse work group, what should I do that is different than managing any other group?” This is certainly a legitimate question and deserves an answer.

Managers often feel that performing the primary management tasks of planning, organizing, directing, and controlling should be more than enough preparation to handle any situation. It is certainly true that these skills and competencies will go a long way in assisting a manager to accomplish organizational work; however, managing diversity and creating inclusive, productive work groups require additional awareness, knowledge, and skills to be effective.

First they need awareness about their own comfort with differences as well as their assumptions about those differences.

Beyond awareness of their own subtle expectations, there is a need for knowledge about different cultural norms, lifestyle needs, and personal preferences of individuals from different groups. For example, a manager might wonder, “Why do some employees speak their native languages at work even when they know English?”

 

Chapter 6: Workplace Applications

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Chapter 6

Workplace Applications

Introduction

Diversity is a challenge that has the potential to be either a positive or a negative influence on an organization. Ignoring the fact that diversity exists and treating all people as if there are no differences between them will grossly underutilize a critical asset of the organization. Consider the following:

“Diversity is not only about ‘representation,’ it is about

‘utilization’!” “It’s not about counting heads, but making heads count!” In order for diversity to have a positive effect, a manager’s awareness, knowledge, understanding, and behavior must be combined to create specific actions to capitalize on and leverage the power of diversity. Otherwise, this valuable resource will go untapped.

Diversity can be leveraged in a wide variety of areas throughout the organization. In this chapter, we will examine how diversity strategies can be applied to

E Recruitment/Selection

E Employee Retention and Development

E Team Building

E Customer Service

E Improving Market Share

 

Chapter 7: Working Together Productively

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Chapter 7

Working Together

Productively

Introduction

There is no question that working together productively— regardless of race, gender, age, etc.—is critical to the strategic performance of an organization. Organizational performance depends on workforce members being able to effectively use their talents in a cohesive way that meets the business goals and objectives of the organization. As a manager, your role is to help create an environment where people are able to do their best. Since “people are the organization,” it is essential that you address the key elements that drive productivity. These elements include but are not limited to expectations; feedback; consequences (incentives and sanctions); and performer skill, knowledge, and required resources.

From a diversity perspective, diverse work group members will have expectations that are imbedded in their cultural backgrounds. Some may have assumptions and beliefs that in order to be effective, leaders and co-workers must be directive and have a strong presence, whereas others are accustomed to and expect a collaborative, consensus-building environment. To effectively build your diversity management capability, you need to find out what assumptions and beliefs exist within your workforce. Understanding each team member’s background and perspective is the starting point of learning how

 

Chapter 8: Diversity and Organizational Change

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Chapter 8

Diversity and Organizational Change

Introduction

Effectively managing diversity requires that you be an effective manager of change. After all, diversity is not a program, “it is a process of systemic organizational change.”

When people think of diversity as a program, they might think that at some point they will be finished with it and can go on to something else. However, this is not the case. Generally speaking, the need to successfully manage diversity will always be a priority whenever you have people in the organization who are different in a variety of ways.

Like any other change initiative in the organization, to achieve results, your efforts to manage diversity in your workforce will require the basics of building a strategy, creating a tactical plan, taking ownership, being accountable, and implementing and measuring progress against the plan. It must also embody the principle of continuous improvement to seek new ways to create a high performing work environment using diversity.

 

Chapter 9: Management Action Plan

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Chapter 9

Management Action Plan

Introduction

Effectively managing diversity requires commitment, planning, feedback, and accountability. It is critical that you develop a personal action plan to put what you have learned into action.

Managing diversity successfully takes both awareness and action.

But the action you take might vary according to the differences in your workplace. For example, cultural differences might require understanding and communication, while gender pay differential issues might require policy changes that must be implemented. The specific actions you take will depend on the issues, the expected outcome, your organization’s need, the impact on your workforce, and above all, your commitment to diversity.

How Can You Improve?

Research and first-hand observation have taught us that diversity management competencies can be developed. If you really want to develop competency to improve your ability to manage diversity, the tools, information, and techniques in this pocket guide along with the following steps will get you off to a good start:

 

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