Diversity in the workplace: challenges

Posted on 04th May 2017 | 1232 views

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There are many challenges at workplace due to diverse work population. Managing diversity will strengthen a company it starts with identifying the value of differences, combating discrimination, and promoting inclusiveness. Here managers also challenged with reduced productivity levels due to prejudice and discrimination, as well as complaints and legal actions against the organization.


Employees with negative attitude and less morale values can harm working relationships and damage morale and work productivity. People with kind of negative attitude and behaviors in the workplace include prejudice, stereotyping, and discrimination, which should never be used by management for hiring, retention, and termination practices. Here are some major challenges identified due to diversity at work place:

  • Communication barriers: Ineffective communication results in confusion, lack of teamwork, and low morale. The other barriers like perceptual, cultural and language barriers also play key role in work place diversity. Each and every individual from different cultural groups in an organization communicates differently. Employees often can misinterpret tone, e-mails and body language, and fail to interact appropriately with diverse cultural issues. For example when a US based company hires employees of other cultures who are poor in English language, employees and managers may experience difficulties communicating with one another. This can leads to delay in works and decrease in productivity levels.
  • Resistance to change: It is a great challenge for human resource professionals to implement such acts like diversity programmes because of the fact that some employees who will always refuse to accept the fact that the social and cultural makeup of their workplace is changing.

Employees who oppose workplace diversity usually reject new ideas and inhibit progress. If the company doesn't handle them properly, they may not benefit to the company. Organization should conduct sessions to explain the diversity and hot it benefits the both employees and management. It may reduce the opposition, brings out positive changes.

  • Implementation of diversity in the workplace policies: Companies face challenges while implementing the diversity plans. Organizations must develop a plan, analyze results and make nessacary changes if results are not as expected. Implementation is not as smooth as expected, it required to hire experienced professionals specialized in workplace diversity who understands challenges and how to handle them.

It is a great challenge to all diversity advocates to build and implement a customized strategy to maximize the effects of diversity in the workplace. To overcome such issues it required to prepare employee assessments and research data for their particular organization. Diversity cannot thrive without a supportive manager.

  • Successful diversity strategy: Managing workplace diversity is challenge for many organizations. Companies must follow affirmative action plans to develop and implement a successful diversity strategy. Creating such a successful diversity plan is not enough to implement diversity strategy plan. A strategy plan must be created and implemented to create a culture of diversity that permeates every department and function of the organization.

According to a study, managers face challenges when new employees from diverse backgrounds interact with long-standing employees. Many companies are providing training sessions to managers to manage their new diverse workforce.

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