Welcome to the meeting everyone. As you know our culture has become a very diverse place over the last 100 years. With each new culture added to the “cooking pot” we see different areas of concern arise for each. This mix of cultures has not only stretched to socialization but has also been added into corporate and business culture. If we want to communicate more effectively with our customers we need to be able to understand the different cultures they come from and by adopting a diversity initiative we will be giving our employees an edge over others. By implementation, training, and education we can give our staff the tools necessary to handle difficult situations centered around different cultural beliefs. With this initiative also comes a better understanding of the cultures of our current employees and ways to incorporate their cultural beliefs into the initiative.
In looking at diversity we need to keep a couple of things at the forefront of our minds. Everyone is different and we all need to respect the opinions, cultural beliefs, and personalities of others. The purpose of this initiative is to open minds and open hearts about embracing diversity and all the wonderful things that come with welcoming diversity into our minds and hearts. The cultural melting pot of America is about understanding others and the importance of acceptance of beliefs that may not mirror our own. There are so many different people from different parts of the world that we would be animals if we didn’t make room for diversity. This initiative and the objectives of this company mirror the thoughts of owners, management, and employees alike. Diversity should be welcomed not abhorred. There are many ways we can welcome diversity into the lives of our employees and those will be discussed further. Diversity, and acceptance of it, has also been shown to improve attendance, job performance, job satisfaction, and overall employee efforts. With an increase in knowledge of other cultures comes an increase in our marketability because of our efforts.
I think in order to really grasp the complexity of the issue we are dealing with we must first discuss the definitions of diversity and culture. Through a thorough understanding of the definitions we can begin to understand and accept these two words as a part of who we are as a company and as individuals. Diversity is know as a state of being different or as in a point of difference. Culture is known as a collective group of thoughts and beliefs belonging to peoples and differs from area to area in that not all views are shared equally.Diversity and culture are easily confused and can be used incorrectly as most people think they are interchangeable as they both are cyclical and one runs into the other. Diversity is about being different and culture is different for each part of the world. Diversity and culture are not the same things. You can have diversity within cultures and still share the same core beliefs, the same theories, but if something is different about you then you can be “diverse” in your own culture. This leads us into the heart of the matter. I am sure many of you are asking: “Why should we be concerned about diversity?” Through this presentation it is my fondest wish to educate you, not only on the importance of diversity but also the positive impact embracing diversity can have on this company.
A recently released report entitled “Harnessing Workforce Diversity to Raise the Bottom Line*” has highlighted the shifting focus for diversity initiatives in the modern workplace. The report shows that businesses “instead of thinking of diversity as about equality, that is, in terms of the law or compliance, companies are now seeing it as an issue of merit and merit alone” (Communicaid, Ltd., 2007).This fun fact tells us volumes about the world we live and work in. As in other slides you will see a common theme and that is how extensively diverse our society has become and what embracing that diversity does for us as individuals and as a company.
To truly be diverse we must understand why diversity is so important. With networking and international trade we’ve all witnessed what the internet has done for global communications and for business transactions. Now, more than ever, is it imperative that we keep up with technology as well as communications and understanding between cultures. This leap in technology has allowed us to do business worldwide and has seriously increased our profit margin. As I’ve stated before, America has become a melting pot of hundreds of different cultures and because of that it is more important to spend time researching the cultures that we come in contact with in order to not only maximize profits but also to gain a better understanding on the individual level. It is no longer a goal of Americans to “fit in”. We celebrate our uniqueness and revel in the differences we all have as individuals as well as within our own distinct social circles. We no longer strive to be clones of each other! We want something different for ourselves and it is no longer an issue of being different. The anxiety that comes with “fitting in” no longer applies to the new generations of employees or those that come from other countries.
Some of the many benefits to embracing diversity just for social and personal benefits are listed here. Welcoming diversity strengthens communities with the awareness that being different is alright. Social cohesion comes as a result of working with others from other cultures and provides a new outlook and an increase in communications between cultures. An increase in awareness of others and a more accepting attitude in general is seen in communities who have embraced diversity. The personal benefits of awareness include new views and ideas; which increases innovation within the workplace. This also includes a new understanding of individual differences as well as provides for learning new beliefs, values, and morals. Cultural enrichment is also a result of diversity and comes with the notion that it is ok to continue to develop your culture and include ideas, beliefs, and thoughts from other cultures. Fresh perspectives are often a result of realizing the differences in each of us. Each person, no matter where they are from, has different thought patterns and that is especially true with other cultures. What one person may think is a dead end another will find away around it and eventually find solutions to the problem. It allows for a variety of thinkers, variety in ideas, and variety in solutions. The best reason to be aware of diversity is that it provides for more tolerance and an increase in harmony between races.
Promotion opportunities are created with diversity in that all employees are subjected to the same rules however employees with knowledge of diversity tend to do better when working with others. There is a happier workforce when diversity and cultural differences are accepted. Everyone just seems happier knowing that their beliefs, views, and values are accepted as part of the working culture. Encouraging positive ethics through diversity is definitely a positive side affect of embracing other cultures. Ethics are a real part of what we do here and we are all responsible for our actions and that includes the actions of our culturally diverse employees. You see a more cohesive collective which promotes the overall attitudes of the workforce and increases their wellbeing. Through acceptance we open ourselves up to opportunities that we normally do not have and therefore create a happier, healthier, more accepting collective.The legal benefits are important as well. First, it is a requirement, by law, to have a diverse workforce through hiring practices and procedures we employ people from around the globe and part of this benefit includes not discriminating because of gender, race, religion, and so on so forth. There is an increase in employees knowing their rights and responsibilities which is directly linked to the legal requirements of diversity. Being diverse and promoting awareness makes our firm more attractive for investors because tolerance for others is advocated. Awareness and ambracing diversity also gives our employees agreed upon standards to follow which allows for a more understanding workforce. If everyone has the same rules and regulations it makes their job easier!
We’ve discussed a lot of benefits not only for the employees but also for individuals. Now let’s look at the benefits for management! There is evidence of a lower turnover rate. A happy employee and one that is accepted is an employee that will continue to work for us leaving us less time for turnaround and hiring of replacements. There is an overall increased commitment to the organization due to acceptance. Employees, when they happy and accepted for who they are, just work harder. The need to work harder is stronger because of the bond they feel with other employees and with the company itself. Wouldn’t you be happier in your job if you knew that you were accepted for who you are?The best reason of all for embracing diversity and for starting the initiative is that we will be more attractive to investors, potential employees, and to our customers. A diverse workforce is not only a legal requirement but is also a generally accepted requirement. With diversity comes new ideas, attitudes, and ways to complete tasks and this ultimately makes us look really great for potential investors and the like!
It is my recommendation that we schedule a staff meeting to discuss in more detail the acceptance of managmenet and staff of the Diversity Awareness Initiative as well as cover in depth the development of programs related to acceptance and finally to initiate the programs we have developed. Diversity is important to our customers, our employees, and to our financial backers. Let’s give them something to boast about and be proud of. We can do this, and together we can make our firm recognizable as a company that accepts you no matter who you are or where you come from. Ultimately, through this acceptance we can become better human beings, increase our compassion, understanding, and empathy, and enrich ourselves with new experiences!
So, let’s begin this initiative on the right track and schedule a staff meeting today!
Any and all content is either the information obtained from other sources or my own works. Please see the references listed here to check for continuity.
The Diversity Initiative:The Benefits of Having a Diverse Workforce.
PURPOSE AND OBJECTIVES Pur pose O b j e c t ive s Bring about an To discuss the ways embracing diversityawareness of diversity. affects the workforce. Stress the importance To discuss how diversityof embracing and increases efforts, attendance, andaccepting diversity . overall job satisfaction. Stress the importance To discuss how diversity increases ourof the diversity initiative. marketability.
Diversity: “The state or quality of being different or varied as in a point of difference” (Farlex, Inc., 2011).Culture: ”Culture is the totality of values, beliefs, and behaviors common to a large group of people. A culture may include shared language and folklore, communication styles, and ideas and thinking patterns- the “truths” accepted by the group” (College of Agricultural Sciences).
FUN FACT!1) Customers prefer to be served by acompany and workforce with which theycan identify (Communicaid, Ltd., 2007).2) Teams comprising mixedethnicities, backgrounds and gender arelikely to be more creative than homogenizedones (Communicaid, Ltd., 2007).
Why should we be concerned about diversity? People beganThe global The individual celebrating theirmarket in which construction of individuality andwe complete the U.S. with that theirbusiness in has population differencesbecome highly began altering instead ofcompetitive on a large scale demanding to(College of (College of “fit in” (CollegeAgricultural Agricultural of AgriculturalSciences). Sciences). Sciences).
WHAT WILL DIVERSITY DO FOR OUR EMPLOYEES? Social and Moral Benefits Pe r s o n a l B e n e f i t s• Stronger Communities • New Views• Social Cohesion • Cultural Enrichment• Raises Awareness • New Perspectives• Challenges Stereotypes • Racial Harmony
Not only are there benefits for employees but there are benefits for management as well!• Lower Turnover Rates• Increased Organizational Commitment• Increased Job Satisfaction• Attractiveness for Investors and Employees
RECOMMENDATIONS• Staff MeetingTo further discuss: Acceptance of Awareness Development of Programs Initiation of the Diversity Awareness Program
CONCLUSIONDiversity is not just about equality it’s about so much more than that.Welcoming diversity into our lives as a company enriches ourcompany to a point of full acceptance of any and all cultures. Withthis knowledge that we have covered today we are one step closer tobeing equal on all levels, throughout all cultures.
REFERENCES Works CitedCollege of Agricultural Sciences. (n.d.). An Overview of Diversity Awareness. Retrieved December 13, 2011, from PSU.EDU: http://pubs.cas.psu.edu/freepubs/pdfs/ui362.pdfCommunicaid, Ltd. (2007). Cross-Cultural Training. Retrieved December 13, 2011, from Communicaid.com: http://www.communicaid.com/cross-cultural-raining/cultural-diversity.phpFarlex, Inc. (2011). Diversity. Retrieved December 13, 2011, from The Free Dictionary: http://www.thefreedictionary.com/diversityHuddersfield New College. (n.d.). The Benefits of Embracing Equality, Diversity, and Inclusion. Retrieved December 14, 2011, from Huddenwcool.EDU: http://www.huddnewcoll.ac.uk/uploads/equality/EandD.pdf