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Diversity was selected as a best practice area since changing demographics make it more
important to select, retain and manage a diverse workforce. According to the IPMA/NASPE
Benchmarking Committee, diversity efforts in the workplace facilitate the exchange of new
perspectives, improve problem solving by inviting different ideas, and create a respectful,
accepting work environment, all of which make good business sense.
In the book Beyond Race and Gender, R. Roosevelt Thomas defined managing diversity as a comprehensive managerial process for developing an environment that works for all employees. The key for employers is to make diversity an asset within the organization. Diversity is different from affirmative action since affirmative action is the framework for a diversity management program. Diversity management has been described as looking at:
Diversity management strategies can help to create a link between the internal and external aspects of the work of an organization. Whilst each organization needs to work out its own priorities, these benefits can include:
The above-mentioned factors require development of larger repertoire of managerial skills and strategies to be able to manage. Thus, Human Resources practitioners should take cognizance of the fact that Diversity Management should involve planning, developing and managing human resources while acknowledging and appreciating the similarities and differences all employees bring to the work environment.
Diversity training can help an organizations management and staff increases their awareness and understanding of diversity as well as help them develop concrete skills to assist them in communicating and increasing productivity.
The Institute for Corporate Productivity (i4cp), asked more than 200 companies about their focus on diversity and inclusion. The result: A majority of those companies lack any kind of focus on diversity and inclusion.
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