Introduction The different kinds of diversity in organizational settings refer to the two selected diversity levels that are

posed as challenges in the workforce, be it a positive impact or negative impact. These 2 major types are surface-level diversity and deep-level diversity. They are notable in today’s labor force and the importance of them may be well addressed in certain organizations. Surface-level diversity refers to the noticeable and heterogeneous characteristics such as age, gender, ethnicity, language etc whereby it is easy to measure and can be easily misled in the managers’ practice of judgment and discrimination based on these factors (Williams C. 2007). Deep-level diversity expresses differences in communication through verbal and non-verbal behaviors such as attitudes, values, beliefs and personality etc (Williams C. 2007). Recognizing and understanding the two levels of the diverse workforce allows managers to see it as an integral part of the business plan to significantly make a difference for group outcomes and affect the experiences of participating individuals within a team (Lee, 2009-11). A diverse workforce used to a company’s advantage can help achieve globalization by embracing various backgrounds and perspectives so as to serve their broad customer base worldwide. With today’s increasing globalization, companies with heavy emphasis on good management need diversity to become more creative and open to change (Green, López, Wysocki & Kepner 2002). The workforce is ever changing and evolving therefore understanding the different levels of diversity could help to break negative attitudes and behavior which can be barriers as well as prevent prejudice and discrimination in the organization (Green, López, Wysocki & Kepner 2002).

Main discussion Recent studies that have examined the implications of observable differences of surface-level diversity between individuals in teams or workgroups suggest that these implications affect team cohesion and productivity (Harrison, Price, & Bell, 1998). The better the group members learn about one another over time, the less influence surface-level diversity has on the individuals while deep-level diversity becomes key to the explanation of groups’ functioning (Harrison et al., 2002). When individuals in teams/workgroups experience similarity and appear to have agreeable views, the assumption is that they are similar to other members of their workgroup in their point of view (Laio, Chuang, Joshi, 2008). These similarities in thinking or attitudes would

translate into positive outcomes in work performance, which also inhibits the tendency to withdraw or depart from work (Laio, Chuang, Joshi, 2008). The idea of innovation might be derived from diversity among work group members (Cox, Lobel, & McLeod, 1991). It is further explained that diverse people are supposed to possess more diverse and novel ideas as they approach the same task from different points of view, which will more likely result in task-related conflicts. When these diverse perspectives are combined, it is expected to evoke a more thorough and complete consideration of all aspects, which will ensure more high-quality and innovative solutions (Dreu, Bechtoldt, Nijstad, 2007). However, if the individuals experience deep-level diversity and dissimilarity in the workplace based on surface-level qualities, their commitment to the job as well as job satisfaction would be greatly affected (cf., Harrison, Newman, & Roth, 2006). Negative attitudes and behaviors in the workplace such as prejudice, stereotyping, and discrimination can be barriers to organizational diversity as well as be harmful for working relationships, work morale and productivity (Esty, et al., 1995). From the perspective of the similarity-attraction paradigm (Byrne, 1971; Riordan, 2000), individuals assume that interactions among people with shared unobservable qualities will be more seamless, rewarding and desirable and subsequently become more committed to their workgroup. Such similarities in the individuals within their workgroup would increase their sense of identity or belonging which will allow them to feel more committed and satisfied (Brewer, 1979). Effective managers that stress on good workforce management must understand discrimination and its consequences. It is important that managers manage for diversity because they are the keys to creating a successful and diverse workforce not only in the present but in the future as well (Flagg, 2002). Managers in organizations take steps to engage their employees, which in turn, respond by engaging their organizations (Greenberg, Baron, 2008, p. 27). The similar-to-me effect refers to the tendency for people to perceive more favorably others who are like themselves than those who are dissimilar (Greenberg, Baron, 2008, p. 97). This constitutes a potential source of bias when research has shown that superiors, who in this case are the managers, rate their subordinates according to the level of similarity between both parties (Greenberg, Baron, 2008, p. 97). The different dimensions of similarity include work values and habits; beliefs about the way things should be at work, as well as demographic variables (Greenberg, Baron, 2008, p.97). Managers should possess certain skills such as recognizing the differences among individuals, as

each individual is unique and does not represent or speak for a particular group. Managers must also be willing to change the organization if necessary (Koonce, 2001). As stated in the Workplace Diversity Management Tookit and Manager's Guide p.4 viewed on 10 August 2011, in the study on Inclusive and Harmonious Workplaces conducted by the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) in 2010, 87% of companies surveyed agreed that workplace harmony was vital in order to achieve positive business outcomes. Shared by Singapore’s F&B restaurant, Han’s Deputy Manager, its diversity management strategy reduced staff absenteeism greatly and staff turnover dropped fivefold between 2006-2009 (A Toolkit for Organisations p.4). Research suggests that well-managed diverse teams outperform homogenous teams, as they tend to be more innovative as well as effective at problem solving (A Toolkit for Organisations p.4). Vice versa, when diverse teams are not managed well, miscommunication and trust issues may occur which will result in a lower performance outcome (A Toolkit for Organisations p.4). Part of recognizing deeplevel diversity is acknowledging that employee engagement is very important for a successful workforce because the attitudes of these individuals are influenced not only by their work mates but most importantly, their jobs. It is explained that employees are motivated by jobs that challenge them and enable them to grow and learn, and instead are more demoralized by those that seem to monotonous or lead to a dead end (Nohria et al, 2008, p. 81). A 2008 study by Gallup Management Group in the United States have also revealed that greater employee engagement leads to a 51% lower turnover on average (Dernovsek, Darla, 2008). Singapore’s organization consists of a multiracial workforce; Indian, Chinese and Malay, therefore our society is most exposed to surface-level diversity. Also in line with the principle of equality and good employment practices, employers should not select candidates on grounds of race, religion, descent or age, which are of no relevance to a job (Shuen, p. 2, 2006). Benefits of a diverse company age wise include the older staff imparting their experience to the younger generation, which brings the team new ideas and perspectives (Chia, 2010). As compared to expatriates, they lack the characteristics that Singaporeans are born with and grew up with; they have roots here and are more knowledgeable about the society. It is raised that the “discrimination” issue arises when mature workers expect senior roles required of them to use new technologies yet they are refuse to learn, inflexible to change and do not embrace workplace diversity (Bawany, 2007). As seen in research conducted by Digne Consult Asia

Pacific Pte ltd, age-related diversity has caused different generations to have difficult working together in the workforce, which studies have proven to be Gen Y that has attitude problems such as being arrogant, impatient or abrupt (Kenny C, 2010). There have been instances of employment discrimination for example in Singapore, and as a result of which the MOM had to convene the tripartite group of representatives from the Employers, Union and Government to issue employment guidelines stating inter alia: “Candidates for jobs should be selected based on merit, experience, capability and other relevant job requirements. ... in line with the principle of Meritocracy in Singapore” (Shuen, p. 2, 2006). Nadarajan (2005) reported that in May 2005, there was employment discrimination when a condominium refused to employ Indian guards. To be successful in a competitive market, workforce diversity should be treated as a competitive advantage whereby Singapore encourages foreign talents and this too, is an additional challenge to multiculturalism and promotes both levels of diversity in a positive approach (Shuen, p. 3, 2006). Additionally, Saad and Koh (2010) reported a discussion between Singapore Foreign Affairs Minister George Yeo and Mr Githu Muigai that expressed the government’s efforts to promote equal opportunities for all, regardless of race and religion as well as ensure racial and religious tolerance. In order to meet global benchmarks, Hanadzlah (2010) reported that it is critical for the young to develop thoughts, values and opinions that converge with the international norm.

Conclusion The main key issues that were addressed in this essay were surface-level diversity and deep-level diversity. In short, surface-level diversity refers to the observable qualities while deep-level diversity refers to the unobservable qualities. It is understood in every business practice of a manager that these two issues were essential and vital to achieve a successful organization in any workforce. Diversity is almost inevitable in a workforce therefore measures are taken to ensure that it is viewed as a competitive advantage and used to its biggest advantage in the most positive outcome achievable. People in the workforce experience either differences or similarities among their workgroup, so it is important that they understand that both differences and similarities can be viewed upon as a useful tool to attain goals in a different approach. The major findings obtained from the vast research that was done include what outcomes would result from a surface-level diversity viewed both negatively and

positively. Similarly for deep-level diversity, it is explained very elaborately about the implications as well as how it would benefit an organization. Every workforce has a leader, and in this case, the managers are the ones to lead the workgroup to success, they have to be proactive in order to achieve that. Without a deep understanding of the issues of diversity, the managers would be unable to enhance interaction among the group mates and be a good leader. Singapore is a multiracial country thus it too, experiences organization issues with regards to diversity. It is proved that a greater employee engagement leads to a lower turnover. The Singapore government has also issued employment guidelines to prevent employee discrimination in surface-level diversity such as race. Every individual should be provided with equal opportunities as taken from the words of Singapore Foreign Affairs Minister George Yeo and Mr Githu Muigai. In conclusion, both levels of diversity are good business practices for managers as understanding them, could change the impact from a negative factor to a positive added factor. Both factors may seem difficult to be dealt with at first, when understanding of diversity is very minimal, however, research and learning the importance of using diversity to an organization’s advantage is a critical factor for achieving success and globalization.