Creating a diverse workforce in a company with an existing culture and belief system can be a dilemma. Management has a reasonable desire to bring in people of different ages, gender, and ethnic backgrounds. It is also desirable for the new diverse workforce to accept the organization's existing values. Failure for the new employees to accept these values can result in the new employee not being accepted into the mainstream corporate core. Yet, for the employee to limit their diverse behavior, or act in the traditional corporate mode, reduces the effectiveness and the value of the diversity. It is incumbent on the organization to assure that these new employees can be accepted and valued for their diversity within the existing system.
The outdated concept of a melting pot culture no longer holds validity in today's world. The melting pot approach assumed that people would blend their differing cultures, ideas, and beliefs into a new and unique community. This previously held system eliminated the positive effects of diversity by demanding conformity. People of diverse backgrounds were forced to set aside their differences and in doing so limit their opportunity to effect positive change. Organizational management has an increased responsibility to bring in these new cultures and backgrounds into the existing system without disruption of the current system and create recognition of the need for change. Bringing these changes into the workplace and workforce is a major challenge for management.
Thirty years ago the workforce was dominated by white males who supported a family and were the primary wage earner. Today's workforce has a much larger ratio of females and minorities (Robbins, 15). These dynamics have brought about a natural resistance to change and resulted in friction and inappropriate actions by peers and management. Organizations are faced with the need to properly train and educate their workforce to elicit the positive effects of diversity. Diversity training can help assure that the diverse workforce works together. Failure to recognize these barriers to change and being reluctant to institute adequate diversity training may result in the diversity being a net negative effect.
Management is faced with additional challenges with respect to the ever expanding definition of diversity and the growing list of divergent people and ideas. These can include ethnic background, physical challenges, sexual preference, race, age, and socio-political considerations. Bringing these widely differing people together into one culture while maintaining and valuing their diversity is a daunting task with paramount importance. Creating a workplace that can accommodate widely divergent needs and requirements, access and recognition, as well as the physical requirements necessary will require retraining the existing workforce to accept these new changes.
The challenge facing organizational behavior is to insure the successful implementation and eliminate the chance of failure of a diversity policy. Resistance to change and the subsequent failure of a policy is almost always due the human failure to account for people's reluctance to accept a disturbance of their set routine (Palmer). The corporation will need to be clear on the necessity to change, offer meaningful training, and support their efforts with measurable