When serving a diverse population in the business arena, a diverse workforce provides the best opportunity to achieve service excellence and to foster collaboration and innovation (Kruskal et al., 2018). Diversity and inclusion in the workplace encompasses gender, race, and cultural aspects as well as maintaining this diverse employee population (Luthans, Luthans, & Luthans, 2015).
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I am currently employed by a female-owned business in Slidell, Louisiana. My workplace is a small business consisting of five employees; the employee pool is comprised of four white females and one white male between the ages of 23 and 50. While our demographic diversity is limited by our small employee pool, we are welcomed and encouraged to offer our different perspectives, opinions, and ideas; organizations create a healthy work environment by valuing the different ideas of its employees (Gurchiek, 2018). “Employees in receptive environments identify with the organization and its values and are committed to its continued existence” (Garvin & Roberto, 2005). In my company, when we are brainstorming how to improve sales, each of us gives our opinions and ideas. While not all of our ideas are implemented, we feel they are welcomed and valued. My organization’s openness to diversity and inclusion is evidenced by giving everyone a voice and valuing individual perceptions and opinions. This mindset has fostered a healthy work environment and has resulted in positive outcomes on key business indicators including staff retention and financial success.
At my organization, we collaborate with hundreds of companies in several countries to provide goods and services primarily for casinos located across the gulf coast region. Kruskal et al. (2018) recognizes the importance of being proactive to eliminate bias and its manifestations by first being aware of our individual biases. “When we are aware of our biases, we are more likely to be vigilant when it comes to our decision-making and thought processes” (Kruskal et al., 2018, 794-802). We have encountered sociocultural barriers including language challenges as we have worked with people whose first language is not English. Addressing this was important to our bottom line because of the potential adverse effect on social relations (Thuesen, 2017). To combat these barriers, my coworkers and I share any knowledge we gain when working with diverse populations including how a particular customer or vendor prefers to be acknowledged and any specific vocabulary that builds our relationship. Another intervention I see in my organization is that the company owner has countless meetings with our customers to gain a better understanding of their wants and needs and to assess how we are meeting them. In doing this, she promotes awareness of issues and together we collaborate to address.
Achieving diversity and inclusion in a workplace requires both demographic differences and assuring that every voice is heard and valued. “Achieving diversity will not occur spontaneously; it requires a sustained, managed, and thoughtful effort to meet the moral imperative of achieving equity” (Kruskal et al., 2018, 801-802). While building a diverse and inclusive workforce takes time and maintaining it requires a continuous effort, the success of business is reliant on it to create a healthy work environment that is innovative and financially viable.
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Diversity And Inclusion in a Workplace. (2021, May 22).
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