Employees Diversity as an Asset

Sun, 08/28/2011 - 01:54 -- Umar Farooq

Employee diversity can improve organizational functioning by stimulating:

  1. Greater Creativity
  2. Better Problem Solving
  3. Greater System Flexibility

1. Greater Creativity

Employee diversity can stimulate consideration of less obvious alternatives. Take the example of a Hispanic man and a white woman advising the CEO on a planned organizational downsizing. They suggested reduction in salary, unpaid vacation, early retirement option, 5% reduction in salary in return for stock in the firm. There plan was unanimously welcomed.

2. Better Problem Solving

Homogeneous groups are prone to a phenomenon called “groupthink”, in which all members quickly converge on a mistaken solution because they share the same mindset and view the problem through the lens of conformity.

In a heterogeneous group with a broader and richer reservoir of experiences and cultural perspectives, the potential for “groupthink” shrinks.

3. Greater System Flexibility

If properly managed, employee diversity can infuse more flexibility into the firm. The existence of the diversity at different levels generates more openness to new ideas in general and greater tolerance for different ways of doing things.

Marketing Concerns

It is easier for an organization to market products to a multicultural, multiethnic population when its own work force mirrors diversity.

According to SUQUET AGENCY’S district manager Mr. Alfredo Cepero  “It is essential that managers look beyond cloning themselves when hiring associates. They should look for people that reflect the market. People with similar frames of mind, similar values and principles have a strong basis for communication, and communication is the art of sales.”