Cultural, Ethnic, Gender Differences at the Workplace

Introduction

We are living in a global world, which is powered by technology. People are finding it easy to interact, and organizations, especially multinationals, are hiring people from various cultures. In addition, business organizations hire people of various ethnic groups and gender (Bell, 2012). For these businesses to be successful, managers need to understand individual’s differences so that they know how to manage them and get the best out of them. This essay will outline why manager should understand the importance of diversity in work environments.

Importance of understanding cultural, ethnic, and gender differences by managers and professionals in a business setting

Most people believe that their culture is always the best, and their way of doing things is always right. They tend to view the cultures of others as inferior. This results into discrimination of such cultures and ethnic groups (Bell, 2012). Also, there are some cultures which discriminate one gender. They might feel awkward and strange if they try out things done by other cultures. They find it hard to appreciate such cultures, and this makes competence within the organization very difficult since interaction is hindered (Bell, 2012).

It is, however, possible for people to appreciate the cultures and ethnicity of others. It is important for one to try and spend some time living in the world of other people. People should try and understand the cultures of others. Let’s look at an example of a right handed person holding a ping pong ball and trying to slip a sock over it and tie it in place. Keeping his fingers folded around the ball inside the sock and trying to go about normal activities. As he tries not to let the ball off the closed hands and try to get the sock wet at the same time he might feel a little bit strange. It is difficult at first but with time it becomes easy and easier. It is hard to adapt using the left hand if one is right handed. Most left handed people have already adapted using the right hand and it is easy for them. In fact, they find it much easier to work using their hands as compared to the right handed people.

The same case applies when a manager is trying to understand the culture of others. Similarly, employees find it a bit difficult to understand and fit in the cultures of others. It is, however, important for managers to understand the differences of employees’ cultures since they can be of great help to the business. They need to understand the weaknesses in people’s cultures and offer them training so as to help them overcome them. In addition, they understand the strengths and enhance them and consequently increase the performance of employees (Karsten, 2006).

It is important to note that how effective a business is able to manage diversity influences its success (Bell, 2012). This will enhance communication in the organization as well as adaptability and change. Embracing diversity will also inspire employees to perform to their best. Human resource managers and professionals need to appreciate this fact and have adequate knowledge the diversity of the companies’ employees. They should help them develop an understanding among each other (Karsten, 2006).

Conclusion

It is important for managers to have adequate knowledge of diversity in the business setting. This understanding will help the managers train employees to understand each other. It will inspire them to perform well and improve the overall performance of the organization. It also enhances communication within the organization.

References

Bell, M. P. (2012). Diversity in organizations. Mason, Ohio: South-Western College.

Karsten, M. F. (2006). Organizational practices and individual strategies for women and minorities. Westport, Connecticut: Praeger.