The strengths of a diverse workforce often relate to the notion of variety � that having access to diverse
ideas and perspectives can enhance a business� competitive advantage. Yet the diverse individuals
who hold those ideas and perspectives must work together cooperatively and collaboratively to pursue
and achieve common goals. Therein lies one of the challenges of managing diversity and realising its
many benefits. For essay, draw on the resources and your own experiences to analyse the role of HR
policy in diversity management, and how HR policy can realise the opportunities and address the
challenges of workplace diversity.
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Issues Posed By a Diverse Workforce in an Organization
Workplace diversity within an organization occurs when such a company hires
employees from different backgrounds and experiences, an element that many organizations
consider as an investment towards the development of a better business (Toon, 2011, pp.6).
However, there are some issues that are prone to occur as a result of diversity in an organization.
Communication barriers are likely to occur within a diverse workforce, an aspect that would
result in complexities when passing information, thus resulting into mistakes and errors.
In as much as diversity within an organization have its fare benefits, some employees and
managers from diverse backgrounds are likely to reach negatively to changes within the
organization (Theodorakopoulos, & Budhwar, 2015, pp.178). Employees who oppose diversity
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within the workforce reject the inclusion of new ideologies, an aspect that makes work
environments challenging. Companies that fail in handling such negative energies may not attain
the full benefits of workplace diversity.
The Role of HR Policies in Mitigating the Potential Challenges Associated with
It is significant to determine that without the inclusion of efforts aimed at promoting
policies and efficient practices that provide support to diverse workforce’s from different
backgrounds, an organization is bound to encounter challenges in incorporating such individual
within the taskforce (Bamberger, Biron, & Meshoulam, 2014, pp.3). Policies therefore play a
vital role in articulating practices that organizations can employ to support the element of
diversity, an aspect that would yield positive outcomes such as an increase in organizations
creativity, profitability, individuals and organizational growth, flexibility and a successful
adjustment to the fluctuations in the market.
In addition to this, diversity policies within an organization are bound to act as a signal
that shows the companies commitment in supporting employees from different regions and
backgrounds (Bamberger, et.al.2014, pp.4). An effective diversity policy has the capacity to
clearly define its goals in a manner that frames the element of diversity as an opportunity to an
organization rather than a threat.
Challenges and Benefits of Diversity Management in HR Policy Development and
The challenges that an organization may encounter in diversity management in relation to
HR policy establishment and implementation may include the negative perspectives that may
arise from discrimination against the workforce (Marchington, & Suter, 2012, pp.284). This
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requires organizations to initiative diversity management approaches that harnesses and
identifies the values and differences of the workforce in order to fully utilize their potentials for
the benefit of an organization.
However, the benefits of diversity management tend to outweigh its challenges. Through
a strategized development of diverse workforces, an organization is likely to achieve its
competitive advantage an aspect that cogently incorporates flexibility, creativity. Employee
retention and attraction, and a better marketing approach (Armstrong, 2014, pp.2). Through an
efficient diversity management approach, an organizations taskforce is in a position to increase
its innovation and creativity, an aspect that enables such an organization to homogenously
outperform its competitors. Other benefits of diversity management may include the reduction in
the turnover rates, reduction of the labor market shrinks, absenteeism and attracting the best
employees in a company.
HR Leader’s Use of Policy to Overcome Challenges and Determine the Benefits of a
Leaders have the capacity to use policies in overcoming some of the challenges that a
diverse workforce encounters. This can be achieved when the top management of an
organization initiates philosophies that foster an effective organizational culture that embraces
and recognizes diversity, thus committing resources and leadership capabilities in the
implementation of efficient management methods of diversity policies (Tricker, 2015, pp.17).
Organizations may also consider incorporating AA and EEO in making use of diversity. Lastly,
organizations also need to consider educating the workforce, networking and communicating at
all levels in order to enhance diversity management processes.
National Legislation on Equality in the Workplace
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The Equality Act was turned in law in 2010, October, having replaced the previous
legislations such as the Disability Discrimination Act of 1995 and the Race Relations Act of
1976 (Tricker, 2015, pp.26). As a result of this legislation, employers are tasked with the
responsibility of ensuring that they promote and improve equality between both men and women
irrespective of their circumstances within the work environment.
Armstrong, M. (2014) Armstrong’s handbook of human resource management practice, 13th ed.
London: Kogan Page.
Bamberger, P., Biron, M. & Meshoulam, I. (2014) Human resource strategy: formulation,
implementation and impact, 2nd ed. London: Routledge
Marchington, M. & Suter, J. (2012) “Where informality really matters: Patterns of employee
involvement and participation in a non-union firm” Industrial Relations 52 (1) pp. 284-
Toon, C. (2011) ‘Is your HR policy outdated?’ [Online].
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Tricker, B. (2015) .Corporate governance: principles, policies and practices. Oxford: Oxford
University Press pp.15-34
Theodorakopoulos, N., & Budhwar, P. (2015). Guest Editors’ Introduction: Diversity and
Inclusion in Different Work Settings: Emerging Patterns, Challenges, and Research
Agenda. Human Resource Management, 54(2), 177-197. doi:10.1002/hrm.21715