The Challenges of Workplace Diversity Management

By Alvin Chan


The role of the Human Resource Manager is evolving with the change in competitive market environment and the realization that Human Resource Management must play a more strategic role in the success of an organization. Organizations that do not put their emphasis on attracting and retaining talents may find themselves in dire consequences, as their competitors may be outplaying them in the strategic employment of their human resources.

With the increase in competition, locally or globally, organizations must become more adaptable, resilient, agile, and customer-focused to succeed. And within this change in environment, the HR professional has to evolve to become a strategic partner, an employee sponsor or advocate, and a change mentor within the organization. In order to succeed, HR must be a business driven function with a thorough understanding of the organization’s big picture and be able to influence key decisions and policies. In general, the focus of today’s HR Manager is on strategic personnel retention and talents development. HR professionals will be coaches, counselors, mentors, and succession planners to help motivate organization’s members and their loyalty. The HR manager will also promote and fight for values, ethics, beliefs, and spirituality within their organizations, especially in the management of workplace diversity.

This paper will highlight on how a HR manager can meet the challenges of workplace diversity, how to motivate employees through gain-sharing and executive information system through proper planning, organizing, leading and controlling their human resources.

Workplace Diversity

According to Thomas (1992), dimensions of workplace diversity include, but are not limited to: age, ethnicity, ancestry, gender, physical abilities/qualities, race, sexual orientation, educational background, geographic location, income, marital status, military experience, religious beliefs, parental status, and work experience.

The Challenges of Workplace Diversity

The future success of any organizations relies on the ability to manage a diverse body of talent that can bring innovative ideas, perspectives and views to their work. The challenge and problems faced of workplace diversity can be turned into a strategic organizational asset if an organization is able to capitalize on this melting pot of diverse talents. With the mixture of talents of diverse cultural backgrounds, genders, ages and lifestyles, an organization can respond to business opportunities more rapidly and creatively, especially in the global arena (Cox, 1993), which must be one of the important organizational goals to be attained. More importantly, if the organizational environment does not support diversity broadly, one risks losing talent to competitors.

This is especially true for multinational companies (MNCs) who have operations on a global scale and employ people of different countries, ethical and cultural backgrounds. Thus, a HR manager needs to be mindful and may employ a ‘Think Global, Act Local’ approach in most circumstances. The challenge of workplace diversity is also prevalent amongst Singapore’s Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs). With a population of only four million people and the nation’s strive towards high technology and knowledge-based economy; foreign talents are lured to share their expertise in these areas. Thus, many local HR managers have to undergo cultural-based Human Resource Management training to further their abilities to motivate a group of professional that are highly qualified but culturally diverse. Furthermore, the HR professional must assure the local professionals that these foreign talents are not a threat to their career advancement (Toh, 1993). In many ways, the effectiveness of workplace diversity management is dependent on the skilful balancing act of the HR manager.

One of the main reasons for ineffective workplace diversity management is the predisposition to pigeonhole employees, placing them in a different silo based on their diversity profile (Thomas, 1992). In the real world, diversity cannot be easily categorized and those organizations that respond to human complexity by leveraging the talents of a broad workforce will be the most effective in growing their businesses and their customer base.

The Management of Workplace Diversity

In order to effectively manage workplace diversity, Cox (1993) suggests that a HR Manager needs to change from an ethnocentric view ("our way is the best way") to a culturally relative perspective ("let's take the best of a variety of ways"). This shift in philosophy has to be ingrained in the managerial framework of the HR Manager in his/her planning, organizing, leading and controlling of organizational resources.

As suggested by Thomas (1992) and Cox (1993), there are several best practices that a HR manager can adopt in ensuring effective management of workplace diversity in order to attain organizational goals. They are:

Planning a Mentoring Program

One of the best ways to handle workplace diversity issues is through initiating a Diversity Mentoring Program. This could entail involving different departmental managers in a mentoring program to coach and provide feedback to employees who are different from them. In order for the program to run successfully, it is wise to provide practical training for these managers or seek help from consultants and experts in this field. Usually, such a program will encourage organization’s members to air their opinions and learn how to resolve conflicts due to their diversity. More importantly, the purpose of a Diversity Mentoring Program seeks to encourage members to move beyond their own cultural frame of reference to recognize and take full advantage of the productivity potential inherent in a diverse population.

Organizing Talents Strategically

Many companies are now realizing the advantages of a diverse workplace. As more and more companies are going global in their market expansions either physically or virtually (for example, E-commerce-related companies), there is a necessity to employ diverse talents to understand the various niches of the market. For example, when China was opening up its markets and exporting their products globally in the late 1980s, the Chinese companies (such as China’s electronic giants such as Haier) were seeking the marketing expertise of Singaporeans. This is because Singapore’s marketing talents were able to understand the local China markets relatively well (almost 75% of Singaporeans are of Chinese descent) and as well as being attuned to the markets in the West due to Singapore’s open economic policies and English language abilities. (Toh, R, 1993)

With this trend in place, a HR Manager must be able to organize the pool of diverse talents strategically for the organization. He/She must consider how a diverse workforce can enable the company to attain new markets and other organizational goals in order to harness the full potential of workplace diversity.

An organization that sees the existence of a diverse workforce as an organizational asset rather than a liability would indirectly help the organization to positively take in its stride some of the less positive aspects of workforce diversity.

Leading the Talk

A HR Manager needs to advocate a diverse workforce by making diversity evident at all organizational levels. Otherwise, some employees will quickly conclude that there is no future for them in the company. As the HR Manager, it is pertinent to show respect for diversity issues and promote clear and positive responses to them. He/She must also show a high level of commitment and be able to resolve issues of workplace diversity in an ethical and responsible manner.

Control and Measure Results

A HR Manager must conduct regular organizational assessments on issues like pay, benefits, work environment, management and promotional opportunities to assess the progress over the long term. There is also a need to develop appropriate measuring tools to measure the impact of diversity initiatives at the organization through organization-wide feedback surveys and other methods. Without proper control and evaluation, some of these diversity initiatives may just fizzle out, without resolving any real problems that may surface due to workplace diversity.

Motivational Approaches

Workplace motivation can be defined as the influence that makes us do things to achieve organizational goals: this is a result of our individual needs being satisfied (or met) so that we are motivated to complete organizational tasks effectively. As these needs vary from person to person, an organization must be able to utilize different motivational tools to encourage their employees to put in the required effort and increase productivity for the company.

Why do we need motivated employees? The answer is survival (Smith, 1994). In our changing workplace and competitive market environments, motivated employees and their contributions are the necessary currency for an organization’s survival and success. Motivational factors in an organizational context include working environment, job characteristics, appropriate organizational reward system and so on.

The development of an appropriate organizational reward system is probably one of the strongest motivational factors. This can influence both job satisfaction and employee motivation. The reward system affects job satisfaction by making the employee more comfortable and contented as a result of the rewards received. The reward system influences motivation primarily through the perceived value of the rewards and their contingency on performance (Hickins, 1998).

To be effective, an organizational reward system should be based on sound understanding of the motivation of people at work. In this paper, I will be touching on the one of the more popular methods of reward systems, gain-sharing.


Gain-sharing programs generally refer to incentive plans that involve employees in a common effort to improve organizational performance, and are based on the concept that the resulting incremental economic gains are shared among employees and the company.

In most cases, workers voluntarily participate in management to accept responsibility for major reforms. This type of pay is based on factors directly under a worker’s control (i.e., productivity or costs). Gains are measured and distributions are made frequently through a predetermined formula. Because this pay is only implemented when gains are achieved, gain-sharing plans do not adversely affect company costs (Paulsen, 1991).

Managing Gain-sharing

In order for a gain-sharing program that meets the minimum requirements for success to be in place, Paulsen (1991) and Boyett (1988) have suggested a few pointers in the effective management of a gain-sharing program. They are as follows:

A HR manager must ensure that the people who will be participating in the plan are influencing the performance measured by the gain-sharing formula in a significant way by changes in their day-to-day behavior. The main idea of the gain sharing is to motivate members to increase productivity through their behavioral changes and working attitudes. If the increase in the performance measurement was due to external factors, then it would have defeated the purpose of having a gain-sharing program.

An effective manager must ensure that the gain-sharing targets are challenging but legitimate and attainable. In addition, the targets should be specific and challenging but reasonable and justifiable given the historical performance, the business strategy and the competitive environment. If the gain-sharing participants perceive the target as an impossibility and are not motivated at all, the whole program will be a disaster.

A manager must provide useful feedback as a guidance to the gain-sharing participants concerning how they need to change their behavior(s) to realize gain-sharing payouts The feedback should be frequent, objective and clearly based on the members’ performance in relation to the gain-sharing target.

A manager must have an effective mechanism in place to allow gain-sharing participants to initiate changes in work procedures and methods and/or requesting new or additional resources such as new technology to improve performance and realize gains. Though a manager must have a tight control of company’s resources, reasonable and justifiable requests for additional resources and/or changes in work methods from gain-sharing participants should be considered.

Executive Information Systems

Executive Information System (EIS) is the most common term used for the unified collections of computer hardware and software that track the essential data of a business' daily performance and present it to managers as an aid to their planning and decision-making (Choo, 1991). With an EIS in place, a company can track inventory, sales, and receivables, compare today's data with historical patterns. In addition, an EIS will aid in spotting significant variations from "normal" trends almost as soon as it develops, giving the company the maximum amount of time to make decisions and implement required changes to put your business back on the right track. This would enable EIS to be a useful tool in an organization’s strategic planning, as well as day-to-day management (Laudon, K and Laudon, J, 2003).

Managing EIS

As information is the basis of decision-making in an organization, there lies a great need for effective managerial control. A good control system would ensure the communication of the right information at the right time and relayed to the right people to take prompt actions.

When managing an Executive Information System, a HR manager must first find out exactly what information decision-makers would like to have available in the field of human resource management, and then to include it in the EIS. This is because having people simply use an EIS that lacks critical information is of no value-add to the organization. In addition, the manager must ensure that the use of information technology has to be brought into alignment with strategic business goals (Laudon, K and Laudon, J, 2003).


The role of the HR manager must parallel the needs of the changing organization. Successful organizations are becoming more adaptable, resilient, quick to change directions, and customer-centered. Within this environment, the HR professional must learn how to manage effectively through planning, organizing, leading and controlling the human resource and be knowledgeable of emerging trends in training and employee development.

About The Author

Dr.Alvin Chan is a Senior Research Consultant at a research think-tank in Asia.

Article Source:


Anonymous said...

Ηеy thегe just wanted to givе you
a quick heads up. The text in your artіclе sеem to be running οff the screen in
Chrome. I'm not sure if this is a format issue or something to do with browser compatibility but I figured I'd post
to let you knοw. The dеѕign аnd ѕtуle loοk great though!

Hope you get the issue fixed sοon. Kudos
Also visit my website ... Clipfish converter

Anonymous said...

Thank you for the good writeup. It in reality was once a entertainment account it.
Look complicated to far introduced agreeable from you!
However, how can we be in contact?

Here is my weblog :: smoke deter review

Anonymous said...

Good way of describing, and fastidious paragraph to get facts on the topic of my presentation subject
matter, which i am going to present in institution of higher

My web site ... acai berry diet

Anonymous said...

Hello this is kinda of off topic but I was wanting to know if
blogs use WYSIWYG editors or if you have to manually code with HTML.

I'm starting a blog soon but have no coding skills so I wanted to get guidance from someone with experience. Any help would be greatly appreciated!

my web site :: sperm volume pills

Anonymous said...

This site was... how do I say it? Relevant!
! Finally I've found something which helped me. Cheers!

Also visit my homepage ... naturall joint pain cure

Anonymous said...

Great web site you have here.. It's difficult to find high quality writing like yours nowadays. I honestly appreciate individuals like you! Take care!!

my web blog

Anonymous said...

Hi! I know this is kinda off topic nevertheless
I'd figured I'd ask. Would you be interested in trading links
or maybe guest authoring a blog article or vice-versa? My blog addresses a lot of the same subjects as yours and I feel we could greatly benefit from each other.
If you're interested feel free to shoot me an email. I look forward to hearing from you! Terrific blog by the way!

Here is my web page

Anonymous said...

Hello, i believe that i saw you visited my blog so i came to return the want?
.I am trying to in finding issues to enhance my website!
I guess its good enough to make use of some of your ideas!

My web page :: sperm production

Anonymous said...

I like the valuable info you supply for your articles. I will bookmark your weblog and
test again here regularly. I am slightly certain I will be informed many new stuff right right here!

Good luck for the following!

My blog: maleextra pills

Anonymous said...

Howdy! I understand this is somewhat off-topic however I had to ask.
Does running a well-established website such as yours require a massive
amount work? I am completely new to writing
a blog but I do write in my journal on a daily basis.
I'd like to start a blog so I will be able to share my experience and views online. Please let me know if you have any kind of ideas or tips for brand new aspiring bloggers. Thankyou!

Also visit my weblog ... best antifungal for nails

Anonymous said...

Hello There. I found your blog using msn. This
is a really well written article. I will be sure to bookmark it and
return to read more of your useful information.
Thanks for the post. I'll certainly comeback.

Here is my blog post -

Anonymous said...

My developer is trying to persuade me to move to .
net from PHP. I have always disliked the idea because
of the expenses. But he's tryiong none the less. I've been using WordPress on a number of
websites for about a year and am worried about switching to another
platform. I have heard good things about blogengine.

net. Is there a way I can import all my wordpress posts into it?

Any kind of help would be really appreciated!

Also visit my blog post fermented soy

Anonymous said...

Hello my family member! I wish to say that this post is awesome, great
written and include approximately all vital infos.
I would like to peer more posts like this .

Feel free to surf to my weblog :: buy proenhance

Anonymous said...

Hey are using Wordpress for your blog platform? I'm new to the blog world but I'm trying
to get started and create my own. Do you require any coding knowledge to make your own blog?

Any help would be greatly appreciated!

Feel free to visit my web blog ::

Anonymous said...

Hi my friend! I want to say that this post is amazing, great written and include approximately all important infos.

I'd like to see more posts like this .

Also visit my web site: hgh genf20

Anonymous said...

You actually make it seem so easy with your presentation but I find this matter to be actually something which I think I would never understand.
It seems too complex and extremely broad for me.
I am looking forward for your next post, I will try to get
the hang of it!

Review my blog ... nail fungus treatment

Anonymous said...

Quality content is the main to be a focus for the users
to pay a visit the web page, that's what this site is providing.

Here is my site: penis enhancement

Anonymous said...

If you would like to obtain a great deal from this piece of writing then you have to apply such methods to
your won blog.

Review my weblog ...

Anonymous said...

Great blog! Is your theme custom made or did you download it from somewhere?
A design like yours with a few simple adjustements would really make
my blog stand out. Please let me know where you got your theme.

Appreciate it

Here is my homepage; phen375

Anonymous said...

Ahaa, its good discussion regarding this paragraph here at
this webpage, I have read all that, so now me also commenting
at this place.

Feel free to surf to my web blog - fat burner untuk perempuan

Anonymous said...

Great weblog right here! Also your web site loads up fast!

What host are you the use of? Can I am getting your associate hyperlink in your host?

I desire my website loaded up as fast as yours lol

My site; buy zetaclear

Anonymous said...

Right here is the perfect blog for everyone who would like to find
out about this topic. You know so much its almost tough to argue with you (not that I actually will need to…HaHa).
You definitely put a fresh spin on a topic that's been discussed for ages. Wonderful stuff, just excellent!

Feel free to visit my webpage - buy ProEnhance

Anonymous said...

Hi there I am so glad I found your blog page, I really found you by error, while
I was researching on Askjeeve for something else, Anyhow I am here now and would just like to
say thanks a lot for a incredible post and a all round thrilling blog (I also love
the theme/design), I don’t have time to go through it
all at the moment but I have saved it and also added
your RSS feeds, so when I have time I will be back to read
more, Please do keep up the superb jo.

My web-site ... skin hives

Anonymous said...

I love your blog.. very nice colors & theme. Did you design this website yourself
or did you hire someone to do it for you? Plz answer back as
I'm looking to design my own blog and would like to know where u got this from. kudos

Check out my web blog male menopause

Anonymous said...

There is definately a lot to know about this topic.
I really like all of the points you have made.

Here is my webpage; virilityex pill

Anonymous said...

An outstanding share! I have just forwarded this onto a friend who had been
doing a little research on this. And he actually bought
me breakfast due to the fact that I stumbled upon it for him.
.. lol. So let me reword this.... Thank YOU for the meal!
! But yeah, thanks for spending the time to discuss this topic
here on your site.

My webpage :: clear pores

Anonymous said...

Hey would you mind sharing which blog platform you're using? I'm looking to start my own blog in the near future but I'm having a tough time deciding between BlogEngine/Wordpress/B2evolution and Drupal. The reason I ask is because your layout seems different then most blogs and I'm looking
for something completely unique. P.S Sorry for being off-topic but I had to

Feel free to surf to my site - Male Enhancement Supplements

Anonymous said...

Nice blog here! Also your web site so much up fast! What
host are you using? Can I get your affiliate hyperlink in your host?
I want my web site loaded up as quickly as yours lol

Also visit my blog :: volime pills

Anonymous said...

Useful info. Fortunate me I discovered your website by chance, and I'm shocked why this coincidence did not happened in advance! I bookmarked it.

My weblog:

Anonymous said...

Even though selecting a treadmill motor, you should
also examine the warranties as you are making use of the equipment on regular basis and quicker or afterwards motor will need a provider.

Feel free to surf to my page -

Anonymous said...

Thanks for some other great post. The place else could anybody get that kind of
info in such a perfect manner of writing? I've a presentation next week, and I'm at the search
for such information.

My blog: weight loss berries

Anonymous said...

My brother suggested I might like this blog. He was entirely right.
This post actually made my day. You can not imagine just how much time
I had spent for this information! Thanks!

My site alteril review

Anonymous said...

Howdy! Someone in my Facebook group shared this site with us so I
came to give it a look. I'm definitely loving the information. I'm
bookmarking and will be tweeting this to my followers!
Terrific blog and fantastic style and design.

Feel free to visit my web page: increase seminal volume

Anonymous said...

These are genuinely great ideas in concerning blogging.
You have touched some nice things here. Any way keep up wrinting.

Feel free to surf to my web page breast enhancement supplement

Anonymous said...

This can be exactly the same regardless if you are douleur or

Also visit my web-site;

Anonymous said...

Sometimes seasons reasons some shoes are[url=]Nike UK[/url]
temporarily do not need the means[url=][/url]
wear such shoes we all[url=]Nike Canada[/url]
properly position them in a very[url=][/url]
right invest order to avoid unnecessary damage of shoes[url=][/url]

If your insole is de facto bad, it'd must use a soft brush and water gently scrub. Should really be noted that, avoid the use of chemical soaps cleaning, or these people increase the risk for insole the surface of cloth off.[url=]Prada UK[/url]

Anonymous said...

In place, devoid of gravity, common weights offer you no resistance.

my web page -

Anonymous said...

a do is boy just discount michael kors handbags is fashion to toms shoes outlet of variety get their is michael kors handbags outlet or the lift cheap michael kors purses person at discover louboutins phone exercises not that dress

Anonymous said...

It will come with options such as an adjustable lat tower and an ergonomically constructed
seat that assist you have the most out of every single training.

Also visit my weblog: bowflex selecttech 552 dumbbells

Anonymous said...

I can see why he'd do effectively as being a trainer.

my website ...

Anonymous said...

I talked to many various people today and did quite a little of research on the
internet, but everything that i heard and read through went back again and forth about which was superior, so I
made a decision that if I was about to acquire some, I
need to likely consider them both out and see which I
liked most effective.

Feel free to visit my web-site adjustable weights

Anonymous said...

I have learn several just right stuff here. Certainly value bookmarking for
revisiting. I wonder how much attempt you put to make this sort of great informative

Stop by my webpage hgh energizer

Anonymous said...

I do agree with all of the concepts you have offered to your post.
They are really convincing and will definitely work.
Still, the posts are very short for newbies.

May just you please prolong them a little from subsequent time?

Thank you for the post.

My site ::

Anonymous said...

Hello colleagues, nice piece of writing and nice arguments commented here, I am really enjoying by these.

Take a look at my web site

Anonymous said...

Μy ρrogrаmmer is trying to conνince me to move tо .
net frοm PHP. I have always disliked the іdea becаuse of the еxpenses.
Βut he's tryiong none the less. I've been using WordPresѕ on a varietу οf websites
for about a yеar аnd am worried about switchіng to another platfοгm.
I hаve heard eхcellent thіngs abοut blοgengine.
net. Is there a way I cаn tranѕfer all my wordрress posts
intο it? Αny help ωould be gгeatly appreciated!

Also visit mу ωeb blog diamondlinks review

Anonymous said...

Just like something, you'll find several benefits for energy coaching, and it is actually typically misunderstood.

Look at my webpage bowflex 552 selecttech dumbbells

Anonymous said...

What's Going down i'm new to this, I stumbled upon this I
have found It absolutely helpful and it has aided me out
loads. I'm hoping to contribute & aid other users like its helped me. Great job.

Here is my weblog ...

Anonymous said...

Your means of explaining all in this post is in fact pleasant,
every one be able to without difficulty know it, Thanks a lot.

Here is my page ... capsiplex

Anonymous said...

Ahaa, its pleasant dialogue about this piece of writing
here at this webpage, I have read all that, so now me also commenting here.

My weblog ... where to buy unique hoodia

Anonymous said...

My spouse and I stumbled over here from a different website and thought I might as well check things out.
I like what I see so now i'm following you. Look forward to looking over your web page yet again.

my web-site - bmi chart female

Anonymous said...

This is really interesting, You are a very skilled blogger.

I've joined your rss feed and look forward to seeking more of your fantastic post. Also, I have shared your website in my social networks!

Also visit my web site :: asthma mist

Anonymous said...

Little doubt, there exists a cadre of inventors
all functioning diligently to point out us, and also
to get their put in history.

Also visit my web-site;

Anonymous said...

Identical to incorporating plates to some established
of dumbbells.

Have a look at my web blog :: bowflex 552 selecttech dumbbells

Anonymous said...

item that wouldn't need you to see them.

Using this brand new study and technology for hemorrhoids treatments lots more peoplebetter eyesight are able to live a contented and pain and ache free living. Without having to pay a fortune and finding out cure hemroids have made natural home remedies and natural remedies ever more famous.

Anonymous said...

Due to the rewards of household gyms, the fitness sector
has long been transformed.

Here is my web page :: more helpful hints

Anonymous said...

It essentially is self supporting as part of your doorway and has
foam pads to forestall damage to the doorway.

Look at my blog - Dumbbell Sales

Anonymous said...

Although all a few of them utilize the identical technological know-how
but each product has its have special functions and warranty time.

My weblog adjustable dumbbell set

Anonymous said...

Just retain in your mind often select a reputable model plus a treadmill product which has essential characteristics which will cater your standard demands in losing weight
to get a slimmer and much healthier human body.

Visit my homepage ::