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Changing Characteristics of the Workforce

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Changing Characteristics of the Workforce
There are several trends regarding the future of the American workforce that underscore the challenge and importance of the human resource function (Bernardin 15). The office environment is a microcosm of humanity, there are varying personalities, socioeconomic influences, and cultural differences to name a few. The composition of the workforce is changing drastically, and these changes are affecting HRM policies and practices. It is estimated as of 2010 only 15 percent of the U.S. workforce were native-born white males. Furthermore, nearly 90 percent of growth in the U.S. workforce from 1995 to 2008 came from women, immigrants, African-Americans, and people of Hispanic or Asian origin (Bernardin 15). Consequently, it is now more important than ever, HR professionals and Managers develop skills to manage the diversity of the organization today. One such skill is the development of Emotional Intelligence (EI). (EI) is paramount to managing the changing characteristics of a diverse workforce in the competitive business environment of today. Cultural differences can be a source of conflict in the workplace that can affect productivity and ultimately the bottom line. Much like family that evolves and grows through marriage, or friendships, people are often thrown together with different interests and personalities. The same can be said for the workplace, except that often people are thrown together for no other reason than they have chosen the same career path or have talents that bring them together as part of a team. Whether co-workers like each other or not, they still have to be able to work together (Pincus 159).
For most people, dealing with conflict is about as exciting as a trip to the dentist or going through an audit by the IRS. However, conflict is inevitable and it exists in the midst of the best...

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