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Value of Diversity in the Workplace

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The Value of Diversity in the Workplace
MGMT 512
August 6, 2015 “One of the signs of a truly educated people, and a broadly educated nation, is lack of prejudice.”
- Dr. Charles H. Mayo

As the world grows smaller and more connected through increases in technology such as the internet, accessibility to international travel, and opening of global markets, companies are tasked with creating diversity and inclusion policies. Diversity and inclusion policies are necessary because people/customers, employees, organizations and companies all want to draw upon this vast array of people to conduct and enhance their businesses. It is important for companies to reflect the “look” of the populations they serve through business due to the many advantages that will positively affect their companies. A diversity policy can improve a company’s quality of employees, increase comfort level from the consumers it serves, improve cost reductions through fewer employee issues, augment creativity, problem solving and decision making; and boost goodwill with stakeholders (Collins, 2009). In regard to developing a diversity and/or inclusion statement there are many frameworks to study before crafting a policy for an organization. One example from a biblical perspective is from the Book of Genesis, the story of Joseph and his coat of many colors (Leadership Bible, 2013) which correlates to Dr. Martin Luther King’s letter from Birmingham Jail, on April 16, 1963 regarding the image of human unity: “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects us all indirectly.” (Wood, 2003)
Martin Luther King, used the phrase, “single garment of destiny” throughout his career and in many speeches he gave around the world (Wood, 2003). When you consider a garment, a pair of pants for example, it is made up of many parts such as a waistband, legs, pockets, zipper, belt loops, etc…It take many separate and different pieces to create a pair pants but although different, the unique pieces come together to create this garment. It makes one wonder if Dr. King, being a civil rights leader, was referring to the population of the US and how we must mutually come together and work together to create our destiny. It also makes one realize that even though in a secular environment, where biblical perspective may not be widely acceptable, there is an opportunity to pull through faith and biblical perspective in a diversity policy for any company, institution or organization. Because companies, to be successful in today’s global marketplace, need to be flexible to the ever changing world. This statement is in line with Derven (2013) who said “Globally, customers have changed and companies need to adapt and serve a broader sector of clients and communities or they will disappear from the marketplace.” It is very important that company not only learn about diversity but embrace it to understand from not just a United States-centric point of view. Know and learn about cultural differences of people in our country, but also utilize a lens that will allow company leadership to view from others, outside the US, point of view. This will lead to greater success not only on the financial balance sheets but throughout the organization. As stated by Johnson (2013), “Without shared standard, there little hope that the peoples of the world can work together to address global problems.”
Another key point associated with Diversity is Inclusion. Inclusion is the act of being included in something as defined by Merriam-Webster Online, 2015. But more importantly in the business world, Derven (2013) says, “Inclusion creates an environment in which differences are welcomed so talents, contributions, and ideas of all are leveraged and maximized.” This is very valuable next-step from Diversity. You can work hard to create diverse population in your company but to retain talent and operate most efficiently, leadership will need to foster a work environment of inclusiveness. The diversity statement that covers all the aforementioned items is as follows:
Diversity Policy of the Graves Company: To maximize the diversity to guide business results and competitive advantage in a global marketplace. This policy will hold the leadership of our organization accountable for implementing throughout the company apply to the talent of the company and lead to enhanced business growth around the world knowing that we are all individuals but must work together collectively to maximize our overall potential.

References
Collins, D. (2009). Essentials of business ethics creating an organization of high integrity and superior performance. 128-130. Hoboken, NJ. John Wiley and Sons.
Derven, M., (2013). The competitive advantage of diverse perspectives. T& D, 67(8). 44-48.
Johnson, C.
Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary, (2015) Retrieved from http://merriam-webster.com/dictionary/inclusion on August 7, 2015
NIV Leadership Bible, (2013).
Wood, P. (2003). Diversity in America. Society, 40(4), 60-67.

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