Diversity and Inclusion in the New Millennium

In the new millennium, organizations across the globe are aiming for more diversity in the workplace to ensure that varying perspectives contribute to the achievement of organizational goals. Managing a diverse workforce is not an easy task and requires a plethora of skills to ensure the smooth functioning of the organization. Organizations should engage in deep-level diversity where people from different backgrounds share opinions, discuss issues and create ‘out of the box’ solutions, rather than surface-level diversity that focusses on gender, color, race and so on. Diversity initiatives of any organization will be successful only when top management fully supports the implementation of these initiatives. Leadership plays a highly important role in this regard as modern-style leadership is not only the ability to influence people but also the ability to visualize how various emerging technologies can be used to solve organizational problems and enhance customer experience, all while keeping the cost implications in mind.

To be a successful employee currently means being adaptable and possessing good emotional intelligence skills. These traits enable employees to understand various perspectives put across by people from diverse backgrounds. For sure, organizations with a diverse team will have higher productivity, flexibility and the ability to face challenges and implement changes as per industry requirements. At the same time, if diversity is not managed well it leads to misunderstandings and conflicts which may not only hamper the day to day operations but could also result in a decrease in productivity and possibly the collapse of the entire organization.

Having a proper culture in place and focusing on inclusion is the key to success. Diversity and inclusion are crucial concepts for all organizations and the achievement of such is a continuous process in which the focus should be on attracting talent from diverse backgrounds. The Human Resource Department should ensure that employees are actively engaged and that suitable flexible work arrangements are in place to meet the requirements of millennials. The Human Resource departments of all organizations that focus on diversity and inclusion, should develop a plan that ensures that all functions, from attracting and developing to maintaining the talent, focus on developing belongingness among all the internal stakeholders to reap the benefits of diversity.

Organizations and their teams should have a positive attitude towards diversity and encourage their employees to immerse themselves in the organization’s culture of diversity and inclusion. Students studying in colleges should be trained on the importance of not only creating but also managing a diverse team. Furthermore, colleges should investigate how to provide opportunities for students to work on projects with diverse group members. This will enable the students to understand the importance of respecting and accepting differences for the betterment of the organization. Diversity and inclusion are not abstract notions but must be experienced. More opportunities for this experience should be provided by giving students showcase situations such as role-plays, group discussions, panel discussions and more. People who excel in effectively managing diverse teams that focus on inclusion will be successful managers in this era of disruptions.

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