Acquiring and Managing a Diverse Workforce

As the U.S. workforce becomes more and more diverse, being able to successfully recruit and manage a diverse workforce becomes ever more critical.  This session provides participants with information and skill-building opportunities in the following areas: Workforce 2050 – demographic changes; diversity – what it is and what it is not; diversity philosophy and program components; the business case for diversity; key diversity concepts, definitions, and terminology; culture, including organizational culture, concepts, and values; the diversity formula – how to help managers set expectations; recruitment and retention issues;  how diversity links with change; skills and techniques for dealing with issues of communication and conflict related to diversity; and key concepts related to diversity leadership.

This program offers a safe place for participants to discuss how diversity issues play out in their organization.  NOTE: The program can be tailored to address specific challenges within your organization’s workplace including legal implications of various actions (and non-actions), achieving and maintaining a respectful environment, fallout from current/recent incidents, etc.  The workshop can be conducted with individual contributors and/or supervisors and managers, with content adjusted accordingly.

Benefits:  Upon completion of the program, participants will be able to:

  • Define diversity and its dimensions
  • Identify components of how to acquire and retain a diverse workforce
  • Understand diversity philosophy, mission, and program description and what constitutes a leading-edge diversity program
  • Identify how diversity relates to, and is different from, EEO and Affirmative Action
  • Understand the business case for diversity, including:
  • Attracting and retaining the best workforce
  • Increasing organizational flexibility and employee trust, motivation, and productivity
  • Reducing cost and turnover
  • Improving quality of management
  • Improving creativity and innovation
  • Solving problems more effectively
  • Increasing productivity
  • Increasing employee retention, satisfaction, and loyalty
  • Benchmarking: a look at award-winning companies
  • Define key terms such as prejudice, discrimination: systemic vs. individual, racism, oppression, stereotypes, bias, and other key distinctions
  • Apply listening skills to understanding others who are perceived as different
  • Recognize how “power” and differences in “power” affect diversity issues
  • Recognize how self-fulfilling prophecy affects productivity and retention
  • Discuss key cultural concepts, values, and differences
  • Build diversity competency – key behaviors and skill sets
  • Describe organizational culture, including orientation and style (e.g., scientific, achievement-driven, communication style, high and low conformity issues, style of dealing with conflict, etc.)
  • Recognize culture-specific knowledge related to various groups such as gender, race (e.g., Asian, Hispanic, African-American, Euro-American, and Native American), religions, disabled, etc.
  • Apply the Diversity Curve Model to assess the workplace culture in terms of diversity competencies
  • Identify criteria for a competent diversity organization and diversity manager
  • Appropriately use various management styles, and know how they relate to diversity (e.g., innovator, change agent, pragmatist, skeptic, traditionalist, etc.)
  • Recognize how diversity relates to organizational change
  • Apply “diversity judgment skills” to diversity-related situations
  • Recognize what comprises an excellent diversity leader and how to develop key skills

Sample Agenda:

  • Definition of diversity
  • Review of diversity philosophy including “inclusion”
  • Review of diversity program and mission statement
  • Description of workforce trends and demographics
  • Business case for diversity: key benefits and potential organizational losses
  • Development and practice of key listening skills; shifting one’s frame of reference
  • Video: “A Class Divided”
    • Jane Elliot is a Midwest teacher who divides her 4th grade class by eye color in order to teach the dynamics of prejudice; an excellent, thought-provoking video, this tape exemplifies key concepts
  • Small group discussion: Differences in power and how it affects diversity
  • Discussion: Who wears “collars” within an organization?
  • A description of American organizational culture and participants’ organizational cultures
  • Culture-specific information regarding the four major cultures: Asian, Hispanic, African-American, Native American
    • Myths and stereotypes (dispelling myths and showing how they are inappropriate)
    • Values and cultural themes
    • Issues in the workplace
    • Opportunities for managers; e.g., attitudes, behaviors, and strategies
  • How diversity links to the change process and key factors that affect it
    • The change process
    • Change “traps”
    • How to achieve “buy-in” and how to set appropriate expectations
  • Multicultural skill development – how to avoid cross-cultural misinterpretation
  • Key diversity definitions and concepts
    • Diversity
    • Inclusion/inclusiveness vs. exclusivity
    • Discrimination: systemic, individual, attitudinal
    • Prejudice
    • Ingredients (authority, stereotyping, devaluation, and judgments)
    • Expression (denying, rationalizing, acting out, subtle vs. overt, scapegoating)
    • Issues of adaptation
    • Assimilation / Separation / Deculturation / Multicultural / Accommodation
  • Video: “Different Like Me”
    • Ways we are the same and different
    • Issues of respect at work
  • Group exercise: Group identification and understanding group differences
  • Individual/group/organizational interventions
  • Scenarios: Skill application in a small-group format based on true-to-life scenarios
  • Lecturette: Gender differences in communication
  • Video: “Maritius” by Scott Pect
    • The success of diversity in real life as exemplified on the multicultural island of Maritus
  • Video: “The Power Dead Even Rule”
    • Male/female communication issues at work
    • Pat Hines, a leading authority in gender communication, explores male/female socialization differences that affect working together
  • Managers’ responsibility in valuing and implementing diversity
  • Diversity Leadership Model
  • Action planning and personal commitment

Time Frame:

Two days.  This program can be modified for a half-day or one-day format, and can be tailored for specific organizational needs.

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