Managers can no longer ignore the fact that the nation's workforce is becoming increasingly diverse. Affirmative action programs are no longer enough to deal with this increased diversity; instead, companies are taking a more far-sighted approach that includes setting up departments to assist employees in handling complaints and personal insults from customers, and to setting up workplace environments that foster harmonious relationships among all employees (Prewitt, 1994, p. 66).
While the business community as a whole recognizes that diversity is a way of life in the workplace, there is no clear-cut agreement as to how to communicate that reality, or the ramifications of that reality, to the workforce. One way to solve this problem is through the use of diversity trainers, who come to the job site and communicate both what diversity is and how it affects the employees directly.
But there are problems with this. There are no clear-cut guidelines for calling oneself a diversity trainer, with the result that the quality of diversity training is largely dependent on the individual trainer a company happens to select. Given the importance of this function, it is ill-advised to have training left to this type of happenstance. Instead, companies need to take a proactive approach to ensure that the trainer they select is familiar with the overall concept of diversity as well as with the application of diversity in the immediate environment (Rogers, 1994, p. 71).
Implementing an effective diversity program can be a particularly daunting challenge for companies, particularly small organizations. Given this, it is not surprising that a number of companies have simply chosen to forego formal diversity programs and hope instead that they will be able to achieve diversity and workplace harmony without much additional effort on the part of the organization. Without careful planning, companies may adopt strategies which lack uniformity th...
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