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Managing Diversity and Ethics in the Workplace Essay


There steps leaders and managers can take to effectively manage diversity and ethics concerns. How a manager effectively manages ethics and diversity, within the organization is directly correlated to the cultural, organizational and external environment influence ethical behavior. One of the step’s leaders and managers can take is to incorporate diversity training of the organization. This big step puts the organization on its way toward maintaining a well balanced diverse organizational culture within a company. When it comes to managing diversity in the workplace, there are many attributes that go into a successful training session. (Jones, 2011, p. 164), “managers can take steps to change attitudes and values and promote the effective management of diversity.” Diversity training within an organization is an effective step in changing the values and promotes the effective leadership and management of diversity within the organization is a big step towards maintaining a well balanced diverse organizational culture within a company.

Every leader of an organization implores and implements different diversity training tactics. Some companies have strict diversity training seminars that include power point presentations with a set of rules for do and don’t. Other organizations implement an more interactive method with diverse groups as a means to also reap the benefits of a diverse workforce: For example: at “Sodexo and Principle Financial Group” (Jones, 2011 p. 143) “Sodexo encourages managers like Ron Bond to interact with diverse groups to gain a better appreciation and understanding of their experience.”

Sodexo acknowledged and understands that when diversity is manage effectively organizations can benefit the organization as a diverse workforce bring, diverse perspectives, points of view, experience and knowledge. Sodexo also provide their employees with extensive diversity training, which encourages managers to be mentors and interact with diverse groups. According to Sodexo web site they “At Sodexo we work around five pillars – gender, generations, disability, ethnical origins and LGBT – to foster a culture that embraces differences and celebrates unique ideas, perspectives, experiences and talents.” As we strive to challenge stereotypes and disseminate the business case for diversity, we believe it is crucial to train all managers and employees.” (Sodex 2012). “Sodexo USA’s diversity learning strategy offers awareness training and skills building labs on topics ranging from generations in the workplace to cross-cultural communications.

Following the U.S. example, a program designed to heighten awareness, building skills and provide tools for managing within a diverse working environment were launched throughout Europe.” (Sodex 2012). An organization such as Deloitte & Touche, “have instituted a program to encourage minority suppliers to complete for its businesses, and the firm sponsors schools and colleges that supply a stream of well-trained recruits.” (Jones, 2011, p. 145). According to Google’s corporate website on diversity, “The Diversity training is designed to ensure our employees have the awareness, skills and knowledge to build and retain the workforce to fuel Google globally.

Our diversity education programs includes all aspects surrounding employment that aim to create a culture of inclusion with a focus on improving recruitment strategies and techniques for identifying high-value diverse talent” (Google 2010). Google also says that “At Google, we are committed to a supportive work environment, where employees have the opportunity to reach their fullest potential. Each Googler is expected to do his or her utmost to create a respectful workplace culture that is free of harassment, intimidation, bias and unlawful discrimination of any kind” (Google 2010).

The website goes on to say that employment at Google is based solely upon individual merit and qualifications directly related to professional competence and is not based on the basis of “race, color, religion, veteran status, national origin, ancestry, pregnancy status, sex, gender identity or expression, age, marital status, mental or physical disability, medical condition, sexual orientation or any other characteristics protected by law” (Google 2010). This tells us that Google treats everyone equally, and gives them the same opportunities as everyone else. Equality challenging for diversity stakeholders and executives is getting the leadership team to realize and implement that things have changed harnessing cultural diversity through training increase productivity as such must be a major part of an organization. (Jones, 2011 p. 165) demonstrates number organizations are implementing programs within the organization that requires interaction.

One of such organizational program whereby top managers spend time performing the same work duties as employees to improve and understand the challenges employees face was DaVita Inc. DaVita Inc., is a major supplier of kidney dialysis service, in the U.S. and while the three top seniors executives have never worked in a dialysis clinic, exchange work places and now work three days in the clinic. The executives were provided with a better insight and understanding of the nature of the technicians jobs, along with the how emotional the job is and the effects on the technicians. There is no better way to understand diverse group than interaction, joining together at certain times in order to interact and communicate.

Leadership of Teams

Essential important when implementing a change of the organization core values, and goals is to form a top management team. (Jones, 2011 p. 499). Top management teams are the ones responsible for developing diversity training methods and a strategy to implement the training within the organization in order to achieve the organization goals. Top management teams, are normally compose to a diverse group, with knowledge, expertise and experience in stressing diversity. As cross-functional top management team the members are comprised from the various departments within the organization as a formal group. The top management as a formal group, come together to form a cross-cultural team, by following the five stages of forming a group, as group role is to set the behaviors and task. One of the behaviors for diversity training is that the members of the team to lead by example, in demonstrating ethical and social responsibility. By treating employees based on skills rather than age, sex or race.

The integration of leadership exercises in diversity training programs will help employees realize the importance of this attribute within the organization. There are many reasons as to why there must be a diverse team of leadership from top management from different backgrounds, ethnicity, age, gender, or education so that the company can integrate points of views from people from different walks of life. In diversity training, employees would be made to realize that anyone can be a leader regardless of age, sex or race. Leadership skill workshops can be introduced at the work place to educate employees and encourage them to cultivate these skills. Many people confuse management and leadership to be the same thing. There are many people from diverse backgrounds who are managers. Management focuses on establishing detailed plans and schedules for achieving certain results, then providing resources to accomplish the plan.

The jobs need to be filled with qualified individuals who understand the direction of the company. Leadership, on the other hand, creates change, often to a dramatic degree. Leadership calls for creating a more efficient or imaginative process for a future vision. While there are some managers who are leaders, there are some who are not. Being both a good manager as well as a good leader is a balance between learned concepts of leadership as well as inborn traits of a leader. One reason that leadership in diversity training is necessary is because people from different backgrounds have different life experiences. These life experiences gives character, and their character is what determines what kind of leader they will end up being. For example, a potential leader will show strong characteristics like drive, energy, determination, self-discipline, willpower and a need for excellence. On the other hand, a person with weak character will show none of these traits.

Their traits will be disorganized and random, and they will attract no followers. To be an effective leader, one must be trustworthy and ethical. A supervisor or manager at a company will only be well liked and looked up to if his employees trust him. In any organization, a leader’s actions set the pace and the way a leader behaves if closely watched and noticed by his employees. This behavior wins trust, loyalty, and ensures the organization’s continued prosperity. One of the ways to build trust is to display a good sense of character composed of beliefs, values, skills, and traits and to not be discriminatory towards people. In diversity training tactics, it might be helpful to pair those with leadership potential with other leaders from different backgrounds so that they can learn the qualities of being an effective leader from each other. It might also be interesting to note how leaders from different backgrounds and ages tackle problems. There are many ways of being a leader, and people with different life experiences will tackle problems in a different way, depending on the situation and their background.

For example, leaders like presidents of countries operate differently from leaders of companies. In diversity training, perhaps an exercise could be undertaken that makes the employee chose a scenario and act as a leader in that scenario in order to explore different types of leadership. Diversity training workshops should also focuses on crucial leadership traits that may be of use within the organization. One leadership trait is the trait of courage. Leaders are usually unafraid of taking on challenging tasks. They display a confident calmness when under stress and plan out strategies in order to overcome obstacles in their path. People from minority backgrounds should take particular interest in this trait because they are working to get ahead in a world where they are a minority. Another example of a leadership trait is justice. Good leaders treat everyone fairly and display empathy by being sensitive to the feelings, values, interests, and well-being of others.

They are non-prejudiced towards their employees and clients and make everyone feel like their voices are being heard. For example, a manager at a board meeting hears both sides of a story before deciding on a course of action. Leadership seminars are particularly important in companies with many diverse employees because leaders build a foundation in their organization, as well as build a sense of trust with their employees. In a company, the leader or manager has to make sure the culture of the organization is positive and that the work flow is productive. The most important person in shaping an organization’s culture is the leader of the organization. A leader at the executive level is the main source for the creation and implementing the culture and everything it stands for.

The leader originally decides what the core values of the organization will be, how they will go about their business and what rules they will follow. He is in charge of shaping the culture and managing it. An understanding of the diversity within the organization and the knowledge of how to mold different people together it is a necessary skill for leaders trying to achieve a strategic outcome. Along with the diversity and culture of an organization, potential leaders must also pay attention to the climate of an organization. The climate is the feel of the organization as well as the individual and shared perceptions and attitudes of the organization’s members. The climate of an organization represents the beliefs about the vibe or feel of the workplace by the employees.

This individual perception of the way the organization feels comes from what the people believe about the activities that occur in the organization. These activities influence both individual and team motivation and satisfaction and the employee questions the actions and principles of the leader. These directly relate to diversity because sometimes people are unsure of how to treat other at times due to the difference in religious beliefs or opinions. If a leader outlines a general code of conduct for all employees that takes into account everyone’s beliefs and expectation, a negative climate situation can be avoided. The climate of an organization should bring about a feeling of assurance to the employees; so that they know that they are doing things right and behaving appropriately.

Leading Change and Managing Conflict

Managing conflicts within the organization today requires the type of leader that is able to communicate and collaboration when working with a diverse workforce. Conflict is a an inevitable part of any organization, as goals of shareholders, managers and employees are more than often incompatible. (Jones, 2011, p. 566). When there is a crisis within an organization, a leader needs to be able to rise to the occasion, and bring out extraordinary leadership qualities by first determining what type of conflict is involved such interpersonal, intra group, inter group and interorganizational, understanding these various types of conflict and how they differ helps a manager deal with the conflict. Moreover a manager needs to understand the source of the conflict, whether it seem from different goals and time horizons, overlapping authority, and/or task interdependencies. When a manager is able to discern the type of conflict and source he can focus on a fair consist distribution of justice equability. By cultivating leadership skills in employees, people from different cultures and backgrounds begin to trust each other because they are all leaders and they view themselves as equal to one another.

The leadership aspect of diversity training should also outline how to be a respectful, unbiased leader when it comes to other cultures and ages within the organization. Employees observing a leader do not look at the traits or attributes of a leader, rather, they observe what the leader does in order to decide whether their supervisor really is a good leader or not. They use this observation to tell whether the leader is an honorable person or a self-serving person who discriminates against other people or misuses their authority in order to get a promotion. Self-serving leaders are not as effective because their employees only obey them, not follow them. On self-serving leaders, often give employees “The feeling of being separate, which is characteristic of leaders, is different from narcissism. The leader is aware of boundaries and distinguishes the inner and outer worlds, fantasy and reality, self and other people.

Career-oriented managers are more likely to exhibit the effects of narcissism than leaders. While busily adapting to their environment, managers are narrowly engaged in maintaining their identity and self-esteem through others, whereas leaders have self-confidence growing out of the awareness of who they are and the visions that drive them to achieve Diversity training companies also helps cultivate relationships between the people of the organization. Organizational conflicts is a discord that arises when there is a diverse workforce who are incompatible, where goals, values and interest differ, which cause blocks and attempts to thwart each other work performance. Diversity training that address conflict management strategies focuses on conflict resolution diversity awareness, sources of conflicts, job rotation, and temporary assignments. These strategies focus on the whole organization. A Top management team position, as the leader has to make sure his employees are working together as a team.

Doing their share of the work, getting along with people and working well with others are all part of teamwork. A leader or manager has to make sure that his employees are not only meeting these goals, but also motivating them to go one step ahead of these goals to increase productivity. Introduction of these concepts in relation to diversity will help people from different backgrounds work together towards a common goal. Teamwork training exercises in diversity training are important for employees who want to advance to a leadership position, as teamwork is one of the key things managers look at when determining leadership potential. Employees with leadership potential see team effectiveness as a leadership opportunity. They realize that they will achieve more by working through and with others, that they will get more done with the active support of colleagues.

These exercises will also help to harbor good relations between people from different walks of life. Finally, leadership seminars motivate minorities to do better. In recent times, minority employees have been underestimated when it comes to handing out leadership positions. One reason for this is that some minorities do not think that they are capable of being leaders because there have been so few minority leaders in their organization. They do not go for higher positions because they think that they cannot get them. By organizing leadership seminars, minorities can see that they are good enough to be leaders because they are not different from any other race, culture, gender or age group around them. The leadership seminars will help them learn about their own skills as well as inculcate new ones within them so that they go for their goals.


Leadership is an important attribute that should be more focused on in diversity training workshops. Leadership leads to teamwork which is an important factor in an organization. Making sure that employees get along and that no one is discriminated against is a leader’s job. If everyone is taught about leadership and how it works, people from different backgrounds will gain the confidence and skills required to advance within the organization. Leadership seminars will also help to inspire people and prevent a negative cultural climate from occurring between people from different backgrounds. Activities like leadership role switching and scenario leadership can help cultivate teamwork and leadership among employees.


Jones, Gareth R. and George, Jennifer M. Contemporary Management. 7th ed. McGraw-Hill Irwin, N.Y., N.Y., 2011.

Sodex (2012) Sodex and Principle Financial Group. Retrieved from http://www.sodexo.com/en/commitments/diversity-inclusion/actions/training.aspx July 20, 2012

Google (2010). Google Diversity and Inclusion. Retrieved from on July 20, 2012.

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