How demographic changes will impact organizations and managers
This article is based on the eBook “Managing Diversity” written by Janet Sayers.
Managing diversity refers to a range of management and leadership practices that aim to value diversity in the workforce and help an organization be more successful. The goal of managing diversity is to encourage productive and mutually beneficial interactions among employees in any organization and to value employees with different backgrounds, needs, and skill sets in order to produce optimal benefits for employees, for the organizations they work for, and for communities and customers they serve.
One of the main challenges of managing diversity is the demographic change. Let’s take a closer look at what to keep in mind when it comes to these changes.
An introduction to demographic change
Demographic change is the main reason organizations need to adapt their practices in order to respond to increasing diversity within labor markets. Diversity alters pools of potential employees, and the needs of employees, as well as influencing broader business objectives like service provision. In addition, the constantly changing demographic profile of the broader population means that organizations need to develop strategies that will meet the needs and desires of the country’s citizens.
Study Activity: In most countries there will be stakeholder groups interested in workplace issues that include diversity. These include government agencies interested in work, immigration, government employment bodies, industry groups, human rights groups, trade unions, specialized stakeholder agencies, and so on. Google search and list the stakeholder groups in your country.
Social and demographic changes impacting on world of work
Some major and common demographic and social changes are outlined below.
Family structures are changing
• One-parent families more common
• Parents juggle work, parenting, household chores, and childcare
• Pressure on health and welfare services
• Unpaid caring work by their children
• Positive aging, gradual retirement
Labor force diversity
• Women’s participation
• Ethnic and religious diversity
Less social service support
• People with disabilities
• Health and stress issues
These demographic changes will have profound implications for organizations and managers in the coming decades. Implications include: the need to have better understanding and awareness of different cultures including their practices and religious beliefs; an appreciation of how diversity can benefit organizations; need to implement flexibility in work whilst ensuring quality of work is not eroded; the creation of non-discriminatory environments within organizations; and better integration of work and life so that workplaces are more family-friendly.
Diversity brings business benefits. These include the following: the development of economically beneficial partnerships; new markets; legal compliance; products and services that are culturally sensitive and appropriate; people who are adept at social networking and team-work; social and environmental responsibility; a diverse workforce brings its own rewards in terms of increasing cultural awareness, sensitivity and awareness in individuals and firms.
Learning activity: What are some key demographic trends in your country? Explain why and how demographic change will impact upon business development and management practices.
There is a lot more you can learn about managing diversity and changes of the workforce. If you would like to gain further insights into this topic you might be interested in our unique eLibrary.
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