Diversity

Description 1)Baldrige Performance Excellence Program, 2011-2012 Criteria for Performance Excellence (Gaithersburg, MD: NIST, 2011), http://www.nist.gov/baldrige/publications/upload/2011_2012_Business_Nonprofit_Criteria.pdf. 2)Baldrige Performance Excellence Program, “NuGrain Laboratories Case Study,” 2012 Baldrige National Quality Program, 2010, http://www.nist.gov/baldrige/publications/upload/2010_NuGrain_Case_Study.pdf.

The term “diversity” refers to recognizing and valuing personal differences. Organizations can benefit from the unique experiences, talents, and points of view of employees. Differences include many variables such as race, religion, color, gender, national origin, disability, sexual orientation, age and generational differences, education, geographic origin, and skill characteristics, as well as differences in ideas, thinking, academic disciplines, experience, and perspectives.

Application

  • An organization’s success increasingly depends on an engaged workforce that benefits from meaningful work, clear organizational direction, performance accountability, and a safe, trusting, and cooperative environment. The successful organization capitalizes on the diverse backgrounds, knowledge, skills, creativity, and motivation of its workforce and partners. Valuing people means committing to their engagement, satisfaction, development, and well-being. Increasingly, this involves more flexible, high-performance, and diverse work practices tailored to varying workforce diversity segments and home life needs. Major challenges include creating a supportive environment for a diverse workforce. Building diverse internal and external partnerships can help accomplish overall goals and enhance innovation of products and services for the entire customer base.
  • Some organizations can capitalize not only on the diversity of their workforces but on their customer communities as well. Capitalizing on both provides enhanced opportunities for high performance; customer, workforce, and community satisfaction; and customer and workforce engagement opportunities.
  • There are distinct work behaviors that define generations, apart from common styles and beliefs. Generation X employees tend to stay with an organization from the time they join until they retire, while younger generations will make a transition after a few years to meet personal and professional goals. Employee satisfaction and the ability of the organization to retain staff in highly competitive arenas are therefore of paramount importance.
  • Global roles in service have resulted in cross-cultural teams that need to work together while dealing with language, time-zone, and cultural differences. Diversity creates good service practices as an organization gains an understanding of how to serve customers globally. Common practices and processes can be designed for customers with common needs across borders.
  • Diversity can also be demonstrated among customer groups, causing organizations to provide different levels of service to different cultures.

 

References   [ + ]

1. Baldrige Performance Excellence Program, 2011-2012 Criteria for Performance Excellence (Gaithersburg, MD: NIST, 2011), http://www.nist.gov/baldrige/publications/upload/2011_2012_Business_Nonprofit_Criteria.pdf.
2. Baldrige Performance Excellence Program, “NuGrain Laboratories Case Study,” 2012 Baldrige National Quality Program, 2010, http://www.nist.gov/baldrige/publications/upload/2010_NuGrain_Case_Study.pdf.