Chapter 7 - Diversity in the workplace

By Charles Stewart,2014-06-17 23:59
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Chapter 7 - Diversity in the workplace ...

    Chapter 7 - Diversity in the workplace

    BSBCMN315A Work Effectively with Diversity

    Activity 7.1

    Part A My motivators, values and purpose

    On page 150 of your text, you will find a list of aspects of social diversity

    which include religion, race, language, family structure, age,

    socioeconomic background, intellectual ability and gender. All of these

    factors as well as cultural factors have influenced our values and what we

    see as our purpose in life. It is our values that motivate us. As is

    mentioned in your text, in everyday life and at work it is unlikely that we

    will deal only with people of similar nature, background and ideals to our

    own. We have to learn to accept and respect people who are motivated by

    very different values and purposes from us. As a first step in

    understanding others, it is useful to examine ourselves to determine our

    motives, values and what we see as our purpose.

    Examining values

    Complete the following questionnaire to help you ascertain your values.

    Use the following as a guide to come up with the Values that are important in your life.

     a) Rank the Main Values from Highest (1) to Lowest (10) (2 x left columns)

     b) Rank the Specific Values by ticking one of the 3 boxes (3 x right columns)


     Rank Main Values Specific Values High Med Low

    Job Satisfaction Having a sense of achievement

     Reaching my potential

     Feeling competent

    Relationships Getting along with people

     Working in a team

     Working with people I like

     Having people respect me

     Helping others

     Being able to influence people

    Achievement Feeling important and valued

     Feeling successful

     Feeling useful

    Growth Having learning opportunities at work

     Not having to change

     Being able to take time out for study

     Personal development

    Independence Being part of a team sharing decisions

     Being autonomous

     Having the decisions made for me

    Meaning My tasks are part of a larger purpose

     Feeling needed

     My tasks have meaning

    Service (humanity) Giving time to causes of value

     Pursuing an activity that benefits all


    Ethical Principles Honesty





    Prosperity Making money

     Achieving Financial Security

     Having enough to survive

     Security Feeling secure and safe in the job

     Not wanting to take risks

    Examine your response and if you are in a group situation, compare your

    rankings with others. Discuss why you believe you have developed these

    particular values. Discuss what these values motivate you to do.

    Now that you have examined your values and of course you will realize

    that your rankings are different from others, contemplate how you view

    your purpose.

    Contemplating purpose

    1. If you had the opportunity to pursue what was truly important to you, which of

    the following would you have the desire to contribute to?. Tick as many as you

    want. (You may tick one / some / none or fill in the „other‟ – it‟s your choice).

    Explain why you chose this and how you tend to do this. For example: .

    Helping people: WHY? Because I have a lot myself and want to share.. HOW?

    By working in a soup kitchen and talking to people.

     To help those that are in need WHY? & HOW?

     To do work that brings more beauty to the world WHY? & HOW?

     To do work that brings more justice, truth and ethical behaviour in the

    world WHY? & HOW?

     To have an impact, to cause change WHY? & HOW?

     To build something WHY? & HOW?

     To contribute to the growth and development of this world WHY? &


     To help other people grow and develop WHY? & HOW?

     To invent something or do something unique WHY? & HOW?

     Other: WHY? & HOW?

    2. If you were only able to do one of the above what would it be (circle the

    tick box).

3. The purpose we see for our life helps to create meaning, energy, direction

    and a sense of guidance in our life. To get a feel for your sense of purpose

    for your life try to use some of the following imagery to help describe it.

    Draw, write, make a poem, create a slogan, or do anything that might come

    to you as you gain stimulation from the following.

    ? a tree that has branches and leaves springing from it, with deep roots

    when the soil is fertile

    ? a golden thread that holds the pieces of life together

    ? the blossoming of a budded flower

    ? the beating heart which causes life

    ? planet earth

    ? a song playing in harmony with its surroundings

4 What would you like to see written on your gravestone?

    Draw some conclusions about how you see your life‟s purpose. If you are in a

    group situation, discuss your conclusions with others.

    Part B - Language and Diversity

    On pages 155 - 156 of the text book there is a discussion about language

    and diversity. Interview one or two people you know who have come

    here from another country and ask them what language difficulties they

experienced when they came here and how things could have been made

    easier for them. Complete the grid below.

Language Difficulty Assistance that could be provided

Part C Values and Diversity

A new group of employees in your company who are from non-English

    speaking backgrounds are to have an induction program. You have been

    asked to be part of a discussion group to talk with them about work

    values in Australia. Make a list of the values that you think you would

    introduce into the conversation.

    Activity 7.2 Intercultural interactions

The claim is made on page 154 of your text book that “People from other

    races and cultures have a great deal to offer.”

Reflect on your own interactions with people from other races and

    cultures. Write a paragraph about the ways these interactions have

    benefited you.

    Activity 7.3 Individual Differences

a) Think about a group you have been involved in. It may have been a

    workgroup, a class group or a sporting or cultural group. List three

    ways in which people in that group were different from you and

    explain what benefit the group gained from having that person in the

    group. Complete the grid below.


     Person 1 Person 2 Person 3

    Individual Example

    Difference Older

Benefit to group Had a range of



b) Choose one person in this group and explain why you think they

    were different from you. Include at least three reasons.

Activity 7.4 Staff Diversity

An executive of the Microsoft Company has said that a diverse company

    is better able to sell to a diverse world. Discuss this statement.

Activity 7.5 Codes of Conduct

Obtain a copy of the Code of Conduct for your organisation or for one

    that you have access to. Study it and, from the guidance given in this

    code, prepare a list of tips about how to work in a socially and culturally

    diverse work group.

(Note: you could find a copy of TAFE Qld‟s code of conduct on the

    following website. )

Activity 7.6 Diversity Scenarios

Consider the following scenarios and answer the questions which follow.

Scenario 1

    Elena is the receptionist in an employment agency. Quite a number of

    people who come in to apply for work are from a non-English speaking


    In what ways could Elena adjust her speech to ensure that the clients understand her and are able to complete their application forms properly?

Scenario 2

    Salomi is a quick and efficient worker who seems to be able to handle many things at once. Justin, who is thorough and methodical became exasperated when working on a project with her and loudly exclaimed, “I

    can‟t stand working with Salomi. Why can‟t she just do one thing at a time?”

    a) Suggest a possible explanation for the difference in work style

    between the two people. (You may like to refer to page 158 of the

    text book.)

    b) What do you think needs to happen for these two people to work

    harmoniously together in the same work team?

Scenario 3

    Abdul comes from a Middle Eastern country and has been in Australia for a number of years. He is generally a kind hearted person, but he does keep making derogatory remarks about one particular race of people. You have a good friend who is from the race in question and you feel offended on her behalf about some of the things Abdul says. You decide to bring up the matter with Abdul.

    What points would you make to him in your discussion in relation to diversity in Australian workplace? (You may wish to refer to pages 152-154 in the text.)

Activity 7.7 - Encouragement

    On pages 150-151 of the text, the advantages of a socially and culturally diverse workforce are outlined. However some of these advantages will not be realized if team members are not encouraged to utilize their special qualities, skills or backgrounds to enhance work outcomes.

    Make a list of the ways in which you could encourage people in your workplace who are different from you to make use of their special skills and attributes.


    Show interest in their special attributes

    Build on their ideas

Activity 7.8 Diversity Case Study

In your text on page 158, the statement is made, “It is against the law to

    discriminate against people because of their differences.” Read the following case study and answer the questions below.

Case Study

    Athian works in reception for a hotel chain. The hotel is near the airport and many of the guests are airline staff or passengers who are on overnight stays between flights. An older couple come in and the woman comes forward to ask for their room. Athian cannot immediately find the booking and while he is looking for it, a group of men, who seem to be from the same ethnic group as Athian, arrive. He greets them warmly, has a chat, attends to their booking and arranges for their luggage to be delivered to their room. Just then an airline crew arrive and again Athian greets them warmly, calls them by name and gives them their room keys.

    He then spots the older couple again and resumes looking for their booking. The couple have an email confirmation of their booking which they produce. Athian says there is no record of it and tells them to ring their booking agent to clarify the matter. He indicated a public phone for them to use and turns to another customer. The instructions in the phone booth are difficult to follow and they do not have the right coinage. After a few unsuccessful attempts, they return to the desk. Athian then shrugs his shoulders and says there is nothing he can do as there is not booking and is no room is available.

    Another desk attendant notices that the customers are looking dismayed and have been there for a long time. He offers to assist and discovers that the client‟s name has been incorrectly spelt on the computer booking

    register. He allocates the room and apologises for the delay. While the room met with their approval, the old couple doubt that they would stay with that hotel chain again.

    Do you think Athian has been guilty of discrimination? Explain your


2 In what ways has Athian let his organisation down?

3 What procedures could be put in place that would demonstrate to the

    customers that they were valued?

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