Chapter 7 - Diversity in the workplace
BSBCMN315A Work Effectively with Diversity
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.
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
Relationships Getting along with people
Working in a team
Working with people I like
Having people respect me
Being able to influence people
Achievement Feeling important and valued
Growth Having learning opportunities at work
Not having to change
Being able to take time out for study
Independence Being part of a team sharing decisions
Having the decisions made for me
Meaning My tasks are part of a larger purpose
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
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
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
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
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. www.tafe.qld.gov.au )
Activity 7.6 – Diversity Scenarios
Consider the following scenarios and answer the questions which follow.
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?
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
b) What do you think needs to happen for these two people to work
harmoniously together in the same work team?
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.
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?