An essential skill to maintaining a successful business is the ability to communicate properly with your employees and also the employee's ability to communicate well with clients and even one another. Diversity is omnipresent in the United States, we are now part of a country where one can go to the mall and see just about every major race or ethnicity in the world. To comprehend the notion of diversity better, the origin of the word diversity should be analyzed. Webster defines the word diverse as "Differing from one another, and composed of distinct or unlike elements or qualities; the inclusion of diverse people in a group or organization". The last part of the definition, "the inclusion of diverse people in a group or organization" is the most important in regards to this essay. Diversity as strategy is crucial for a triumphant business; it allows teams to be more open-minded and creative, provides a better understanding and assistance of customers, and ultimately a more satisfied work environment. However, managers must also overcome the barriers and learn how to effectively cope with diversity.
To start off, I believe there are two factors for which businesses will benefit most from a diverse workforce. The first is a variance of communication. As global markets expand, we will profit the most from having people in our own workforce who can, in fact, handle the needs and expectations of a multi-cultural clientele. For example, I have a team that consists of five people, for whom are all of a white ethnicity. If we have a client in Asia who does not speak or understand English well, our team is not being efficient due to a barrier of communication and we must fill this barrier in order to yield the most profits. The second is having a basic knowledge of the client's needs and wants in order to obtain that client's trust. Having a team with different cultural backgrounds is the only way to fulfill this requirement.
A perfect example of the two factors in which I described would be IBM's strategy of creating the perfect balance between their workforce and multi-cultural diversity. In 1993, Lou Gerstner took the reins on maintaining and rectifying IBM. In regards to "civil rights and equal employment", IBM was lacking in this department. To correct this, "Gerstner launched a diversity task-force initiative that became a cornerstone of IBM's HR strategy". Gerstner realized that in order to be the most efficient and effective, his teams had to understand that being diverse culturally meant greater success and ultimately more profits. "We made diversity a market-based issue...It's about understanding our markets, which are diverse and multicultural." Since 1993, IBM has been seen as the perfect role model for the benefits of having a diverse task force.