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Case Study: The Issue of Diversity in the Workplace

Abstract

The public sector comprises any government-owned entity that is charged with the sole responsibility of providing essential services to members of the public. The services provided by the public sector are vital and cannot be privatized or left in the hands of privately-owned organizations. Besides, such important services provided by the public sector form the main part of the government’s work for its citizens. In order to ensure that a proper mechanism is implemented so that the essential services are provided effectively and efficiently, diversity must be given a priority. This paper will conduct a study involving an issue of diversity in the workplace with the public sector context. Consequently, the paper will use the Department of Work and Pensions to carefully analyze how diversity in the workplace in the public sector context can be achieved and later evaluate the major milestone events and their importance for the public service delivery.

Diversity in a Workplace within the Public Sector Context

Introduction

Public sector service delivery requires a lot of interaction among the workforce in the workplace. This diversity in the workplace should cover all areas of diversity, including people with diverse beliefs, cultures, traditions, and backgrounds. Similarly, demographic factors must also be taken into consideration in terms of the diversity of the workforce in the public sector. The provision of public services in the public sector is dynamic and experiences rapid changes every day. In order to cope with these changes and also ensure that service delivery meets the expectations of members of the public, the public sector must embrace diversity in its workforce. The workforce diversity will help the public sector capitalize and maximize its workforce as an important management tool in the public sector context. It is important that workforce diversity is given a priority so that a multicultural workforce is created in the public sector.

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Planning and Management of Workforce Diversity in the Public Sector Context: A Case Study of the Department of Work and Pensions

Operating in the largest and most diverse jurisdiction, the Department of Work and Pensions focuses on promoting and creating a diverse workforce that reflects the American people. This has led to its recognition as one of the most diverse employers in the American public sector (Milem, Mitchell & Antonio, 2013). Diversity in the public sector is a fundamental tool in public sector reforms with each public sector agency striving to achieve a diverse workforce that gives a true reflection of the diversity of the citizens that it serves. Several organizations have discovered that diversity in the public sector is a critical tool for achieving social government objectives and political goals (Dancy, 2011). With over 600,000 staff, the Department of Work and Pensions is the second largest public sector employer in the U.S. and the only public sector institution with a clear public sector diversity plan. The Department of Work and Pensions has for a long time focused on embracing the inclusivity of all kinds of employees in its workforce.

Diversity refers to the process of acknowledging, accepting, understanding, and celebrating the difference that exists among citizens with regard to ethnicity, age, class, gender, race, mental and physical ability, sexual orientation, public assistance status, and spiritual practice (Milem, Mitchell &. Antonio, 2013). The increasing difference in the population of U.S. citizens has led to diversity becoming an important issue. Public sectors are becoming more vigilant in ensuring that there is inclusivity in their workforce so that they can benefit from higher productivity and better service delivery (Dancy, 2011). Therefore, it is only through proper management of workforce diversity in the public sector that the government will be able to realize proper service delivery (Society for Human Resource Management, 2013).

Timeline for the Major Milestone Events in Managing and Planning of Workforce Diversity in the Department of Work and Pensions

Management And Planning Tool Time Number of Workforces Diversity Parameter Achievement
Free and fair recruitment January 600,000 Demographic, cultural, and religious backgrounds Capacity growth
Training, practice, and coaching February-March 300,000 Diverse skills and educational qualification

Efficient service delivery

Support April-May 60,000 Age, gender, disability, race Motivated workforce
Equal opportunities and challenges June-August 60,000 Gender, race, age Competitive advantage
Linking diversity September-October 40,000 Skill, talents, backgrounds Collaboration
Assessing, evaluating, and monitoring results November-December 60,000 Demographic factors, skill, competence, educational levels An effective and efficient institution

Table 1. Major Milestone Events in Managing and Planning of Workforce Diversity in the Department of Work and Pensions.

Source (Esty, Katharine, Griffin & Marcie, 2013). 

The Department of Work and Pensions also involves workforce diversity by taking into consideration the relatedness of the workforce within the public sector, the interaction among the workforce, and the connectedness among the workforce (Black Enterprise, 2011). All these aspects of diversity create the strategic lens through which the Department of Work and Pensions can offer its services as a public sector. In addition, it maintains and plans its workforce diversity by operating and building service delivery capability in the public sector. Moreover, this department has fully embraced a diverse workforce free from any form of discrimination, thus possessing the ability to offer productive and innovative services (Koonce, 2011). All these motives are aimed at ensuring that this institution succeeds in its capability and service delivery to the citizens through a diverse workforce.

The main mission of workforce diversity in the public sector is to provide support for all employees by creating a positive workplace. The Department of Work and Pensions has instituted proper mechanisms that will help it realize support for its workforce at all levels of the organization. This support takes into consideration all the diverse behaviors, skills, experience, demographic and attitude diversity of its workforce. Its main aim is to ensure that activities are geared toward strengthening the planning capability of its workforce, thus integrating the diversity strategy of its workforce in its service delivery charter (Robinson, 2013). In addition, the Department of Work and Pensions will aim to ensure that the workforce that reflects the diversity of the whole nation is created, thus working toward achieving the social responsibility of the government.

The Department of Work and Pensions is committed to service delivery that embraces the diversity of the citizens that it serves by promoting equality of opportunities to the diverse workforce that it has (Society for Human Resource Management, 2013). The main goal of the Department of Work and Pensions is to ensure that the commitments are reinforced by the institution’s values and engraved in their day-to-day service delivery. In addition, the interest of stakeholders, partners, customers, and colleagues in the public sector is given the priority (Black Enterprise, 2011). Diversity in the Department of Work and Pensions is observed through zero tolerance to any form of discrimination based on gender, marital status, race, color, sexual orientation, religion, age, and disability.

Management and planning of workforce diversity at the Department of Work and Pensions are done through promoting equality of challenges and opportunities to all citizens served by the public sector (Robinson, 2013). Besides, the institution aims to build a workforce that shows the reflection of the customers that it serves with the objective of achieving parity in community representation in its workforce. Moreover, the institution encourages equality in recruitment to ensure that workfare diversity is not biased in any way. Additionally, the institution also treats all its employees, partners, colleagues, and customers with equal respect. The result is the institution that promotes the workforce that is free from any form of discrimination. The Department of Work and Pensions also recognizes and values different individual contributions to the success of the institution. Therefore, it promotes and supports staff development to enhance their skills, thus improving productivity. The institution has also established a legislative framework through which it provides its procedures, employee policy, and service delivery.

The Department of Work and Pensions also links its diversity to the bottom line, especially when it is exploring ways of increasing the confidence of the public to its services. The institution always gives preference to new partnerships and collaboration to ensure that its customers, colleagues, and stakeholders are strategically placed at the center of its service delivery charter. Additionally, the Department of Work and Pensions always thinks outside the box and provides services to the public that exceed their expectations. In order to realize this, the institution has to ensure that workforce diversity is not subjected to any bias.

The Department of Work and Pensions has for a long time walked the walk as part of its management and planning of workforce diversity. In particular, the institution has made employee diversity an evident practice at all levels of organizations. It has done this to ensure that all its employees are brought on board and no employee feels left behind or discriminated against on the ground of diversity. Moreover, a clear and positive response is shown to all employees across all levels of organizations, thus eliminating any discomfort among them.

Another method that the Department of Work and Pensions uses to manage and plan its workforce diversity is through broadened efforts. The definition of diversity according to this institution spans far beyond race and gender. It has also become a norm for the institution to manage a multicultural and multigenerational workforce in this institution. Besides, the institution has tapped talent from all diverse sectors of the employee workforce, thus creating and motivating employees.

The Department of Work and Pensions has also initiated plans to ensure that it removes all artificial barriers that exist in its recruitment process. The main aim is to ensure that the process of interviewing people for the job in the institution does not prove biased or discriminative to any group of potential employees (Esty, Katharine, Griffin & Marcie, 2013). Similarly, the institution focuses on recruiting employees based on what value the candidate will add to the institution rather than who the potential candidate is. This move helps the department to retain workforce diversity at all levels that include family issues, work schedules, elderly and child care.

The provision of practical skills has been the focal point of the Department of Work and Pensions in a bid to maintain and plan successful workforce diversity. The employees are occasionally engaged in interactive sessions that aim to teach them how to embrace diverse opinions and resolve conflicts in the workplace. The result is a diverse workforce that is capable of looking at success from the perspective of a diverse culture rather than an individual frame of reference (Roosevelt &. Jr. 2011). The Department of Work and Pensions ensures that all its employees are exposed to equal training and practical skills so that they are equipped with additional expertise that is unique to the institution’s diversity. The main objective is to ensure that each employee appreciates the significance of additional diverse skills and talents in the institution and uses them for the benefit of the institution (Esty, Katharine, Griffin & Marcie, 2013).

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The Department of Work and Pensions also engages its employees in continuous mentorship and coaching programs to ensure that each employee gets to know the significance of another colleague with different skills and backgrounds. In order to ensure that all these plans and management tools are put in practice, the Department of Work and Pensions has initiated regular measurement and assessment of the results of each employee. The absence of issues such as work environment, payment, remunerations and benefits, promotional opportunities help ensure that each employee follows the institution’s policy on workforce diversity (Zweigenhaft, Richard & Domhoff, 2012). Workforce diversity in the Department of Work and Pensions has seen the institution grow into a successful and effective public sector through the inception of diverse perspectives and experience (Roosevelt &. Jr. 2011). Besides, the institution creates a conducive environment for people, thus fostering a cohesive and all-inclusive community. Joining the public sector service delivery with diversity will add a lot of experience to the workforce through interaction with people from different backgrounds and with various interests. This will lead to an exchange of different values, skills, knowledge, and experience, thus creating a workforce rich in talent. Besides, the workforce will get an opportunity to share different life experiences and achievements, thus encouraging their colleagues to learn new skills and talents (Esty, Katharine, Griffin & Marcie, 2013). The diverse life experiences and achievements obtained during the interaction among employees help the Department of Work and Pensions initiate proper mechanisms for planning and management of workforce diversity.

The Department of Work and Pensions also ensures that its workforce gets an opportunity to familiarize itself with new hobbies, ethnicities, carriers, and religions. Similarly, the institution has pegged its service delivery diversity by giving its employees a getaway to life graduation. The Department of Work and Pensions also gives its workforce the opportunity to face the unpredictable world with a lot of courage and determination to counter all the challenges (Dancy, 35). By reducing the education and remuneration gaps in the Department of Works and Pensions, the institution is in a position to plan and manage its workforce. With a rich diversity of hobbies, interests, and capabilities among its employees, the department will be capable of managing its workforce diversity without any conflict arising among its employees (Zweigenhaft, Richard & Domhoff, 2012). In case a conflict arises, the institution will be in a position to solve it amicably. Investing in the workforce of the future generation through continued promotion and transfer of the workforce across all levels of the organization is also another way through which the Department of Work and Pensions ensures that its workforce diversity is properly managed and planned (Esty, Katharine, Griffin & Marcie, 2013). The institution also involves the skills and knowledge of all the employees in solving problems that relate to the institution’s daily operations. In this way, the Department of Work and Pensions will be in a position to demonstrate its employees the importance of diverse skills and talents of every member (Loysk, 2014).

The Department of Work and Pensions has involved the creativity and innovative skills of its diverse workforce for considering and viewing issues from multiple points, angles, and perspectives (Devoe, 2012). This move will help the workforce acquire a wide view of all options in decision-making that incorporates morality, ethics, and self-awareness through the diverse backgrounds and experiences (Zweigenhaft, Richard & Domhoff, 2012). Diverse views of the workforce are incorporated into the daily reasoning and operations of the Department of Work and Pensions; the institution successfully implements its management and plan for a successful diverse workforce. Moreover, the institution takes a lot of care to ensure that its objectives and mission are not disoriented by the diverse opinions and perspectives arising from its workforce. Besides, the institution coordinates its workforce to ensure that the diverse opinions, views, and interests expressed by its workforce do not conflict but rather benefit the institution (Zweigenhaft, Richard & Domhoff, 2012). In this way, the institution becomes more productive and efficient in its service delivery.

The bottom line of any institution depends on the diversity of the workforce chosen. For this reason, the Department of Work and Pensions has chosen a diverse workforce that benefits it by attaining a strong bottom line for future success (Herzog, 2013). Moreover, the institution has put national security issues as a critical part of the planning and management process of workforce diversity. Consequently, the Department of Work and Pensions manages and plans its workforce by providing an all-inclusive community (Flagg, 2012). In addition, the institution enriches its workforce with multiple perspectives, thus having a magnified view from an egocentric and ethnocentric point of view. The result is a panoramic perspective of all challenges that the workforce faces (Milem et al, 98).

Public sector diversity also helps the workforce increase their knowledge base, thus preparing the employees to venture into a more global society. The diversity acquired in the Department of Work and Pensions will prepare an employee to work with diverse employers, employees, thus increasing productivity, competitiveness, and cooperation (Herzog & Serge, 56). Moreover, the employee will be well-prepared for success in future careers or ventures, thus achieving career and social development. Of great importance is the expanded scope of workforce diversity in the Department of Work and Pensions when an employee interacts with people from diverse backgrounds with diverse experiences (Flagg, 2012). All these are aimed at achieving successful management and planning of a diverse workforce.

Conclusion

The benefits of joining the diverse public sector will lead to a more competitive and cohesive nation. Besides, a student will have several avenues to contribute to public sector diversity. In addition, the student will gain more opportunities that come with the diversity of the public sector. Therefore, it is recommended that the student joins the diverse public sector.

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A diverse workforce in the public sector context is the true reflection of the rich diversity in the population. There is a great value attached to workforce diversity in the workplace since it creates productivity and a competitive edge. When diversity in the workplace is embraced, a safe and fair work environment is created in the public sector context where every citizen has access to opportunities. Certain factors related to workforce diversity in the public sector context, such as legislation, must be created to help manage diversity in the workplace in the public sector context. The public sector will be in a position to tap many talents from its diverse workforce. In addition, the different perspectives, backgrounds, abilities, interests, and disabilities that a diverse workforce brings to the public sector will create a more efficient and effective service delivery in the public sector context. The diverse talents and fresh ideas possessed by the diverse workforce will be a good ingredient for the long-term success of service provision in the public sector context for proper workforce diversity is still a managerial challenge to the public sector.

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