Discussion: Diversity in the Workplace

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Creating and managing a diverse workforce is a process, not a destination.

—R. Roosevelt Thomas, Jr.

What concepts come to mind when you think of diversity? What kinds of diversity exist in your workplace? How does diversity impact communication, working relationships, productivity, and patient care?
In the workplace, focusing on differences can create divisiveness. Nurse managers should approach diversity as a way to highlight, communicate, and build on the commonalities of their workforce. Modeling this behavior can encourage appreciation for diversity and create a more positive workplace environment. When managing a diverse workforce, nurse managers should never make assumptions about an individual’s motivations, goals, or work ethic based upon personal traits such as age, gender, race, or culture. Nurse managers should strive to facilitate an inclusive environment for all.

To prepare

Review the article, “Diversity within Nursing: Effects on Nurse-Nurse Interaction, Job Satisfaction, and Turnover.” Examine Figure 1 on p. 218. Determine how these and other diversity issues might impact the interaction of nurses in the workplace.
Consider situations in your current organization or one with which you are familiar in which obvious diversity exists. How do these types of diversity issues affect the daily work environment?
Examine this week’s Learning Resources to identify strategies for finding commonalities among workers. How might these strategies also help to increase appreciation of diversity within the workplace?

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