Leveraging diversity in the workplace has become a critical challenge for many organizations, and this challenge has only become more complex over time. Demographic changes and evolving social attitudes mean the workplace is less homogenized now than ever before, which necessitates the ability to manage cross-culturally if organizations wish to remain competitive in a global marketplace. Postponed retirement goals have led to an unprecedented five generations all working together, as older generations delay retirement and work alongside Gen Xers, millennials, and postmillennials. The influx of younger workers also has brought about a shift in workplace demographics: millennials — now the largest generational group in the workforce — are also the most racially diverse generation in history. The number of men and women in the workforce is nearing parity; women will make up 51 percent of total labor force growth by 2018 and currently make up 47 percent of the total U.S. labor force. In addition, more connection to people across the globe and shifting attitudes and policies regarding LBGTQ issues all add up to a workforce that is culturally and racially diverse.
To succeed in this environment, organizations will need their leaders to adopt management styles that not only accept this new workplace paradigm but champion it, recognizing that diversity in appearance, attitude, thought, and deed leads to organizational value. Managers cannot lead as they may have in the past, because how one group responds to direction may not work for all groups in the workplace. Leadership must grow and foster an inclusive labor force, and how well leaders respect, respond to, and use the diversity in their organizations to create value can be a key differentiator in both marketing their organization as an employer of choice and driving business growth.
How are organizations redefining the competencies their leaders need to manage a more diverse, globally distributed workforce? What qualities are they focusing on? How are leaders asked to support diversity and inclusion goals, and how is success measured? To answer these questions and more, the Human Capital Media Research and Advisory Group — the research arm of Chief Learning Officer magazine — partnered with the University of North Carolina Kenan-Flagler Business School to study the current state of diversity competencies for leadership development. Download our white paper below which summarizes our research and findings from nearly 800 survey participants.
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