The cost-benefit analysis is quite simple:
Diversity Management is reflected
in turnover and profit. Although in the
first instance soft factors such as
mentality and employee loyalty are
difficult to put into figures,
nevertheless at some time external
effects will show the superiority
of diversity over monoculture – as an
image factor, as an instrument of inter-
nationalization and motor for productivity.
Precondition: Diversity is not just a
figleaf as a cover-up but must be actively
The world is colourful but you have to
mix the colours yourself. This also
applies to corporate culture. The »more
colourful« the personnel the greater the
Everyone who experiences diversity as
an enrichment and who values his
employees accordingly, has a good hand
in the game of global competition.
Motivated employees are loyal, creative,
dedicated and productive. It is exactly
such differences which make the
Creativity needs diversity. Maybe this
has become a platitude but a hetero-
geneous team alone does not generate
original ideas. Creativity also needs
space and a certain amount of
In other words, the company must
allow diversity and actively encourage
various styles of thinking and working,
for example, through flexible work
models, rest areas, meeting places or
home office possibilities.
Sometimes promotion chances,
sometimes the working atmosphere
are crucial: In the ongoing struggle
for »smart people«, employee loyalty
Success lies in being able to deploy
and support personnel exactly where
they can and wish to develop their
talents. Potential is always increased
through listening. Through mentoring
or simply by means of a place of work
respective to age, even »average«
employees can become top performers.
Diversity Management is so-to-speak
a welcome to personnel from diverse
origins, culture, generations and gender.
The strategy however, is not driven
by the wish for a better world but
by the wish for practical and economic
advantages. Respect and appeciation
are rewarded with top performance.
Employee networks for women, people
with different ethnic backgrounds or
gays help to defuse conflict situations,
before these lead, for example, to inner
resignation. They help in recruiting,
in career progress and integration.
An exchange of experience, however,
only functions if the initiative comes
from the workforce themselves and
this group is involved at executive
management level and supported by
Diversity begins in the mind. Small
and medium-size enterprises can use
it as a management instrument
without building up major structures.
The attitude of the company owner
is decisive as the role model.
The person who equally appreciates
the work of the Turkish warehouse
worker and the 59-year old (female)
distribution manager, will have
the personnel on his side: Diversity
does not cost much money, only the
power of conviction.
Lack of qualified personnel is the core
problem of the European employment
market. Diversity strengthens the
employer image. Not only in the sense
of equal opportunities, support and
Diversity also opens up new sources for
recruitment because suddenly the
»minority groups« such as women or
older applicants now feel accepted.
Typical man, typical woman: All of
us have our prejudices and we think
in terms of certain stereotypes.
As a result: Even though the affected
persons are not aware of it, they
put other persons at a disadvantage.
In this case, Executive Management
Coaching is a valuable aid, as this
creates awareness of the multiplicators
in the company. When prejudices are
subject to questioning, the newly
acquired tolerance is automatically
transmitted to the members of the team.
The idea of mentoring is ancient. We
only have to think about Socrates and his
famous apprentice Plato. Under the
framework of Diversity Management, top
managers assist young women or colleagues
with a so-called »migration background«
on their way to a successful career.
At the same time the exchange of ex-
perience enables the mentor to become
aware of the problems of minorities.
A very important step towards changes
in corporate culture.
50-plus, multi-cultural, women – this
is the labour market of the future.
In respect of demographic change it is
essential for the survival of companies
that they accept a new level of
diversity amongst their employees.
The company that is able to integrate
different lifestyles and convictions,
attitudes to work and ways of thinking
under one roof and that manages these
accordingly, is definitely on the right
path for the future.
The success of personnel diversity is
dependent on the attitudes and
behaviour patterns of all the employees.
Diversity therefore needs role models
and embassadors for the unreserved
recognition of »other« value systems
both internally and externally.
They act as catalysts to speed up
the learning process of the others.
Holistic Diversity Management takes
into account all the features that
differentiate people from one another
or that makes them similar: Age,
disability, gender, origin, religion and
Diversity programs however, do not
have to include every minority.
On the other hand companies must
take care not to become too one-
sided for example, in their support of
women or families.
Token women – yes or no? The question
of how to increase the quota of women
at executive management level of business
cannot be answered with a generality.
On the one hand the quota would provoke
an urgently needed “break” in corporate
culture and stimulate growth in awareness
of diversity. On the other hand, the
quota regulation may in fact hinder the
breakdown of structural obstacles in
Anyone who wishes to supply customers
all over the world needs specialists
and managers who understand and respect
diverse cultural backgrounds, needs
This can only succeed if the company
itself reflects and encourages the
global diversity of its customers in
its own personnel. Credibility is
the essence of any long-term business
Today no company can afford to exclude any
person groups in its search for top talent.
Highly qualified applicants are looking for
a work environment where they can live out
their capabilities – and they expect that the
companies can accommodate their individual
needs, for example in terms of hours of work
and location models. If these needs are
taken into account, the company is rewarded
with a great number of applicants and low
employee fluctuation rates.
Market chances are thrown away if there
is no diversity. An older employee
can see the needs of Best Agers better
than a young Product Manager can.
Enterprises which value and encourage
such competence, through target group
product policies and marketing, can
even open up market segments previously
not even dreamt about: Foreigners,
disabled and homosexuals.
Personnel diversity is not a value in itself.
It is only then of benefit to an enterprise
when minorities are not perceived as
»foreign bodies« but rightly enjoy recognition.
The precondition for this is that the
individual is aware that his conduct is
viewed under majority or minority
awareness. A person who has experienced
alienation is well aware of how much
energy is required to overcome this and
to continue working with full commitment.