Diversity and Demographics

Essay by su2daveUniversity, Bachelor'sA+, May 2006

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Dealing with diversity and individual differences has to be included among the most important issues challenging all managers in the quest for high performance and organizational competitiveness. (University of Phoenix, 2003). Workforce diversity is the presence of differences based on gender, race and ethnicity, age, able-bodiedness and sexual orientation. (University of Phoenix, 2003). To be successful, organizations should recognize and embrace the gender, age, religion and ethnicity diversity in their employees as well as the demographic differences each employee brings to the organization.

The largest generation in American History now constitutes about 60 percent of what employers and economists call the prime-age workforce-that is, workers between the ages of 25 and 54. The cohorts that follow are just too small [a contingent] to take the boomer's place. (Misek, 2003). The age groups known as Generation X and Generation Y were born between 1964 and 1985, and Baby boomers were born between 1946 and 1963.

While there are some mutually shared values among the generations, that which motivates and appeals to workers from the younger GenXer and GenYer is different from what appeals to Baby boomers. For example, Baby boomers are interested in having the flexibility to manage their time and workload in a way to "do it all." GenX workers have an entrepreneurial spirit and are, powerful innovators. The youngest workers tend to have a real sense of independence and are goal-oriented. The GenX and GenY workers have a number of common characteristics, including a sense of independence and are goal-oriented. They are more inclined to look for instant gratification, as opposed to making along-term investment of time and effort. They also desire career challenges, job flexibility and extensive training and development opportunities. GenXers and GenYers are less likely to have strong loyalties to an employer and therefore are...