Diversity Training of a Multicultural Workforce

Abstract

Diversity training of a multicultural workforce in the military is one of invaluable ways used to build a strong military workforce. Diversity training opens people’s mind, changes their attitudes towards each other thus promoting productivity. The military personnel appreciate and respect each other when they understand the importance of cultural diversity.

Recognized talents are maintained and improved. The military not only work for the U.S. but also is prepared to work internationally with people of different cultures. Training increases, competency and communication barriers are broken enhancing productivity. So as to make full utilization of diversity, planning is an important tool. It is a roadmap to achieving the goals of the military.

Introduction

The U.S. military consist of five major groups: “The Army, Air Force, Navy, Marine Corps and Coast guards” (Powers, 2011, p. 1). Varvel (2000) has adopted the following definition for cultural diversity, “Cultural diversity refers to the differences in age, ethnic heritage, gender, national origin, marital status, physical ability/qualities, race, religion, economic status, education and sexual orientation” (Varvel, 2000, p. 4).

Women and people from different races and ethnic groups are being recruited in the military at the present time. An analysis of diversity training in a multicultural workforce to personnel serving in the United States military reveals that it yields many benefits. The benefits accrued from such training are critically analyzed in this paper.

Globalization and International Competency

Diversity training equips the workforce to extend its service to other countries where other languages are spoken. Diversity training thus breaks the barrier of language in many countries. The image created by diversity training is dynamism and the military workforce is able to interact effectively with people from different cultures.

Diversity training creates a good image. Since the goal of the U.S. military is to reach even outside the U. S., a diverse military workforce creates a good platform of influence. Good management in the military is an important tool because it helps in integration of the talents and the skills in different people. Management helps in planning and implementation of the proposed strategies (Preson, Casey, & McHugh, 2010).

The military workforce responsibility is to serve its citizens. It also has a responsibility to fight and win in all wars and dominate. People from different backgrounds have different experiences and this is a tool that promotes global abilities in the military. A diverse military derives its strength from, “cultures, perspectives, skills and other qualities of personnel” (Preson, Casey, & McHugh, 2010, p. 1).

This enhances the competency of the military workforce in many dimensions (Prism, 2010). Good management skills also help in enhancing maximum utilization of structures and resources, meaningful education and training in a sustainable manner (Preson, Casey, & McHugh, 2010). With diversity training in a multicultural workforce, an organization becomes stronger and competitive.

Nurturing Talent

Every person regardless of their background needs to be appreciated. Each person’s unique abilities brought together leads to sustainable transformation. Talent recognition helps the military workforce to work effectively while giving their best. For diversity to be fully appreciated in the army, leaders must be committed to their tasks. Leaders are very essential as they help in wide-ranging ability management (Introduction, n.d.).

Appreciating diversity helps in taking advantage of the environment and investing in what different individuals have. People are the most important asset in accomplishing the goals of the military. Ideas come from people who are essential in planning and development of the military.

The military’s main goal should be to recruit the most talented people other than concentrating on the differences (Preson, Casey, & McHugh, 2010). Diversity training in a multicultural workforce of military personnel is a key tool in attracting the attention of talents, sustaining, and nurturing them.

Appreciation of Cultural Diversity

Multicultural workforce training is usually encountered and may cause conflict. During the training the trainers need to understand personal differences. Diversity training helps in conflict management (Preson, Casey, & McHugh, 2010). Training helps to build respect between the military workforce personnel.

This is a conflict management strategy. It takes away the mentality of judging people by basing the judgment on the color of the skin, race or gender. It also creates awareness so that the military force is sensitive to each other. In this way the stereotype thinking is removed by the training on diversity (Varvel, 2000).

Utilization of Human Capital

Effective diversity training helps in maximum utilization of human capital. This means that a person in a favorable environment is able to bring out his/her personalities which have been shaped by their background and they are motivated in their work. Motivation then leads to innovation. Innovation means new and diverse.

Diversity training, “will provide more fertile ground for the growth of new ideas than a culture or organization that is comfortable only with sameness” (Yamashita, 2004, p. 12). Military personnel are a great investment; they are able to bring better changes to the military workforce. The freedom gives the trainees confidence to bring out their ideas without fear. They are also able to reject bad ideas and this sets an excellent platform for development (Varvel, 2000, p. 15).

Diversity training helps to increase financial benefits outside the military. When the military is in harmony there are great rewards especially in their work: “Certified Network Engineer training can cost the military upwards of ten thousand dollars as well as lost time of the military member away from his or her regular job while attending school” (Varvel, 2000, p. 16).

Increased Productivity and Efficiency

Efficiency in working place is experienced with training in cultural diversity. With the sensitivity nature of work in the military, trust is important for the survival of the military personnel. The soldiers must learn to trust those who are close to them in the course of their duty whether in the battlefield or off the field. This determines the success of the battles which area going to be won. With trust among the military personnel work relationships are enhanced (Varvel, 2000).

Diversity training enhances good interpersonal relationships. This training helps to decrease the cultural conflicts and this increases the military productivity. When diversity in the military is appreciated, time spent in resolving conflicts is reduced and spent in beneficial work. The military leaders spend their time in other issues other than settling disputes within the workforce (Papillon, 2011).

Diversity training helps in keeping the trained military workforce for long. The favorable environment means that the personnel in the workforce enjoy their service and thus those who are trained do find reasons and excuses to quit their jobs. This helps to cut down on expenses in that the military will not keep on training the workforce that easily leaves the job to look for better jobs. The environment created by training the military workforce becomes favorable for all the groups (Papillon, 2011).

Quality Leadership

Diversity training helps in building good leadership qualities in the military workforce. Sustained diversity training ensures that all members of the military are equipped with leadership skills which enhance unity among people of different cultures. Leaders also get a sense of commitment to their service. Priorities in the military and policies are made by wise people and thus they bring good results (Varvel, 2000).

Diversity training ensures good leadership at individual levels as well as command levels. This enhances strong quality leadership in the army. The entire workforce in the military acquires professional skills necessary in promoting diversity and increasing their benefits.

The leaders who are made by diversity training are able to confront the cultural challenges easily; conflicts in different countries arise frequently especially when the army is on a peace keeping mission in a foreign country. All military members should always ready to tackle all kinds of problems related to cultural diversity. This promotes its competitiveness both nationally and globally (Varvel, 2000).

Increased Awareness

Diversity training in the military helps in creating awareness in different ways. The military becomes well informed of the challenges which are associated with different cultures on aspects such as communication. The military also learns different cultural values of various people involved, and this creates a platform of respect to each other.

This awareness is also important because it helps to prepare the people so that they can easily cope with life outside the U.S. Awareness enhance productivity in whichever part of the country a person may be called to serve (Kohls & Knight, 1994).

Promotes Effective Communication

Lack of effective communication may lead to misunderstanding in the military workforce. When the military workforce does not relate well, they are likely to be in conflict and consequently fail to appreciate each other. According to Yamashita (2004), diversity training helps in “acquiring a deeper awareness of cultural differences and how they affect communication patterns, ways of processing information, and attitudes towards authority” (Yamashita, 2004, p. 11).

Diversity training helps to break the barrier of communication. It helps people to communicate effectively. Communication promotes teamwork and motivation. Teamwork is a channel to promote productivity. This is because people combine different skills which promote creativity (Writing, 2011).

Prevents Discrimination

Discrimination in the workforce can be very costly. In the past, there were many allegations of racial discrimination within the U.S. military workforce. The blacks were denied managerial positions even when they were qualified. With diversity training, such conflicts are eliminated and the military workforce is well informed that anyone can gain any position on merit.

Racial differences are thus appreciated and this builds respect to all people in the military workforce. Diversity training is also important in development and creation of just policies. The result of these policies is that the military workforce becomes inclusive of all people including women and people from different races and backgrounds (Papillon, 2011).

Conclusion

Diversity training in a military workforce enhances globalization and international competency. It also helps in utilization of human capital which promotes increased productivity. Good leadership skills are impacted in the military workforce personnel. Good leadership and management encourage continued diversity training.

Diversity training is also important in enhancing communication which encourages the workforce personnel to stay in harmony without conflict. Awareness prevents any discrimination in the military workforce personnel. Therefore, diversity training in a multicultural workforce to personnel serving in the United States Military yields many benefits.

References

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Kohls, L. R., & Knight, J. M. (1994). Developing intercultural awareness. United Kingdom,UK: Intercultural Press.

Papillon, D. L. (2011). A comparatiove study of Awareness and sensitivity Diversity Training Strategies and Human Resource Policy Driven Strategies. Retrieved June 27, 2011 from: http://diversityofficermagazine.com/cultural-diversity-factoids/historical-issues/a-comparative-study-of-awareness-and-sensitivity-diversity-training-strategies-and-human-resource-policy-driven-strategies/

Powers, R. (2011). US Military. Retrieved June 25, 2011 from: http://usmilitary.about.com/cs/generalinfo/a/military101.htm

Preson, K. O., Casey, G. W., & McHugh, J. M. (2010, December). United States Diversity Roadmap. Retrieved June 25, 2011 from: http://www.armydiversity.army.mil/document/Diversity_Roadmap.pdf

Prism. (2010). Cultural Diversity Training Resources. Retrieved June 27, 2011 from: http://www.prismdiversity.com/resources/diversity_training.html

Varvel, T. K. (2000). Air Command and Staff College. Retrieved June 25, 2011 from: http://www.au.af.mil/au/awc/awcgate/acsc/00-180.pdf

Writing, A. (2011). Team Work And Multicultural Communication In Multicultural Force. Retrieved June 27, 2011 from: http://academicwritingtips.org/component/k2/item/1530-team-work-and-multicultural-communication-in-multicultural-force.html?tmpl=component&print=1

Yamashita, K. (2004). Importance of Developing Multicultural Diversity Trainig. Retrieved June 26, 2011 from: http://www2.uwstout.edu/content/lib/thesis/2004/2004yamashitak.pdf