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With the increase in world globalization, interaction among people from different beliefs, cultures and backgrounds has become more important than ever before. Individuals are no longer living and working in a narrow-minded market place. We are all part of a universal economy where competitions come from all continents around the world. It is due to this reason that individual differences are essential if an organisation needs to become resourceful and open to changes. Differences in the workplace reflect the multi-ethnic and multicultural characteristics of that organisation. Individual differences in the workplace are advantageous not only to the employers but to the employees as well.
Individual differences can be defined as a set of personal characteristics that are only common to that individual. These differences may be as a result of our diversity in race, social, economical, biological and cultural aspects. Thus when such individuals with differences in one or more of these aspects come together, they bring about diversity in that place (Mitchell, O & Wharton School. Pension Research Council, 2003, p. 39) Individual differences are therefore important to the employer perspective in that; there is a wider pool of talented employees from which to choose, they enhance productivity through the varied competencies, skills and capabilities of the employees among others.
Individual differences in workplace are important from the employers' perspective in that there is enhancement of productivity. This is following the fact that once employees from multiple social backgrounds and races come together, the organisation gets an opportunity to process and harness a variety of skills, capabilities and competencies from these workers. Once these skills are utilised, the efficiency of the organisation improves thus enhancing productivity. This is an advantage to the employers who always seek growth and competence of their organisations (Pride, Hughes & Kapoor, 2009).
Another advantage of individual differences to the employer is that employees can bring together their views when trying to accomplish a project. Having a mixture of ethnicities, gender, age and cultures in the workplace brings together a variety point of views that can be utilised in working towards a certain project. According to Pride, Hughes & Kapoor (2009), the employer has the opportunity to pick ideas that are suitable for the organisation and the possibilities of picking the most profitable project are higher as compared to when the ideas are coming from a group of individuals from the same race and culture. These ideas will also help the management to develop sound decisions for the betterment of the organisation.
Also, when an organisation comprises of different individuals, the society views it as being open to employing only qualified applicants on merit basis. According to Taylor, Doherty & McGraw (2008) the employer is viewed as a fair individual who does not use colour when hiring workers. This also helps the employers to be open-minded and not to narrow down their minds on race or culture. Following this, the employers will have a wide labour market from which to draw their employees since race and cultural differences will no longer be used as barriers for employment (Taylor, Doherty & McGraw 2008, p. 238). Meanwhile, the employers will be advantaged to only have employees that are well equipped with the right skills fundamental for the running of the organisation.
Once a workplace has individuals from different demographics, it gives the orgnisation a broader set of skills from which to choose. As already mentioned, most individuals that are employed on merit basis are usually equipped with professional skills that are perfect. Following this, the employer gets an opportunity to make use these skills to expand productivity and other activities of the organisation (Waldron & Kassing, 2010, p. 139). This will therefore promote the growth of the organisation not only to the advantage of the employer but to that of the economy as well.
Individual differences are very important to the employers in that they get a wide range of employers from which to choose. As a result they end up hiring the best employers with the right working skills (Waldron & Kassing, 2010). This therefore brings to the organisation effective working thus improve the productivity of the organisation. Employers come from different areas and bring with them different talents and qualifications to the organisation.
Individual differences in the workplace are essential for the growth of the employees' experiences and for the organisation's growth as well. If people from different cultures, socioeconomic and market demographics come together, they share their experiences and differences thus helping them to develop a sound thinking practice and decision making from the knowledge learned. Sharing of their experiences and knowledge bring them closer to each other and thus enhancing team building where they can freely work together (Barak, 2010, p. 249). Working in a team where every member is free to express his ideas and thoughts increases the productivity and efficiency of the organisation new ideas and thoughts are incorporated timely.
Another advantage of individual differences in the workplace is that it helps employees to adopt new and better traits from their fellow employees. Once people from different ethnics, social backgrounds and believes come together, they learn from each other, particularly from those people that inspire them (Mitchell, O & Wharton School. Pension Research Council, 2003). As a result, the employees acquires positive trains that will help them to be come better citizens and resourceful to the society. This will in the long run help them to become efficient and well rounded in these aspects which are of greater advantages to the organisation as well.
A workplace with employees with individual differences implies that there is engagement, interaction and co-mingling among employees from all creeds, races and cultures. This environment promotes a sense of comradeship and a spirit of humanitarianism that in turn shape them to become better citizens that can be resourcefully globally (Mitchell, O & Wharton School. Pension Research Council, 2003). This exposure is of great advantage to the employees since they can get employment in other parts of the world particularly in this globalisation era where one does not have to be a citizen of that country for him/her to be employed. Employees can also apply this kind of exposure even in their social lives.
Discrimination among employees in the same organisation can also be reduced when employees from different backgrounds come together. Frequent interaction, open sharing of ideas as well as celebration of a variety of functions either organised by the organisation or individuals relatively reduces discrimination as compared to the past eras when organisations would only employ people of the same race, social background or ethnic. Thus individual differences in workplace enhance harmony, unit and peace among employees and help them to view each other as equal and not to discriminate each other (Estlund 2005).
Another importance of having individual differences in the workplace is that it enhances tolerance among the employees. Working and interacting with people with different lifestyles and social behaviours necessitates that one develops some level of tolerance that can accommodate these behaviours (Waldron & Kassing, 2010). Following this, employees learn how to relate with each other as well as other people in the society. Therefore with the encouragement of diversity in the workplace, employees not only learn how to work for the sake of the organisation but they also acquire skills that help them to cope with one another as they work.
In conclusion, individual differences are those characteristics that make an individual unique from the other people. Such characteristics may include cultural, social, economical, ethnic and even creeds. When a workplace has individuals that are different in one or more of these characteristics, then there are several aspects that benefit not only the employer but the employees as well. Some of the important benefits that employers get from employing individuals with personal differences include; enhancement of productivity whereby the organisation gets an opportunity to process and harness a variety of skills, capabilities and competencies from these workers, employees can bring together their views when trying to accomplish a project and the employers have a wide labour market from which to draw their employees. Employers also profit from having a workplace that has a diversity of employees since they come with different set of skills that provide the employer with a broader set from which to choose the best. By hiring employees from different social backgrounds and ethnics, the employer is viewed as being fair thus the blame of being discriminative.
The significance of individual differences in the place of work from the employee's perspective include; individual growth through sharing of knowledge, employees learn and adopt new and best character traits from other people thus they become resourceful to the society. Engagement, interaction and co-mingling among employees from all creeds, races and cultures promotes a sense of comradeship and a spirit of humanitarianism that in turn shape employees to become better citizens that can be resourcefully globally. This exposure also help them to get employment in other parts of the world particularly in this globalisation era where one does not have to be a citizen of that country for him/her to be employed. Another advantage is that having diversity of employees reduces racial, ethnicity and socioeconomic discrimination as well as enhances tolerance among the employees.