Discuss why discrimination is a barrier in a working environment, using three examples
Workplace discrimination is still a persistent problem all over the world as evidenced by the emergence of new and more subtle types of discrimination every day (Bell McLaughlin & Sequeira 2002). Discrimination is a barrier in the working environment in that discriminatory policy in an organization could end up hurting its reputation. When a business restricts the advancement of a given type or group of people, this effectively limits what the business can achieve.
Discrimination is also directly related to retention and loyalty. The possibility of getting a potential client can be damaged by speaking ill of a former employee. If employees feel that they have been wronged at their current workplace, they are likely to seek greener pastures elsewhere.
Racial or gender inequality at the workplace is likely to hinder the progress of the organization. Customers, suppliers, and business partners would not want to be associated with an organization that discriminates against its employees on grounds of their gender or race. Discrimination is still a widespread practice at the workplace, even with all the regulations put in place to promote equality. There is a wide disparity between men and women with regard to issues of employment rates, income, and occupational range. In a majority of the countries, women are yet to break the glass ceiling (Bell et al 2002). In addition, men get attractive wages compared to their female counterparts.
To a certain extent, workplace discrimination has played a major role in the increased rates of unemployment among the population. For example, a company that does not hire women, thereby discriminating against them on gender grounds, means that all the female applicants who may have applied for the position in question shall not have a chance to work at the company. In the same way, there are other firms that do not hire young people, meaning that the numerous resumes sent by this unemployed group remain jobless.
Discrimination in the workplace is bound to elicit violence. For example, when an applicant fails to be hired on grounds of his/her race, this elicits hate and anger in the affected party. Consequently, these feelings could result in acts of violence. The self-esteem of the affected party is shattered and he/she ends up unleashing anger on those close to him/her. In the past, we have had cases of domestic violence and mass murder occasioned by workplace discrimination.
In addition, workplace discrimination affects the productivity of a company’s human resources negatively. Employees who have fallen victim to workplace discrimination no longer undertake their duties with passion and dedication (Wilson 2003). Already, they have lost interest in the duties and responsibilities assigned to them. Such employees do not see the need to put more effort into their work. Consequently, this affects the overall productivity of the form, meaning that it now takes longer to achieve the set goals. Reduced productivity also means that the organization could also fail to honor pledges made to its suppliers, customers, and business partners. Ultimately, this hurts the image and reputation of a firm.
Explain the importance of communication skills in a business environment, using three examples
Good communication skills are important for the business. Good communication enables one to establish an effective and effective team that can then deliver on the goals of the business (Wertheim 2008). With sound communication skills, one can manage the performance of a business effectively, along with that of employees. Also, good communication enables a business to overcome some of the industrial challenges that are likely to croup up at the workplace. When the business is faced with higher levels of workplace stress, communication skills can be quite useful. A good example here is when a firm is downsizing. At such a time, good communication acts as a vital component of change management.
If at all a business is to establish and maintain effective relationships with clients and suppliers, good communication skills are useful (Wertheim 2008). Modern-day business operations have become increasingly finetuned, mainly due to the emergence of such trends as just-in-time retailing and manufacturing whereby the delivery of goods occurs exactly at the right place and time. For this reason, it is important to ensure that you maintain a close relationship with your supply chain. When dealing with business partners, good communication skills help them to feel confident and raise any issues that need to be addressed. Negotiations also become easier, with less friction.
Communication skills also come in handy when an organization has to handle complaints presented by customers in an effective manner. This helps to reduce negative incidences that could be associated with the business (Communication Theory 2010). On the other hand, communication skills are also important when a business wishes to examine the effectiveness of its marketing campaigns. Enhanced communication skills help a business determine the marketing materials that need to be assessed. Also, one can identify the most appropriate materials and as a result, provide clearer briefs.
In order for the management to effectively handle the individual performance of its workforce, good communication skills are essential. With sound communication skills, it becomes easier to provide clear feedback regarding the performance of the employees and still refrain from denting the self-esteem of your employees. With sound communication skills, the management and employees can work closely as a team (Wertheim 2008). Also, it becomes easier to assess the personal goals of the team members, and for those who fall short of achieving their desired goals they can be helped by the other team members.
When communication is good in an organization, this also tends to elevate the morale of the team. Team members are likely to feel more in control of the organization especially if they are given prior warning about specific emerging issues in advance, and if they also have all the necessary and relevant facts to handle such issues. Since employees are aware of where the organization is headed, this acts as a source of security and confidence. Consequently, they are more likely to plan their long and medium-term goals more effectively.
Bell, M.P., McLaughlin, M.E. & Sequeira, J.M., 2002. Discrimination, harassment and the glass ceiling: Women executives as change agents. Journal of Business Ethics, 37, pp. 65-76.
Communication Theory., 2010. Importance of Communication to Organizations or importance of Business Communication. Web.
Wertheim, E. G., 2008. The Importance of Effective Communication. Web.
Wilson, F., 2003, Organizational Behaviour and Gender (2nd Edition., Aldershot: Ashgate.