Managing Diversity through Self-Awareness and Personal Motivation Managing diversity has the potential to be one of the most challenging issues for healthcare management. Healthcare organizational growth requires an increase in workforce, and workforce is becoming more multicultural and diverse. In order for one to manage diversity effectively, one must be self-aware and personally motivated.
One’s self-awareness and behavior have the potential to be influenced by different factors such as culture, belief, and values.The motivation behind a manager’s leadership also should be considered. Healthcare managers may be result focused on specific outcomes therefore, missing an opportunity for personal motivation in all areas of managerial work. The definition of diversity also needs scrutiny as various factors may be included and considered.
Managerial competence and skill in understanding the factors of diversity present the potential for impacting managing diversity.Finally, motivation from a personal basis opens the avenue of exploration of personal acceptance of diversity because of the inclusion of personal beliefs and values, creating a need for ethical consideration. Peer-reviewed article research has revealed answers to these questions in the exploration personal motivation and self-awareness. Various factors have a potential impact in the formulation of one’s self-awareness and behavior. Edwards and Daniel (2009) define values as “general beliefs about the importance of normatively desirable behaviors and actions” (p. 655).This introduces the concept of belief into the equation. Organizational value systems are also present in a manager’s world, working to indicate how members should respond (Edwards & Daniel, 2009).
The opportunity for a difference in values becomes a logical possibility. Value congruence, or agreement between personal and organizational values, becomes a consideration for managers, as Edwards and Daniel (2009) point out managers use interview tactics to assess value congruence, and use managerial strategies to mold new employees in the direction of the organizational value system.The impact of improving value congruence itself may not be as successful a strategy as focusing on the resultants of value congruence (Edwards & Daniel, 2009). Value congruence then carries over into the actions of the manager, emphasizing the importance of the beliefs and values the manager brings forward, and the formulation of his or her behavior.
Following behavior formulation, exploring leadership motivation in the context of diversity management identifies another opportunity for the manager to improve leadership.Hunt (2007) indicates effective leadership inspires, motivates, develops, and retains staff, while meeting organizational requirements. Focusing on specific outcomes, though, may be a detriment, as Hunt (2007) also states a tie between poor leadership, poor diversity management, and poor care provision in the healthcare setting. Attention to the various aspects of diversity management increases workforce motivation and decreases the turnover rate of employees (Gill, 1996). The manager then must have the motivation to manage the diversity effectively.After exploring definitions of diversity, it will become apparent personal beliefs and values factor into the definition, creating the necessity for personal motivation. Konrad (2006) defines diversity in the workplace as “the set of individual, group and cultural differences people bring to the organization” (p. 1).
This definition moves away from categorizing diversity strictly in ethnic terms, providing the opportunity for those of similar heritage to bring various aspects of diversity to the table.Individual differences include different skill sets, historical experiences, and levels of commitment (Konrad, 2006). As mentioned previously, introducing individuality provides opportunity for difference. Friedman and Davidson (2001) identify diversity conflict as the result of people identifying with a specific group whose members share a likeness, which can be along the lines of birth such as gender, age, or ethnicity, or the result of a personal choice to join a group, such as religion. Dreachslin (2007) points out that “diversity is multidimensional” (p. 1), including not only “racial, ethnic and gender identities” (p. 81), as well as “generation, social class, physical ability, family, religion” (p.
81), and affiliation groups along those lines. Majority/minority diversity is still an important factor, though, as Rosenberg (2008) stating “80% of whites thought that minorities were well represented today in healthcare…while only 59% of minorities agreed” (p. 126). The difference is this statistic lends further to the argument that managers must be prepared and able to manage diversity.With the broad encompassment of the definition of diversity, the requirement of personal motivation in diversity management, the formulation of behavior from personal beliefs, examination of the level of a manager’s skill and competence in these areas becomes apparent. Gill (1996) outlined points as indicating as personal motivating needs an individual will attempt to achieve, even though difficult choices may be required. One of these anchors is managerial competence, in which the goal is resource and people management (Gill, 1996).Leadership is an attribute of general competence, with the overall aim to becoming generally proficient (Gill, 1996).
As diversity is integrated into the individual, the further anchors become available, including creativity and entrepreneurship, dedication to a cause, and lifestyle integration, which are potential personal motivations (Gill, 1996). Incorporating personal motivation into skill and competence becomes important in diversity management, as the motivation for improving oneself requires competent diversity management.Establishing personal motivation as a requirement for competent and effective diversity from a manager poses ethical questions as any area of non-personal which crosses personal boundaries does. Dreachslin (2007) describes self-awareness as “the most powerful tool a healthcare leader has in managing diversity” (p. 81). Acknowledging personal bias provides an individual the opportunity to mitigate the impact the bias may have on decision making (Dreachslin, 2007).
Willingness to explain and justify personal actions defines personal accountability, according to Hunt (2004).Hunt (2004) further explains managers can be held accountable for their management of discriminatory practices, even when those practices are integrated into the organization. Self-awareness being the defense, and personal motivation as the offense, prepare the manager for ethical troubles.
Future research study concerning diversity should be conducted to investigate other effective leadership qualities. Exploring qualities such as needs awareness, leadership ability, and management style may also add insight into the manager’s ability to manage diversity effectively.Adding additional information will strengthen the argument of diversity requiring management to aid in the overall improvement of the workplace. Conclusion Effective diversity management has been explored from the direction of personal motivation and self-awareness. Self-awareness is a critical component, allowing the manager to realize his or her own personal beliefs, values, and standards, which work to form their practice patterns toward diversity.Discussing the broad range of the definition of diversity has led to creating a competence in diversity management requires understanding of the breadth, and personal commitment to the effectiveness of diversity management.
Personal motivation and self-awareness are the key repeating concepts throughout, demonstrating their importance in effective management of diversity. References Dreachslin, L. (Mar/Apr, 2007) Diversity management and cultural competence: research, practice, and the business. Journal of Healthcare Management.
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