To show your ability to answer a client-specific report brief by researching appropriate information from the library, organising content into a report structure, writing coherent sentences and paragraphs using clear vocabulary and grammar, and formatting your writing to tertiary-level academic standards.
Choose the topic below for your report assignment. Include a minimum of five (5) academic sources to support your statements. Format your report using APA style publication standards.
Topic: New Zealand’s Quality of Life for New Migrants An independent, immigration consultancy firm, NZ Migrants, has requested a report to better understand what new migrants are satisfied with in their current lives in New Zealand. Elizabeth Grove, Director of NZ Migrants, is also interested in whether there are any major differences in satisfaction between different ethnic, gender, or age groups. The company will use the findings from your report and other reports to send a larger document to NZ’s Minister of Immigration; therefore, your report should include feasible recommendations that may be implemented by the government for improving new migrant’s quality of life in the short- and long-term.
Checklist for your report assignment
I have chosen the topic and have written a report that responds to the assignment brief.
I have used content from trustworthy academic sources.
I have written a clear report structure with easily identifiable introduction, discussion, conclusion, and recommendation sections.
My introduction includes information about the client, the aims of the report, and relevant background information.
My discussion section includes relevant statements, facts, quotes, statistics, or other information from reliable sources.
My conclusions section includes a summary of the main points outlined in my discussion section. It does not include new information not presented in the discussion section.
My recommendations section includes specific and feasible suggestions that the client would find useful. The recommendations should logically link with and follow the statements in the preceding conclusions section.
Each paragraph has a single and clear focus. I have used appropriate headings in my discussion section.
I have written clear topic sentences and used appropriate transition words.
I have used my own words and not copied the text from the original source.
I have included my sources in the body of my essay (i.e., in-text references) and a reference list at the end of my assignment.
I have proofread my writing to use more academic vocabulary and fix any grammar mistakes.
I have checked my assignment for spelling, punctuation, and capitalisation mistakes.
I have included a title page, table of contents, page numbers.
I have double-spaced my paper and used an appropriate font style and size.
Sample report #1
Table of Contents
1. Introduction 1
2. Diversity in the Workplace 1
. 2.1 Overall Benefits and Challenges 1
. 2.2 Employing Mature Workers 2
. 2.2.1 Benefits for an Organisation 2
. 2.2.2 Challenges for an Organisation 3
. 2.3 Employing Different Ethnicities 5
. 2.3.1 Benefits for an Organisation 5
. 2.3.2 Challenges for an Organisation 6
3. Conclusions 7
4. Recommendations 8
5. References 9
This report was commissioned by a group of local business people in New Zealand. Its purpose is to analyse the advantages and disadvantages of diversity in the New Zealand workforce and also advise on how to manage them.
Diversity is generally defined as acknowledging , understanding, accepting, valuing, and celebrating differences among people with respect to age, class, ethnicity, gender, physical and mental ability, race, sexual orientation, spiritual practice, and public assistance status (Esty et al., 1995, cited in Green et al., 2002). Diversity in workplace these days in New Zealand is something that most people would face due to its growing population. It has almost become a norm to expect to see at least one colleague with different characteristics such as age, ethnicity, gender, physical/mental abilities, or educational background. Since the workplace consists of many different individuals, companies should search for the best possible ways to utilise their human resources because having diversity in the workplace certainly has great advantages along with some challenges.
This report analyses those pros and cons, and offers recommendations on how to overcome the difficulties the company could come across especially with having elderly people and different ethnicities within an organisation.
2. Diversity in the Workplace2.1 Overall Benefits and ChallengesHaving diversity in workplace will make the employees more competitive because each and everyone’s merit will be the base measurement, not anything else (Abu-Laban & Gabriel, 2002), and because everyone is treated equally and fairly against their achievements, employees’ attitude towards their work will be changed. The most significant change the organisation could expect is the improvement in productivity and/or service to clients. One study shows that having diversity in the workforce has reduced the staff turnover ratio in New Zealand’s organisations (Equal Employment Opportunities Trust, 2005).
Diversity in the workplace also has difficulties to overcome because it is not only about admitting the difference in people, but also “recognising the value of differences, combating discrimination, and promoting inclusiveness” (Devoe, 1999, cited in Green, et. al., 2002, p. 2). Any kind of negative attitudes will not be beneficial for a company. It could result in destroying working relationships between colleagues, damaging morale, or a decline in work productivity.
2.2 Employing Mature Workers (50+)
2.2.1 Benefits to an Organisation
Older workers tend to be more responsible and more serious about their work. They are likely to have a house, a car or two and some children in their late teens or early 20s. This means they have commitments and responsibilities like a mortgage to pay off and children’s tertiary education costs to fund. They value their jobs much more than the average new-school leavers who have little or no commitments. In addition, they tend to have less absenteeism, and they are more willing to work. Jim Collin, the farm owner and managing director at Kairanga Poultry Farm, said that “Neil, who began working at the farm after his early retirement from the banking industry, is more reliable to work with. He will accept an instruction more willingly than a young person” and “ he always turns up on time, works at his peak, and pushes on when he has to” (Department of Labour, 2004, p.5).
Also, old people generally have more experience and knowledge. One of the reasons most companies look for ‘experienced staff’ is because they normally have been exposed to and have dealt with much wider variety of issues, and those employees can foresee the expected outcome of situations that they have been in. Having experience in such circumstances usually allow decisions to be made faster and more accurately. This often leads to improved customer service which is invaluable in any business.
In addition, they also have maturity of thought, especially when dealing with colleagues. A combination of having a sense of responsibility and the benefit of past experiences, they realise that confronting differences of opinions by pushing their way through often leads to discontent and brings tensions into their work environment. Jim Collin also stated that Neil “gets on well with everyone” (Department of Labour, 2004, p. 5). So in order to have a stable job, they understand that a collaborative win-win situation, rather than having uncomfortable moments, will strengthen their work relationships.
2.2.2 Challenges for an Organisation
Older employees tend to have more experience and yet, it could be considered as one of the disadvantages. With numerous years of experience, they may be resistant to change even for small things since the method they have been using for the last 20 years has worked fine. So they might think their method must be correct, therefore it should not be altered. The solutions they have known, would most likely be the most appropriate method then, but it may not be now because older employees often fail to see that their work environment has evolved over the last few decades. With such practices, it could make the company inefficient. However, without adapting to newer or better methods, it could also bring a decrease in productivity and profit to the organisation.
It is also an accepted fact that as people get older, they require more time and repeated instructions before they actually learn something new. The phrase ‘an old dog cannot learn new tricks’ unfortunately becomes true as people advance in age. This would be a disadvantage in a small and/or constantly evolving business or positions where change is common and adaptability is a necessity. Age could well become an obstacle when learning new things. For example, there were two employees, one in the early 50s and the other in the early 30s, and they both needed to learn the same new software for their roles. The same amount of training was given to them and two weeks later, the employee in the early 50s was still struggling with some functions of the software whereas the younger employee had the grasp of it (Green et al., 2002).
Another characteristic of advancing in age would be the weakening of the body strength; however, there could be some exceptions. Older workers are at a higher risk of injury if they are engaged in strenuous physical activity when compared to a person in the prime of his/her life. This is definitely not an insurmountable obstacle but it is something to be considered if the job requires higher physical activity.
2.3 Employing Different Ethnicities
2.3.1 Benefits to an Organisation
Culturally diverse staff could facilitate communication with customers because people are naturally drawn towards familiarities. Being able to speak the customers’ native language fluently can easily build a natural rapport, which is innately good for the business and
could promote better negotiations when required. Rod Giles, the Managing Director of Contract Warehouse Ltd, who has an Indian account manager dealing with their Indian customers mentioned that “people feel more at ease when they can talk to someone from their own culture” (Department of Labour, 2004, p. 8). This also means that culturally diverse staff could become the primary source of information when developing new customers or altering their current services or products to a particular ethnic market because they know and understand the culture better than anyone else (Abu-Laban & Gabriel, 2002).
Another powerful benefit of cultural diversification is having different knowledge and experiences from variety of cultures when contributing to the overall accomplishment of organisational objectives (Heathfield, n.d.). Different ethnic groups approach issues in their own ways based on past experiences. Therefore, with a group of culturally diverse staff, there seems to be a lot more different strategies to achieve their set targets as a company.
Furthermore, cultural diversity will promote a better understanding of each other which will lead to a more harmonious and positive work ethic. This means building acceptance and tolerance between different ethnic groups is essential. Disagreement in opinion and conflicts are bound to occur in any atmosphere with a group of people but with understanding and tolerance accepted by staff, addressing and resolving the differences would most likely become a smoother process.
2.3.2 Challenges for an Organisation
Everyone subscribes to stereotypes to varying degrees, whether consciously or otherwise. Undoubtedly every race and ethnic group all have their preconceived stereotypes of other ethnic groups, thus it could develop prejudices. Left unchecked, this often leads to discrimination. If discrimination occurs at managerial levels, it could have some effect when treating minorities. It could also happen amongst peers, by forming a clique and alienating some people. Any cases of discrimination could end up with formal complaints, legal actions, or both will affect work productivity. This does not seem to be a desirable behaviour within any organisation because it will create inefficiencies which will obstruct the smooth functioning of the organisation. This deprecatory behaviour should be mitigated and potentially removed if the organisation wants to keep the working environment positive.
Furthermore, not all newly immigrated employees can speak English fluently. If one has difficulty communicating with others or is constantly making grammar mistakes with documentation and always needs someone else’s help to correct them, this situation would result in doubling other colleagues’ work. In such circumstances, again, the productivity will go down which then leads into the situation where revenue is low, and labour cost is high.
. 3.1 Diversity in the workforce creates competitiveness between colleagues due to the merit based reviewing system of individuals. It could also change the atmosphere of the workplace to foster a higher achievement rate, and could maintain a lower staff turnover ratio in comparison to other organisations in New Zealand.
. 3.2 Having older people as employees could benefit an organisation; they have more experience which is invaluable to any business, they tend to be more responsible, take their job more seriously and have a stronger motivation, resulting in reduced absenteeism. They also have good relationships with colleagues.
. 3.3 Having culturally diverse staff can facilitate communication with customers because people usually get along well with people from the same background which might directly lead to increased profit. Having diversity also provides cultural understanding and tolerance that promotes a more harmonious and positive workplace and work ethic.
. 3.4 Diversity in the workforce may negatively affect the productivity of the company, due to discrimination. It could also destroy work relationships and damage morale.
. 3.5 Having older people as employees could block the innovations the company needs because of their stubbornness or resistance to change due to their past experiences. They also need a longer time to learn new things so it could reduce the growth rate of the company. Furthermore, they may have a higher chance of getting injured when physical ability is required.
. 3.6 Having diversity in the workplace could spark prejudices and discrimination within a company. Monitoring of worker behaviour is also required due to inefficiencies. 108
. 4.1 It is important that difficult employees be managed with care. This can be done through consistent communication with staff so that the business remains progressive and everyone should always be looking for better ways to do things. The benefits of constant improvement should always be extolled to all staff and more importantly, how these improvements would benefit them.
. 4.2 It is important to understand the strengths of each staff and utilise them appropriately (i.e., if they are more comfortable with routine work rather than developing new skills, place them in roles that perform more routine work).
. 4.3 For physically demanding tasks, a company should not assign such roles to anyone of little strength but if there is no other option, seek assistance from technology like reach-lifts and conveyor systems to allow less-fit workers to play their part in a more physical environment.
. 4.4 It is very important for a company to educate employees that discrimination will not be accepted within the company. This undesirable behaviour can be mitigated and potentially removed, if the organisation develops a strong meritocratic and multicultural ethic and where staff are appraised based on merit and contribution rather than their ethnic group. Also, favouring specific ethnic groups has to be strictly addressed to avoid cultivating a similar culture throughout the organisation.
Abu-Laban, Y. & Gabriel, C. (2002). Selling Diversity: Immigration, multiculturalism, employment equity, and globalisation. Toronto: Broadview Press Ltd.
Department of Labour (2004). People power: Successful diversity at work. Wellington, NZ: Department of Labour.
Equal Employment Opportunities Trust (2005). EEO trust diversity report 2005: Foreword and executive summary. Auckland, NZ: EEO Trust.
Green, K.A., López, M., Wysocki, A., & Kepner, K. (2002). Diversity in the Workplace: Benefits, Challenges, and the Required Managerial Tools. Retrieved October 1, 2008 from http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/HR022.
Heathfield, S. M. (n.d.). Diverse People : Just Like Me ?. Retrieved October 1, 2008 from http://humanresources.about.com/od/diversity/a/diversity.htm
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