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This paper examines the influence of the multiethnic workplace environment on the performance of the New York Police Department. With the help scholar sources, presented by the NYPD’s website and the Bureau of Labor Statistics, this research determines the advantages of the Department’s cultural diversity and challenges, caused by it. At the final stage of the paper, the effective solutions in the form of regular trainings and sound strategies are proposed in order to remove the negative consequences of multiethnicity in the department.

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Keywords: cultural diversity, effective communication, racial prejudice

Rewards and Challenges of Cultural Diversity in the NYPD

The tightening of connections between the United States and other countries as well as accelerating migratory processes have caused a noticeable shift in the recruitment policies of the companies that nowadays hire the personnel with diverse cultural backgrounds. Even state bodies try to diversify their staff by hiring the employees of various origins. The purpose of this research paper is to explore the positive and negative influence of cultural diversity on the working environment of the New York Police Department (NYPD). In the work, I will examine scholar sources and outline the challenges that this organization experiences as the result of employees’ cultural diversity. Additionally, I will look through the statistical data in order to define the current patterns in employment, assess the ethnic differentiation at top level of the department, and list the features that impact the staff’s hiring and career prospects for the minorities. Finally, I will present the Department’s solutions for this issue as well as give personal recommendations, with which the NYPD will be able to mitigate the potential risks of its multicultural policy.

Valuable Input of Multicultural Employees

The NYPD is a bright example of a multiethnic organization with well-coordinated actions of its members. With different origins and viewpoints, employees encourage their colleagues to learn more by sharing information on their native cultures. The diversity of opinion is also helpful in the process of critical assessment. For instance, when an employee hears from their colleague about an unknown and contrasting ethnicity, they understand the limits of their outlook and begin to evaluate further issues in greater details. In such a way, becoming acquainted with a new culture encourages employees to learn and self-develop. More than intellectual abilities, the cultural diversity in the NYPD promotes understanding and tolerance between employees. Furthermore, one of the core values of the NYPD is to support a high level of unity because of taken responsibility (NYPD, 2016). Therefore, the bottom-line personnel need to accept the differences in the behavior of their colleagues of diverse ethnic origins and accept them in order to reach set goals. With cooperation and sympathy, employees feel greater fulfillment, which helps the Police Department’s HRs reduce personnel turnover.

The productivity of the NYPD with multinational team members has increased in several times. As it is stated on the official website, over the last 25 years, the organization has managed to reduce violent and property crime issues, which has helped New York reach the lowest rate of crime among the largest cities of the country (“About NYPD,” n.d.). The Department has a wide structure of employees, including 36,000 officers and nearly 18,000 civilians, which makes it difficult for the executives to coordinate relations between them (“About NYPD,” n.d.). Thus, the staff with various ethnic origins brings valuable input both to the organization’s inner working environment and its overall performance.

Challenges Resulting from Diversity

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Although different cultural backgrounds may promote the efficiency of the Department’s functioning, this can also create some obstacles, based on misunderstanding and making stereotypes. A key point is that team members need to communicate and share their opinions to perform their tasks as required. However, different ethnic groups use their own types of communication that are low and high-concept ones. As the former concerns people from European countries, the latter is characteristic of the employees from the East. Therefore, police officers from different ethnic groups may face misunderstandings in sharing their viewpoints during the working process. This is a commonplace situation in multiethnic organizations when the middle-level workers and the subordinate staff have various origins, but the representatives of the top-level management share one culture. Such a difference can result in cases of racism and radical extremism between executive managers and middle-level employees. Moreover, this has become a commonplace situation when, despite the rules against racism, during the recruitment interview, a Human Resources manager favors more the recruit of culture, similar to theirs. The employees at the Police Department are expected to perform their duties quickly and effectively with no hesitation. However, the representative of other than American cultures needs some time the adaptation to the workplace environment. Therefore, such a situation can be stressful for this person during investigations when they need to think and react swiftly. With these factors in mind, the HR manager may probably assess the candidates for a job position subjectively and then make a wrong choice in hiring a person.

Statistical Proof of Labor Force Diversification

The number of employees with different origins continues to increase in American companies and organizations. The numeric data on the labor force, presented by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (n.d.), indicates a dramatic growth in the number of employees with multiple cultural backgrounds. Particularly, when observing the graphs, one can see that during 10 years, from 2004 to 2014, the number of workers of Hispanic and other ethnical origin has exceeded the number of non-Hispanic Whites in the workforce. At the same time, the diversity in the working environment is forecasted to increase by 2024 by 28.6%, while the percentage of white employees will reduce by 3% (Bureau of Labor Statistics, n.d.). These numbers show the growing impact of globalization on the ethnic composition in the workplace. On the contrary, the graph demonstrates the dominance of non-Hispanic White people in top management positions with nearly 95% of occupation (Bureau of Labor Statistics, n.d.). Such a lack of labor diversity can result in the confrontation between upper and lower-level employees as well as be the evidence of ethnic disparity. Despite the laws on cultural equality adopted in the companies, the structure of top management is difficult to change as the risk of misunderstanding between leading managers boosts with cultural diversification. As a result, for a Non-White person, it may be difficult to advance along their career ladder because the executives usually beware inner conflicts.

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Strategies to Defeat Prejudice and Racial Discrimination

The efficiency of the NYPD’s work is defined by the coordination of its lower, middle, and upper-level employees. That is why it is important to remove communication barriers and tighten the relationship between different branches of the Department. To prevent the emergence of conflicts on an ethnic basis, a wide range of training can be held for the NYPD employees. Among them are crisis intervention training, where the Negotiation Model is built, and scenario-based tutorship, where the visitors learn to help emotionally disturbed people (New York City Police Department, 2017). As the result of this training, the staff learns the basis of emotional intelligence and gains some knowledge on how to keep calm in stressful situations. At the same time, the NYPD’s recent report contains a principle that requires the officers not to apply prejudice or usurp the powers (NYPD, 2015). Therefore, the newcomers to the Department should pay attention to the basic rules.

I believe that a sound policy of eradicating racial discrimination at the official level may be effective as well. By declaring a prohibition for ethnic or racial-based offenses and positioning itself as a culturally diverse organization, the NYPD will receive more job applications and improve its general positioning. However, in the beginning, the managers may face a misunderstanding from the side of middle-level police officers because they might not take this issue seriously. In this case, the executives should hold several meetings with all branches of the Department and explain to them the strategy of non-prejudice. Incidentally, regular statistical surveys on employees’ level of satisfaction will serve as numeric indicators. They will show whether the policies have been implemented successfully as well as provide evidence of emerging problems between different ethnic groups.

Conclusion

The diverse work environment in the New York Police Department has a different impact on its performance. On the one hand, it encourages employees to obtain new knowledge and expand their cultural horizons. Multiculturalism also strengthens tolerance and cooperation between team members, helping them to overcome social barriers. On the other hand, different types of communication of the employees and lack of explanatory techniques may result in interpersonal misunderstandings. What is more, the people at top-management positions may have prejudice towards the officers with multiethnic backgrounds, which could result in cases of extremism and discrimination at the workplace. The statistical data outlined by the Bureau of Labor Statistics evidence a sharp increase in the number of multiethnic employees. However, the sphere of the top management is completely dominated by White executives, which might interfere with the career advancement of people from other cultures. To reduce the negative impacts of misunderstanding at the workplace, the Department holds annual training for its staff to improve their stress resistance and bring a new social experience to them. Considering the features mentioned above, it would also be relevant to adopt the rules that prohibit racial offense and organize queries on each employee’s satisfaction with their working environment. This innovative approach would help measure the effectiveness of antidiscrimination policies and reveal the reasons for further conflicts at the early stages.

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