Impact of diversity on workplace productivity in AfriSam Cement manufacturing company of South Africa
Mugubi, Musiwa Sharon
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The purpose of the study was to investigate the impact of workplace diversity on the AfriSam cement manufacturing company in South Africa. To achieve the objectives of the study, namely the investigation of the impact of diversity in AfriSam and the government interventions to ensure compliance with employment equity in the workplace among others, the researcher reviewed literature that included books, scholarly journals, the AfriSam Annual reports and its strategic plan among others. The study was descriptive, interpretive and contextual in design in order to obtain culturally-specific information about the values, opinions, behaviour, and the social context of AfriSam employees. The purpose was to explore, describe life experiences and opinions of AfriSam Kimberley employees on how diversity in their workplace environment influences productivity. Data was collected qualitatively by means of unstructured questionnaires. Interviews were conducted to a sample of 25 participants and a 92% response rate was achieved. The findings from the data analysed revealed that there were diversity gaps in AfriSam, which made employees in that plant generally unhappy and that productivity levels were impacted negatively. The findings also revealed that government interventions must be intensified in the private sector like in the public sector. The gaps were considered for management recommendations and productivity enhancement. It is recommended that AfriSam’s divisional heads and management invest more in that training and education of employees to enhance their productivity skills. Employees should be hired or promoted based on the level of their education, skills and merit and nothing else. Through the up-skilling of staff, they will, in turn, fulfil their job requirements by performing their work to the benefit of the entire organisation. It is recommended that government policies and acts should be enforced in all institutions in both the public and private sectors to ensure the accommodation of differences between people in different workplaces. The government must also review all human resources, policies, practices and procedures in order to identify barriers adversely affecting diversity in the workplace. While findings and recommendations we alluded to, it is necessary, however, to inform readers that the researcher may not have covered all the areas that have relevance in addressing the objectives of this research. Therefore, it is recommended that other researchers should conduct further studies to fill the gaps, or constrains that are significant to this study.