Workforce diversity management and employee performance in national biosafety authority, Kenya

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Muthiora, Doreen Muthoni
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Kenyatta University
Workforce diversity management has been shown to directly influence performance of employees in organizations. In Kenya however, this concept has not been adopted in many organizations. The study was conducted at the National Biosafety Authority in Nairobi, Kenya. The general objectives of this study were to determine if performance of employees was impacted by managing different aspects of workforce diversity such as age, gender, marital status and educational background. The specific objectives determined the effects of education background, gender diversity, marital status and age diversity while the dependent variable was employee performance. Descriptive research design was adopted in the study. The target population was 38 employees of National Biosafety Authority who included the senior management, middle management, and general staff. Since the population was small, a census study was adopted whereby the entire population was considered for the study. The study collected primary data through the use of a questionnaire which had both closed and open-ended questions. The questionnaire was pilot tested prior to being administered to the selected sample to test for validity and reliability. Validity of the questionnaire was established by the researcher and supervisor reviewing and discussing the items on the instruments while reliability was checked by the use of test-retest reliability. The questionnaire wasthen be administered to the respondents for data collection of both qualitative and quantitative data. The data collected was then be analysed using the SPSS software and some values were exported to excel for generation of charts and tables. Descriptive and regression analysis revealed that employee performance was influenced significantly by age diversity. Analysis indicated that 82% of employees had the perception that education influenced the performance of employees at the workplace. 92% of employees indicated that gender diversity increased performance of staff. Marital status did not have an effect of performance of employees. Age diversity also proved to have an impact on performance with 82% of respondents believing that it improved performance. Regression analysis also showed that performance was positively influenced by three independent variables namely education, gender and age diversity. The qualitative data was analyzed using descriptive statistics which included frequency distribution tables and the mean, standard deviation and measures of relative frequencies while qualitative data was analyzed using content analysis and reported in narrative form along with quantitative presentation. Inferential statistics included use of a regression analysis to establish the form of relationship between the dependent variable and the independent variables. The Statistical Package for Social Sciences software aided in the analysis. Data was presented in tables and graphs. The study found out that workforce diversity management such as education background, gender diversity, marital status and age diversity affect employee performance. However, marital status did not influence employee performance in the organization. The study concludes that education background, gender diversity, marital status and age diversityare critical workforce diversity management that determines employee performance in an organization. The study recommends that there is need for creating awareness and conducting trainings touching on workplace diversity since most of the staff did not think the organization has invested enough in sensitizing employees.The study should focus on assigning tasks to employees possessing relevant skills and trainings to enhance performance. The study should also organize team building activities to ensure that the staff who are unsure of the effect of age diversity on lack of bonding are engaged with staff of different age groups both at a professional and a social level.
A research project submitted to the school of business in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the award of the degree of master in business administration (human resource management). November 2017