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Globalization gives a flame to the concept of diversity. In this report it is highlighted that how the diversity effect or change the business practices? And how the HR management or Line Management implements the strategies for diversity management? Also taking into account what are the benefits of diversity management and the reasons for an organization to have a diverse environment with diversity management policies, quoted with some examples. Company and legal cases are also discussed to strengthen the scenario.
As the whole world market changed into globalization, the diversity management becomes a major issue to manage. So diversity management plays an important role in the successful running of the operation in an organization. Basically the diversity term refers to the difference in the people's value which makes them unique. These differences includes their gender, race, religion, culture, physical or cognitive ability, national origin, age or family structure.
Diversity is defined as "an aggregate team-level construct that represents differences among members of an interdependent work group with respect to a specific personal attribute." (Joshi, A., & Roh, H.(2009))
In mixed/assorted atmosphere of workplace, people could be more benefited and can also learn extra from differences in thinking i-e brainstorming. Many organizations found that acknowledgment of these varies behaviors as basis for high performance and ongoing development, & this could lead towards the efficiency and creativeness of the association. So these companies always encourage a society that favors and motivates individual growth within the workplace as well as beyond of workplace.
On the other hand there might be some drawback of the diverse environments like having much disorganization between different groups could cause lack of productivity and promote few well-built relationships.
Diversity Management is the key issue especially for HR department of an organization because if they run it very well they can increase the profitability of the organization or the vice versa. Actually due to differences in backgrounds among people persuade about how they sense or behave on an action. If the organization counts these matters, it obviously helps the management to get maximum output of their workforce; obviously that's utmost aim of managing diversity.
"These extraordinary companies are innovators who understand that diversity has to be a company-wide commitment that is ingrained in the corporate culture. They have gone beyond HR diversity and Marketing diversity and they perceive the business case for contracting with quality women's businesses."
R. Roosevelt Thomas in his book (Beyond Race and Gender), describe "diversity management as a comprehensive managerial process for developing an environment that works for all employees." If the diversity managed in a succesfful way it can increasee the profit of organization and reduce it's cost.
"AA Smith & Associates, LLC defines as Strategic Diversity Management as a process that creates an inclusive environment which maximizes the potential of the entire workforce, and effectively manages the challenges and opportunities of diversity occurring in today's complex workplace, workforce, and marketplace."
While working in the organization, we should take into account these differences among employees. What can be unpleasant to one group may be fine for another. For example, showing the base of shoes is not a massive deal in the United States. However, in other countries it's an unlikable gesture. If you're aware of that, you might not want to offend someone by allowing the bottom of your shoes to show while in his presence.
That's a minor example, but when these kinds of offends occurs at larger, may caused significant problems. Productivity can also be suffered, people could get hurt and a toxic work atmosphere may result.
"A process intended to create and maintain a positive work environment where the similarities and differences of individuals are valued, so that all can reach their potential and maximize their contributions to an organization's strategic goals and objectives." (U.S. Department of Veterans' Affairs, Office of Diversity and Inclusion)
How diversity management program runs in an organization through HR department could be well understand through below diagram
International Journal of Human Resource Management, Feb2009, Vol. 20 Issue 2, p235-251, 17p, 1 Diagram
Diagram; found on p245
In Europe the trend of diverse working population increases day by day. Now employees of dissimilar backgrounds are the part of the European labour market and playing an important role in the European economy. This variety of people shows not only the population changes caused by migration or movement b/w regions and European Union members states, but this also indicate the growingly recognition of the problems and issues facing to these groups in the work-force, such as females, disables and elder employees.
At conclusion Diversity management means recognizing that people from different backgrounds act or response differently and using that differences to improve the profitability and/or efficiency of your organization. The successful diversity management allows organizations to:
Attract and keep/retain talent
Increase output by reducing the hours wasted on dealing with in-house disputes
Make a competitive edge.
Support creative thoughts by valuing the diversity within teams.
Benefits of Workplace Diversity
The idea of workplace unfairness, and other side of that fact, which is diversity at workplace, has a longer-ever familiar issue. However, workforce mixture offers large benefits to management & workforce.
The mixture of workforce who comes from different backgrounds and having different culture values can effectively participate towards productivity of the organization.
The work-force group who are having mix up of values, ethnicities and ages can have different point of view to any project. So they can think and act as per their diverse nature to resolve the problems.
While performing with versatile people whose backgrounds are different from one another may also cause to enhance the individual's patience level.
Workforce diversity also reduces the element of personal favoritism. And it is more open to welcome the qualified staff.
Not a same background people have the same skill set, so when the workforce comes from variety of geographical locations, it provides the employer a wider level of skills.
One of the clearest advantages of workplace diversity is that there is less chances that a manager or company will be the subject of discrimination claims.
Structuring the Case
As evidence shows that sound diversity management programs are linked with different types of benefits for the management. So it is much important to clearly analyze the situation and get the maximum output by implementing the correct diversity management approach or program within the organization when needed.
Different researchers have described different advantage of selecting the right diversity management approach in the last three decades, some of which are
"enhanced performance or productivity by Agocs and Burr, (1996) and Richard, (2000)
Increased to understand about penetration of markets by Cox & Blake, 1991; Robinson & Dechant, 1997)
improved employees confidence and job satisfaction by Agocs and Burr,(1996)
Mi.st [Diversity Consulting sited a survey in Europe and interviewed the business leaders in 2000 and 2001, and they conclude with 4 major benefits of workplace diversity.
Improved team efficiency and teamwork (interpersonal)
improved output (personal)
Increased customer familiarity i-e consumers and markets
Access at vast level to workforce markets for recruitment
Results from this analysis were analyzed and summarized in the following table:
Enriched market capture
easiness of entry into new areas
enhanced purchaser/Cust. Awareness
Increased efficiency and
Improved self-confidence and dedication
enhanced group efficiency and support teamwork
wider access to workforce markets
better employer image
More openness to change
Improved community image
Michael Stubor (2002): ' Corporate Best Practice: What some European Organizations are Doing Well to Manage Culture and Diversity'. In G. Simmons (Ed.), Eurodiversity: A Business Guide to Managing Difference, Butterworth-Heinemann, London
In combination with the benefits described earlier there are some more set of forces which excel to adopt this management (diversity) approach. Two (2) general factors or forces are mentioned beneath:
Work Force availability Issues
Expenses on Discrimination Cases
Resistance to diversity programs may not only come from the majority but also minority groups.
Some Examples/Case Studies of Diversity Management
Some example of diversity management taken from the real industries are given below; and some examples and case studies are attached as appendices to support the report.
Small Business Magazine Fortune published an article concerning a little company in Connecticut named Madison Co., The one of the employee of the company undergo a major transform in personality. The supervisor, Ann Ferraiolo had transformed her look, and then came back to work as Tony, a male.
Steve Schickler, the president of the company, understand the situation and he and his HR director made it sure that every staff member treat the Ferraiolo with esteem, after the transformation as they respect earlier.(Mitch Mitchell, 2009)
'Degraded' Employee Wins (Case study)
"Mr Gabriele Piazza was compensated with â‚¬10,000 as he file a case that he was discriminated by the hotel management in which he was appointed as he has a gay personality. The colleagues and management put him in trouble all the times by different ways whenever they got the chance." ( Deborah Condon, 2004)
McJobs for all the Family
UK is also listed as one of the large diverse countries. And when we discuss the workforce diversity, McDonalds got good ranked among the diverse organizations.
McDonald's introduce a scheme in which the employee of McDonald can share his job with his family, and his family is able to work in his place and can get the benefit as well.
The management said that it is at first being tried in 6 locations. And if it runs successfully then it could be expand at broader level.
David Fairhurst, McDonald's UK HR head, said: "A lot of our staff wanted more flexibility. Many are teenagers at college who have very different tenure hours and holiday hours. Many older staff have children, with all the demands that entails; many look after relatives. So we decided to offer them the flexibility in a family framework."
Rita family's was first who comes under this contract with her two daughters
Laura admires about the elasticity of work as. "We get up in the morning and choose which of us really wants to go to work,"
Mrs Cross said about the scheme: "We get a better work and life balance. I'd love my husband to join up too, so that we can all plan our work and family life as one unit".
Council Employee Wins Race Case
Another example of diversity management was from a council housing department worker who compensated with about £44,000 after winning a ethnic bias case.
Lakhbir Rihal made complain that his white colleagues who were less educated were preferred over him. After the investigation the management found guilty he wins the case.
(Detailed Case attached in Appendix)
Diversity Practices in IBM
IBM stands in the list of organization who indulges the diversity management at its earlier stages. The history about diversity in IBM starts from 1953. In the starting era of globalization i-e 1980s, organization broadens their marketplace, which also leads them in the workforce diversity. The organization uses different approaches to retain its employees like one of major strategy to retain is giving the work/life balance. They use the diversity management approaches through different ways for example
Woman in the workforce
IBM use diversity under the umbrella of its business strategy. And use it efficiently to maximize their productivity especially in customer services.
(Detailed Article/case attached in Appendix)
After going deep into the above scenario the whole outcome is, diversity management is one of the key issue which are facing by the firms now, and if effectively managed then it could enhance the efficiency and productivity of the workforce, which will cause the overall increase in the profitability of the organization and vice versa. Moreover in the long run of effective diversity management will bring new ideas in the organizational culture which could motivate the employees to do well.