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Microsoft Corporation: The Company was founded in 1975 and since then, one of the key advantages of the company has been the quality of employees. The firm adopts extraordinary measures to recruit it`s staff that possess strong skills, knowledge and intellects. It always strives to find smart individuals who know the technology and the company (Thomas H. Davenport, 1997). They need extremely top level competencies due to fast growing technology and competitors. Several other IT companies have always been strong competitors for Microsoft since beginning. The strategic planning and organising aided Microsoft to remain as the "Highly successful global software firm" (Thomas H. Davenport, 1997). It has believed in efficient staff right from the start to ensure its stability. Now, the company uses a project called Skills Planning "und" Development (termed as "SPuD") led by Susan Convey, Program Manager at Microsoft. SPuD is focussed on competencies required and acquired to stay on a leading edge of workplace. The SPuD's initiative is supported by another group called "Learning and communication resources" (LCR) which manages the training and development of IT staff.
Types of competencies used in SPuD`s model :
Concepts to the SPuD project:
- Development of a structure of competency types and levels
- Defining competencies required for particular jobs
- Rating performance of individual employees in particular jobs based on competencies
- Implementing knowledge competencies in an online system
- Linkage of competency model to learning offerings (Thomas davenport, 1997)
The ultimate objective of this model is not just to test it but to transfer and build knowledge of the staff. Thus, when employees are aware of what competencies are expected from them, then their interest in educational offerings within Microsoft and outside is boosted. (Thomas davenport, 1997)
Case Study 2:
The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC): A neutral, independent organisation ensuring humanitarian protection and assistance for victims of war and internal violence based in 80 different countries and active since 1863. (Geneva Business News 2009)
(Source: American Redcross, 2010)
ICRC personnel in 2009:
12,184 staff members in over 80 countries
Expatriates: 1,453 people
Men: 56%; Women: 44%
Over 100 different nationalities
Delegation employees: 9,908 people
823 staff at headquarters in Geneva
(Source: ICRC, 2010)
Being a humanitarian organisation, ICRC concentrates more on personal qualities and/or "soft skills" while recruiting staff. It focuses on qualities like motivation, attitude, stress management and leadership abilities. Skills like team work, adaptation, negotiating and analysing etc. So the CBR is noticed in ICRC also but the competencies expected from employees are slightly different. As competencies here are more of personal qualities rather than technical, their ways of evaluation, selection, training & development varies.
During early stages, ICRC recruited French speaking Swiss degree holders in their early whose degree was basically in political science/law/economics. The new recruits are in late 20`s speaking more languages and they possess a specialised with some work experience. (Kim & Schneider, 2009)
According to me, there was not much CBR found during ICRC`s initial stages but this gradually changed along with global expansion and international partners. Now they follow an effective CBR due to increasing needs. The ICRC through its CBR is benefitted in various criteria like ensuring appropriate staff at appropriate time and location, obtaining international funding, creating new opportunities and encouraging new people to join the organisation.
Diversity Based Employee Resourcing:
Diversity: Similarities and differences among employees in terms of age, cultural background, physical abilities and disabilities, race, religion, sex, and sexual orientation (http://www.businessdictionary.com)
Dimensions of diversity include but are not limited to: age, ethnicity, gender, physical abilities, race, sexual orientation, educational background, geographic location, income, marital status, military experience, parental status, religion, experience, and job classification."(Foothill-De Anza Community College District 2004)
Equality: It is that the people must be treated equally regardless of any of the above dimensions.
"Diversity is about creating a working culture that seeks, respects, values and harnesses difference. Basically there always exists diversity in a workplace but it gains importance when it is utilised as a source of productivity, innovation and creativity. It provides an organisation with a significant resource to compete effectively." (Schneider, 2001, p.27)
Case study 1:
Microsoft Corporation: Microsoft has always been promoting and integrating global diversity across all levels within the organisation.
According to Microsoft`s Diversity mission statement, "Microsoft strives to understand, value and incorporate differences each employee brings to the company so that we can build the greatest multicultural workplace in technology and reflect the growing diversity and inclusion of our communities and the global marketplace."(Microsoft, 2012)
"Microsoft's executives are committed to ensuring that diversity and inclusion is a part of our everyday business, from acquiring and retaining great talent to serving customers and developing innovative products. They see diversity and inclusion as a long-term business strategy that will help enable the future success of company. (Microsoft, 2012)
To ensure the Global Diversity and Inclusion (GD&I) strategy works, the company has Employee Resource Groups (ERG) and Employee Networks (EN). These groups work collectively to ensure that diverse features are included in business marketing, operations and other product development areas. According to the company`s data, they comprise of several ERG groups e.g. Asians ERG, Blacks ERG, Disabled ERG, Gay, lesbian, transgender ERG, Women ERG etc.
EN`s are more specific to country such as Africans at Microsoft, Japanese at Microsoft, Chinese at Microsoft, Singaporeans at Microsoft etc. These groups provided mentoring, networking and community outreach. Microsoft in 2008 was named as one of the 100 Best Companies for working Mothers by Working Mother for six consecutive years. (Working mother magazine 2008)
After they acquire diverse work groups it is very important to retain them. The differences in workplace have to be dissolved to ensure everyone's needs and desires are met. Also the differences are valued to ensure everyone has a valued role. Greater the value given to diverse groups, greater could be the output as the stress and discrimination are minimised. Microsoft hosts several events and other programs such as career breaks, flexible work arrangements, legal assistance, medical care, diversity education and youth programs etc. to provide its staff a better working environment.
Finally according to me, Microsoft has always been a great place to work for many people across the world belonging to diverse backgrounds. The company has strived to encourage the new talent, no matter where they belong. When the organisation adopts an effective diversity management strategy as Microsoft does then there is always a chance of leading the global market.
Let us also see what the Executive's views are:
Case study 2:
The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC): The diversity has always been an issue for ICRC. As a global organisation based in over 80 countries, there is always a great need of supporting diversity. In the early 1990's the expatriates were mainly Swiss. The Headquarters at Geneva even today is composed of very few Non-Swiss staff.
However development of international relations has reduced the need for exclusively Swiss expatriates. Then ICRC developed a policy of open recruitment. In 2003, 49% of newly hired delegates were not Swiss. Among expatriate staff, 52% are Swiss and 48% come from 94 other countries. ( www.icrc.org)
According to Mr Angelo Gnaedinger "Diversity is an asset, we need to make the most of it. ICRC definitely sees diversity as an asset because the emergency situations vary in nature and magnitude that pose varied humanitarian needs. In the face if this enormous humanitarian calls, the diversity of staff improves the flexibility and the appropriateness of response. There is no "one size fits all." (Angelo Gnaedinger, 2006)
Also the operations division is dominated by males. Delegations and top management personnel are males. Though there is major increase in the number of women recruits, higher the hierarchy level, fewer the women. Since late 1980's, efforts have been continuing to promote gender equality.