Cross-Cultural Communications. Workforce Diversity

Anderson and Metcalf (2003) identify three kinds of workforce diversity in ‘Diversity: Stacking up the evidence’.

The first, Social category diversity involves variation in demographic distinctiveness, for example race and age.

The subsequent one, Informational diversity denotes variation of milieu for instance information, edification, knowledge, tenure and practical background.

The final type is Value diversity which incorporates dissimilarity in individuality and approach.

Kandola and Fullerton (1998 p7), provide the most significant and well accepted definition of diversity management: “The basic concept of managing diversity accepts that the workforce consists of a diverse population of people consisting of visible and non-visible differences including factors such as sex, age, background, race, disability, personality and work style and is founded on the premise that harnessing these differences will create a productive environment in which everyone feels valued, where all talents are fully utilized and in which organizational goals are met.”

Managing diversity at the workplace impacts the workplace in positive ways;

Diversity improves relationships with the consumers thereby augmenting the market share. Diversity improves the inter-personal relationships among the employees and is known to considerably reduce labor costs. The quality and performance in the areas of variety in skillfulness, creativeness, resolving of difficulties and suppleness are greatly enhanced. Diversity is additionally known to improve associations with the customers, thus amplifying the market share of the company as research indicates that a diverse workforce leads to augmented market share and increased sales to the low-size factions belonging to diverse cultures (Fernandez 1991, Cox and Blake 1991, Cox 1993).

This fact can be is elucidated by the inclination of a majority of consumers to buy necessities from organizations which encourage diversity by including persons who belong to their culture or group and are similar to themselves in some way or the other. (Morrison 1992).

Diversity at the workplace additionally results in an amplified market allocation because it has been proved that it improves an association’s capability ‘to deal more sensitively with multicultural domestic and foreign customers, thereby increasing customer satisfaction, keeping and gaining market share’ (Bhadury et al 2000 p144).

The principal operator for an advanced level of diversity approach is the necessity to strike the innovative, intellectual and open talents of a range of staff and to employ those talents for the development of business strategies, manufactured goods and consumer knowledge.

‘The Latino Employee Network’ at ‘Frito-Lay’ which is the snack food division of ‘PepsiCo’, was highly important through the creation and production of ‘Doritos Guacamole Flavored Tortilla Chips’. ‘Adelante’ who were the associates of the network, were instrumental in providing valuable feedback regarding the flavor and packing to ascertain that the produce would be considered reliable among the people of the Latino population. The valuable advice and suggestions of the members facilitated in making the ‘guacamole-flavored Doritos’ one of the most booming novel product launches in the history of the company with a sales figure of more than $100 million in sales in its opening year.

Amy George who is the vice president of the global diversity and inclusion department at the PepsiCo, emphatically states that “The fact that one of our diverse employee groups helped to make this product so successful is one example of just how we leverage diversity to drive business results.

Thomas (2004), of IBM, elucidates the advantages of reacting to customer diversity, in his research on diversity management at IBM where one of the most affirmative results of diversity management has been the amplification of profits from ten million dollars to three hundred million dollars, simply through associations with vendors of a diverse group (Thomas 2004 p98).

It is not possible for diversity programs to be successful without the support from the higher ranking executives of the business. The managers of PepsiCo demonstrate their obligation to diversity by taking on responsibility upon themselves. Each and every direct report of the CEO is accountable for the development and progress of the diverse factions of workforce. For instance, a manager or executive will associate with one group such as one with black employees, another with women, one more with the Latinos; one will even group with gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender human resources.

In order to facilitate a sincerely all-encompassing job atmosphere for every person, Larry D. Thompson, the ‘general counsel’ at PepsiCo who is a black, is allocated to PepsiCo’s ‘white male community’. These managers take the responsibility of perceiving the problems countered by the diverse human resources at the workplace. Their task is to basically recognize the important brilliant persons in the factions and report them to the other members of the executive committee along with the CEO.

Each year all the managers and executives report to the board about the major anxieties of their factions, and progress towards recognizing the help required by the groups, and finally communicate their strategies to tackle the apprehension which the diverse groups encounter.

According to Amy George who is the vice president of ‘diversity and inclusion’ at PepsiCo: “This sort of executive commitment and accountability ensures that no group of employees is left behind and that everyone is being equally represented at the executive table.”

PepsiCo employs several techniques to communication the diversity message to a huge, scattered association with the help of the business-wide daily ‘e-newsletter’ and the distinctive diversity festivities that emphasize the human resources’ distinctiveness, diversity orators, and food and entertainment globally.

Diversity improves worker associations and decreases the expenditure of labor. Numerous researches specify that managers who effectively administer diversity have superior talents in magnetizing and preserving expertise and capacity ‘because many workers are drawn to companies that embrace diversity’ (Woods and Sciarini 1995 p19). These employers can employ the finest persons in the employment market by implementing diversity, and thereby profit from cost savings by encompassing a more gainful employment procedure. It has been established by McEnrue (1993) that the employment expenses of associations that lay importance to diversity is forty per cent lower than that of those who don’t resulting in elevated labor costs, non-attendance and prejudice grievances (Fernandez 1991, Cox 1993, Morrison 1992).

Diversity greatly enhances the quality and performance of human resources in areas relating to diverse skillfulness, creativeness, analytical and suppleness. Supporters of diversity culture at the workplace, debate that an all-encompassing diversity environment enhances the efficiency and production level of workforce by means of augmented job contentment and dedication (Morrison 1992). They additionally assert that diversity cultivates flexibility to environmental change. (Cox 1993, Cox and Blake 1991, Fernandez 1991).

A further repeatedly mentioned advantage of diversity is better quality of administration as a result of anti prejudice guidelines (Cox 1993, Fernandez 1991, Morrison 1992).

Furthermore, McEnrue (1993) established that implementing diversity results in reduced aggravation levels amongst administrators who achieve the dexterity to comprehend and administer factions with diverse surroundings. Likewise, even at the higher organization level, numerous researches have indicated that groups which comprise of diverse associates do better than harmonized groups and have a greater capability to solve problems and make decisions (Bantel and Jackson 1989, Hambrick et al 1996, Smith et al 1994).

Evidence also proves that workforce diversity greatly augments the efficiency of the organization by way of amplified organizational and personal creativeness and pioneering; it also improves administrative and analytical qualities by offering the work force with diverse and assorted perceptions (Bhadury et al 2000, Cox 1993, Fernandez 1991, Cordero et al 1996, Cox and Blake 1991, Kirchmeyer and McLellan 1991, Hoffman 1978).

References

Anderson, T. and Metcalf, H. (2003) Diversity: stacking up the evidence. London: Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development.

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Bhadury, J., Mighty, E.J. and Damar, H. (2000) Maximising workforce diversity in project teams: a network flow approach. Omega: The International Journal of Management Science. Vol. 28, No. 2. pp. 143–153.

Cordero, R., Ditomaso, N. and Farris, G.F. (1996) Gender and race/ethnic composition of technical work groups: relationship to creative productivity and morale.

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Cox, T.H. (1993) Cultural diversity in organisations: theory, research and practice. San Francisco, CA: Berrett-Koehler.

Cox, T.H. and Blake, B. (1991) Managing cultural diversity: implications for organisational competitiveness. Academy of Management Executive. Vol. 5, No. 3. pp. 45–56.

Fernandez, J.P. (1991) Managing a diverse work force: regaining the competitive edge. Lexington, MA: Lexington Books.

Hambrick, D.C., Cho, T.S. and Chen, M. (1996) The influence of top management team heterogeneity on firms’ competitive moves. Administrative Science Quarterly. Vol. 41, No. 4. pp. 659–684.

Hoffman, L.R. (1978) Group problem solving. In: Berkowitz, L. (ed). Group processes. New York: Academic Press.

Kandola, R.S. and Pearn, M.A. (1992) Identifying competencies. In: BOAM, R. and SPARROW, P. (eds). Designing and achieving competency: a competency-based approach to developing people and organisations. Maidenhead: McGraw-Hill. pp. 31–49.

Kirchmeyer, C. and Mclellan, J. (1991) Capitalising on ethnic diversity: an approach to managing the diversity workgroups in the 1990s. Canadian Journal of Administrative Sciences. Vol. 8, No. 2. pp. 72–79.

McEnrue, M.P. (1993) Managing diversity: Los Angeles before and after the riots. Organizational Dynamics. Vol. 21, No. 3. pp. 18–29.

Morrison, A.M. (1992) The new leader: guidelines on leadership diversity in America. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.

Smith, K.G., Smith, K.A. and Sims, H.P. (1994) Top management team demography and process: the role of social integration and communication. Administrative Science Quarterly. Vol. 39, No. 3. pp. 412–438.

Thomas, D.A. (2004) Diversity as strategy. Harvard Business Review. Vol. 82, No. 9. pp. 98–108.

Woods, R.H. and Sciarini, M.P. (1995) Diversity programs in chain restaurants. Cornell Hotel and Restaurant Administration Quarterly. Vol. 36, No. 3. pp.18–23.