This report is a quick summary review of five case studies that focus on diversity in various businesses and it also attempts to provide some diversity issue details. The report also gives insights into what to do when employees are not in favor of diversity training. In our highly intensive global economic situation, tight labor markets are a now a reality. Organizations should be doing all that is in their power to recruit, train and maintain the best employees. Each of the case study companies, Denny’s, P&G, DuPont, Dept of Energy, CoreStates Financial most likely assumed that they did not have a diversity problem until the cat was let out of the bag. Diversity and discrimination are topics that are not easily discussed and therefore often go unpunished, undocumented or simply glossed over. Very few organizations in the past took on the initiative to create diversity programs prior to an incident.
The corporate culture is established by top management. It is often the case that senior management either condones discriminatory actions or they are totally oblivious of the facts. Organizations need to define what diversity means from the top down. It makes no sense for a Human Resource representative to create an outstanding diversity program if it is not supported by upper management. Thus, the values of the executive levels must reflect that all people are respected, valued and utilized towards achieving the company objectives. These people will be of all races, genders, sexual orientations, religions, ages and will have different geographic backgrounds, educations and economic histories. To work in this environment will require adaptable communication styles.
Diversity training is one major aspect of the Human Resource function that can help guarantee that more qualified individuals stay than go. As is often the case, diversity training may encompass an entire organizational reevaluation as was the case with Denny’s and Proctor and Gamble. At other times, diversity training is just another part of good commons sense and preparation for the worst as was the case at DuPont. Organizations that are diversity sensitive will usually be better prepared for the competitive recruitment markets and thus attract higher potential employees. The point is, no matter what the level of need, diversity training can help maintain the most important aspect of any company, the human resources.
As our nation moves away from the ‘all white male’ workforce theory, companies understand that to stay competitive in the twenty-first century and beyond, they will need to hire from the ranks of the disabled, women and minorities. Once hired, those employees will need to be treated in a fair and respectable manner. In regard to the human resources that make up the new millennium’s workforce, the laws of supply and demand will dictate that employers of the future will be choosing from a smaller population that is more diverse. Couple that with the fact that organizations also have to be understanding of the general public and external customers and the need for diversity and sensitivity training becomes apparent.
Diversity training reduces the potential for misunderstandings, conflict and litigation which usually can be traced back to differences in communication expectations. This training also helps to make a better mark with the public and to receive increased customer satisfaction levels. Once management and supervisory level employees become trained, organizations can count on more knowledgeable and proactive decision making from the leadership. It is a proven fact that happy employees and managers are more efficient and productive.
What are some ways to avoid negative employee reactions to diversity training? The easiest way is to first provide a true understanding of the concept of diversity training. In the majority of cases, people think that diversity training entails race or gender problem. Diversity is more than that. “Diversity is about encouraging and enabling all employees to draw on their talents, skills, and experience for the benefit of the business.” (Bruno, 2004) as mentioned earlier, a very good way to avoid dissention in the implantation process of a diversity program is to have upper management support. Employees are less likely to avoid or criticize a program when they are fully aware that the management is supportive of diversity training. Another way of reducing negative employee reactions is to have a full audit of the existing employee attitudes done prior to any implementation of a diversity program to see where the starting ground is. If an attitude that supports diversity is prevalent, those individuals against a diversity program suddenly become the minority and they can see what life is like on the other side.
In conclusion, this report was a summary review of five case studies that focus on diversity from different businesses; Denny’s, P&G, DuPont, Dept of Energy, CoreStates Financial. The report also attempted to provide some diversity issue details and to help uncover some ways to contend with employees against diversity training. Our global economy will continue to create more and more tight labor markets. This entails that organizations should be doing all that they can to recruit, train and maintain the best employees. Diversity and discrimination are topics that are not easily discussed and therefore often go unpunished, undocumented or simply glossed over.
Adamson, Jim (2000). “How Denny’s Went From Icon of Racism to Diversity Award Winner.” National Productivity Review, Winter.
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Bruno, Jeanne-Marie (2004). “Implementing Diversity in a Meaningful Way.” American Works Association Journal, Vol. 96(10), 47.
Dobbs, Matti F. (1998). “Managing Diversity: The Department of Energy Initiative.” Public Personnel Management, Vol. 27(2), 161.
Hyater-Adams, Yvette (1998). “Partnership for Change at CoreStates Financial Corp.” Diversity Factor, Vol. 6(4), 42.
White, Margaret Blackburn (1999). “Organization 2005: New Strategies at P&G.” Diversity Factor, Fall.