A firm’s production ability provides a new paradigm in which it uses to penetrate new markets globally. Global penetration is often laced with global issues such as; taxation, government regulation, economical concerns and cultural diversity. Of these issues, cultural diversity is significant as it affects employees. If not carefully handled, it may affect the firm’s production capability. This is because cultural diversity creates animosity among workmates, violates human rights, hinders creativity and compromises team’s performance. Thus, diversity training is an essential management tool that can be used to enhance employees’ cultural awareness, integration, and inclusion in various identity groups in the organization.
Diversity training is tailored towards achieving a cohesive work ethics among employees with; different religious background, sexual orientation, gender and age among others. With increased globalization and induced migration, an organization activities such as; hiring, retaining, and motivating employees requires financial incentives, moral support, and a sense of belonging. Hence, fostering a system that accommodates these diverse orientations promotes; an employee’s productivity, creativity, and preserves work ethics in an organization.
International business supports diversity by harnessing skills from employees. These skills are nurtured and supported through programs such as diversity inclusive training. Diversity inclusive training helps an organization to address negative moral issues that employees may be having. This aspect is important for an organization because it helps preserve human rights and fix a cohesive team. Similarly, enhancing moral consideration for all identity groups in the organization is also important in cultural diversity. By conducting training on how to enhance moral values, geographical and cultural barriers abridged, this ultimately establishes a unified workforce (Griffin, 2011).
Diversity training attempts to reduce conflicts that may occur as a result of diverse workforce. These aspects may include communication barriers and prejudice among employees among others (Bagshaw, 2004). Thus, managers should devise a strategy to use when dealing with an employee’s fundamental issues. For instance, a frontline manager should know the methods to use so as to assist an employee in optimizing his/her full potential besides offering adequate legislative guidance.
Nokia is a global phone company with a remarkable success. The secret for its success in the phone industry is the superior diversity training and recognition of its multi-cultured employees. Bagshaw (2004) indicate that diversity training within the company is provided to the managers and the entire workforce in general. Thus, each employee has the freedom to exercise his/her free will, express her opinion and dexterity at the workplace (Hasenoehrl, 2009). In addition, the company uses mentoring efforts, leadership coaching and results based management programs. Viadot (2004) illustrates that Nokia diversity policy has attributed to the firm’s 70 per cent annual growth. He further asserts that Nokia integration and courageous approach to face stiff cultural and international barriers has strategically made it the largest phone producing company in the world.
Griffin (2011) points out that the company diverse training is directed towards equipping local employees with requisites skills necessary in a global environment. Goldsmith and Lyons (2006) cite that this process is achieved by encouraging each employee to uses his/her inherent skills for producing superior technologies. Consequently, diversity training in the organization is used in harnessing the unlocked potential of an individual by alleviating cultural barriers. Hence, aspects such as team participation, idea sharing, and experimentation are supported to perfection.
Another aspect of Nokia diversity programs is the ability to link recruitment, skills development, and employee retention to the company’s output. The training outlines development process, maps career growth and recognizes special creativity and innovations through awards. Thus, Goldsmith and Lyons (2006) indicate that regardless of the employees’ background, they are provided with the opportunity to rise to any management position based on merit or performance.
Gender discrimination is a common issue across the world. Despite relentless efforts to promote gender balance and equity; many companies are still reluctant on promoting the practice. Nokia has established an elaborate and affirmative action that outlines the rights of each employee. It has a strategy, where a certain percentage of recruitment slots are reserved for women (Patrige, 1999).
Diversity is the backbone of Coca Cola Company. The company’s management has fostered a favorable environment that provides equal treatments and opportunities for all employees. The company’s outlook is rich in diverse skills, ideas, dexterities and competencies. According to Goldsmith and Lyons (2006) Coca cola diversities is not only a policy issue, but, it is at the core of its business strategy. Therefore, diversity is part of the company’s mainstay, its identity and the future.
Diversity training has facilitated the corporation to understand and run effectively in a multicultural setting. Diversity training is keen on promoting cohesive workforce and enhancing productivity. The training has also helped the company to promote understanding with its customers on a global perspective. According to the 2011 US Diversity Report, Coca Cola outlines diversity training as the pillar through which it is anticipated to achieve its 2020 vision. Thus, to make this vision a reality, the company has organized diversity training based on organizational and resolution resource programs. Both trainings help to solve emerging issues emanating from diverse labor force (Kent, 2011).
Also, the firm has addressed the gender issue in a strategic manner. Kent (2011) affirms that in the US, 18 per cent of the organization’s total employees’ are women. This representation is bigger, compared to similar organizations dominated by men. Similarly, African-American constitutes 20 percent, American Indian forms 1 per cent, Caucasian contributes 58 per cent and Hispanic contributes 18 per cent to the firm’s performance. In North American, women constitute about 52 per cent while men are minority group with 48 per cent (Kent, 2011).
The cited statistics indicates a need for continued diversity training for the Coca cola so as to realize growth. Also, the high cultural, religious and ethnic diversion is a constant source of conflict and animosity in the work place; therefore, there is a need for diversity training for the company to achieve its goals and improve employee’s productivity.
For Coca cola, the diversity training program has helped the company reduce management bias through promoting employee’s based on merit.Thus, the firm has employed and promoted existing managers. These managers are from different backgrounds, the firm has dispersed then across its major branches. The diversity of Coca Cola motivates other employees’ as they view that "every employee stands an equal chance of rising up the management ladder” (Patridge, 1999). Consequently, a provision of equal opportunity is significant in stimulating women productivity and enhancing creativity. In all of its franchising outlets, Coca Cola has shown great productivity due to its structured training and development.
Patridge (1999) note that while diversity training enhance productivity on employees, to managers it support’s behavioral change and fosters respects for subordinates. In addition, diversity training increases awareness and the sense of appreciation for the broad goals of the organization.
To managers, diversity training forms the basis for conflict resolution and act as an arbitration center. In other words, by making diversity to be legislation centric, any conflict can be resolved without consulting the HR. Also, the training provide intuitive and influence decision making (Viardot, 2004). This provides the manager with the appropriate requisites for handling challenging and complex issues.
Diversity issues are private they also involves a person’s cultural background. Australian Centre for International Business (2002) illustrates that for any training to be effective, individual’s approach should be used to yield maximum results. Ths, an aggregate approach, may create barriers that would require a lot of perseverance, time and tolerance. Persons from marginalized ethnic and cultures require tender handling, specialized coaching and one-on-one partnership. Bagshwa (2004) asserts that trainers are susceptible in using distorted judgmental filters. These aspects raise wrong perception on others. To overcome this errant approach, a non-judgmental coaching that embraces dialogue should be embraced. In most cases, the gains of training are short lived. To overcome this, coaching should be combined with training. Therefore, merging coaching and training provides sustainable behavioral change (Australian Centre for International Business, 2002).
Conversely, inappropriate diversity training is not only detrimental for encouraging productivity, but it also hinders the company’s global competitiveness. When the training fails to promote cohesiveness, the organization uses hefty bills in solving conflicts through arbitration process. In addition, incoherent workforce is less motivated, productive, innovative and expensive to maintain. Thus, inappropriate training might widen the difference by fuelling animosity and tension. Such a move would trickle down the good intention aimed at helping an organization attain its goals.
As globalization and competition continues to affect businesses, diversity training becomes a strategic tool which organizations can use to foster sustainable growth. Firms embracing diversity training cite a high return on investment per employee index. Similarly, such firms boast high employee retention, cohesion, innovation as well as vibrant production.
Australian Centre for International Business. (2002). Programme for the Practice of Diversity Management. Retrieved from http://www.managementmarketing.unimelb.edu.au/mcib/include/diversity/Newspa per/Diversity-Network%20Newsletter%20Issue%20Eight.pdf.
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Hasenoehrl, C. (2009) Diversity: An Elusive Concept, Gallup. London: Wiley Publishers.
Kent, M. (2011). 2011 U.S. Diversity Stewardship Report. Atlanta: Coca cola Press.
Patridge, L. (1999). Strategic management. New York: Select Knowledge Limited.
Viardot, E. (2004). Successful marketing strategy for tomorrow’s Leaders. London: Artech House Publishers.