Posted: October 17th, 2013
Within the current business environment that is highly influenced by globalization and interaction amongst different groups in the society, diversity management is crucial for success of any business. This area raises confusion as well as controversies considering that many people think diversity is the differences enshrined in ethnicity, race and gender. However, there is more to it than this, which is important to recognize in order to manage diversity within the workplace. Diversity as defined in Workforce America! Managing employee diversity as a vital resource by Loden & Rosener (1991) is, “otherness or those human qualities that are different from our own and outside the groups to which we belong, yet present in other individuals and groups (18).” Some of the dimensions within diversity include age, educational background, culture, race, sexual orientation, marital status, work experience, religion and gender amongst others. The need for diversity management comes from the fact that these dimensions affect performance, relations, culture and motivation within the workplace in different ways. Thus, management of diversity is the practice of managing and leading the workforce diversity in a workplace with an aim of encouraging productive interaction of different people within an organization (Paludi, 2012).
Flower Basket Laundry is company located in United Arabs Emirates (UAE) that is a chain of laundries dealing in all laundry services for hotels and restaurants. With a workforce of 30 employees, it has diversified groups that are necessary for serving the diversified clientele while achieving high standards as expected by the clients and the customers of different statures they serve. Flower Basket Laundry recognizes that with the changing business environment diversity comes in as a value to the organization and needs proper management. Flower Basket Laundry therefore encourages diversity in the workplace and seeks to treat all its workers with due respect and as individuals in order to accommodate the differences amongst its employees. The study seeks to find out the satisfaction of the employees with the current diversity management strategy based on elimination of discrimination of any kind and allowing different perspectives from all the workers.
The mission statement of Flower Basket Laundry is to be recognized as a leading innovator and developer of high value standard services in the commercial and residential laundry services. The company shall do this in response to customer needs. It shall ensure reliability, flexibility to work at the convenience of the clients, fair and with integrity. Flower Basket Laundry values the relationship between the workforce, clientele and their values as well as diversity. Flower Basket Laundry seeks to be a dominant brand in the laundry industry across different regions across the globe.
Goals and Objectives
Flower Basket Laundry goals include
In provision of all laundry services such as cleaning, ironing services, folding amongst others in United Arabs Emirates, Flower Basket Laundry aims to
In order to collect a response that can be correlated or one that provides response to the same questions, questionnaires are used to collect data on the satisfaction of the diversity within Flower Basket Laundry. This is easier to administer and allowed participants to fill the questionnaires at their convenient time with anonymity in order to allow full discloser of what they fill about the diversity management and policies within their workplace. The questionnaires were administered both electronically and through hard copies depending on the preference of individuals. The results of the survey on the 30 employees is analyzed and discussed in the discussion and report section. While a sample of the questionnaire is available at appendices section.
Discussion and Report
After the data was collected from the questionnaire survey, it showed an overall satisfaction to the management of diversity within the company as well as practices and policies. However, some of the questions indicate some disagreement from the participants. In this survey, it was clear that workers were proud of their work and working for the company but noted that improvement in some of the areas need improvement. One of the areas that need improvement from the survey is training and development as well as changing policies and some of the practices to address individual differences.
The findings to the first question show that majority, 24 of the 30 employee strongly agree that they are satisfied working with the company. The second question showed rather a lower rating where half agreed that the workforce was diversified while nine were neutral to the issue and the rest strongly agreed. Probably this was so because many viewed diversity as differences within ethnicity, gender and race and ignored the rest of the dimensions within diversity. Under the three dimensions, ethnicity, gender and race, the company does not have quite a diverse workforce considering the size (University of California San Francisco, 2012).
Satisfaction working for the company
The third question sought to find out whether the company treats the workers as a group uniformly or whether it treats each individual according to how they would want to be treated. Treating all the workers uniformly does not address the diversity issues. For instance, when it comes to communication within the company, a language that can be understood by all is necessary and those who may not understand English well need to be addressed in a language they understand. Treating them as individuals enhances diversity as opposed to a uniform treatment (Paludi, 2012). The response showed that 3 strongly agreed, 19 agreed, 1 was neutral while the rest did not agree. It shows that majority do agree that the company treats the workers as individuals as opposed to treating them uniformly. This can be explained by the fact that the groups are not too huge, which makes is easy to achieve individual treatment.
Diversity of the workforce
The fourth and fifth questions shows that workers trust their employees, which shows there is good level of interaction with the fifth questions showing individual goals and objectives as well as issues are addressed. Flower Basket Laundry believes that understanding and knowing individual goals and objectives of employees is essential in managing diversity. With an understanding of this, supervisors and managers know how best to treat their employees as well as helping them in realizing their goals as well. With an understanding of individual goals and objectives as well as interests, the company is in a better position to address them at an individual level as opposed to addressing them from a single perspective that may not work for all (University of California San Francisco, 2012). The survey showed a strong level of satisfaction in terms of addressing goals and objectives was achieved. Flower Basket Laundry further believes that a well-treated employee can work better to achieve the goals of the company as long as his or her individual needs are met.
Flower Basket Laundry has several policies that seek to maintain good workmanship while still maintaining diversity. Different workers work best with different policies. However, policies within a company might not favor all and could affect different groups in different ways. Although the different impact on employees by policies demonstrates diversity, there is need to change them accordingly in order to favor all. The survey shows that different policies have different impact to different employees. Although different policies and practice have differential influence to employees, the focus of policies should be to allow diversified thinking, practices and encourage each person to realize their potential. The survey shows that employees find the policies influencing differently to different individuals ((University of California San Francisco, 2012).
Listening to the different views and ideas is yet another strategy for managing diversity. Allowing different views, ideas and thoughts is part of diversity. Thus, it is necessary to listen to all the employees in order to address the issues raised. Without listening, it would be almost impossible for the management to know the issues revolving around diversity within the workplace. Response to the seventh question showed that workers are satisfied with how the management listens and addresses the issues. Additionally, majority were satisfied that the management listens to every employee and none is listened to more than others are. All are allowed to raise their ideas. More so, the workers are satisfied that there is no discrimination within the workplace that allows few people to have a bigger say on the basis of their higher status or out of their being different from others.
Flower Basket Laundry uses recruitment as a tool or practice of attracting a diverse group to its workforce. Recruitment is an essential tool that seeks to attract diverse groups to apply for vacancies (University of California San Francisco, 2012). Although Flower Basket Laundry has tried to use the best practice in order to attract diverse groups of applicants, the survey showed that a significant number were not satisfied. It shows that the recruitment asked for specific qualifications that eliminated many groups of people that could do the job. Despite this lack of satisfaction in the recruitment, workers were satisfied with the induction process that introduced the new workers not only to their duties and responsibilities, but also to the company culture. This culture includes the unwritten rules such as free interaction without any barriers, which is easily achievable considering the size of the workforce. This allows the new recruits to interact with other workers as well as realize that diversity does not limit communication between within the workplace. Additionally, Flower Basket Laundry ensures that new recruits know their differences are allowed within the organization.
Changing of policies and practices to accommodate diversity within an organization are important in order to allow workers work together. Eliminating structures that can hinder diversity is necessary as well to enable diversity to work with ease towards achieving the set goals (University of California San Francisco, 2012). The survey showed that workers were slightly satisfied considering majority did not agree. This indicates that the process of making processes and practices that enhance diversity are not good enough.
Overall, the survey shows that workers within Flower Basket Laundry take pride in working for the company and love the workforce culture and diversity. Majority of the areas showed that workers strongly agreed such as with how workers are treated as well as addressing of their issues and goals. The areas that need more improvement are concerned with changing and eliminating practices and policies that can hinder diversity. The other area is recruitment and selection where the company needs to improve in order to attract a bigger pool of applicants. The chart for questions concerning recruitment is as shown below.
Selection and Recruitment survey
The main areas of survey tested showed a rather different scenario with two of the main areas scoring quite low out of 100 ranking as shown below while the other three scored highly
|recruitment & selection||
|policy and practice formulation||
|new employee orientation||
|diversity within the organization||
Score out of 100
The first two areas that need response as aforementioned include improving how practices and policies are changed to suit diversity. First, it will be necessary to identify the practices and structures within the organization that hinder diversity. This should not only cover the practices and structures identified, but also other areas within the company that are not accessed that could raise issues. This would help in identifying where the problem areas could be, hence it would be easier to not only address the current one but also anticipate others so that response can be faster to allow diversity.
The survey showed that employees were not satisfied with the recruitment and selection criteria. It shows that qualification were too specific, which ended up eliminating majority of people applying. To this, Flower Basket Laundry can attract more applicants by allowing applicants with an experience in laundry areas to apply such as technicians who can help with maintenance of the cleaning equipments. Additionally, it could allow people with qualification in service industry such as hotels to apply since they can handle customers well. However, care should be taken to have basic qualifications such as knowledge of laundry work and ability to work with diverse groups (Bell, 2011).
More over, advertisement for the vacancies should be put at different points where different people are likely to see them. Flower Basket Laundry should consider that not everybody used the internet and not all people read papers. Therefore, it is necessary to put the advertisements at diversified points where different groups are likely to view them considering that people in a group are likely to be found in one area. For instance, older applicants could read from papers since not all may be familiar with the internet (Bell, 2011). Therefore, an advertisement that was posted online will not attract the older generation. Additionally, this will exclude all those who might not know how to use the internet. The advertisement should seek diversified areas that include posters, notice boards within the workplace, job fairs and in different papers where different people might read. With advertisements placed in many different areas, they are more likely to attract a more diversified group of applicants (University of California San Francisco, 2012).
The third area needing improvement is formulating policies and practices that handle diversity in a better way. Although workers showed some satisfaction with the current practices, the survey showed that different practices affect different workers within the workplace in different ways. The company needs to ensure that such policies are put in check and monitored closely. Their impact should be monitored as well in order to find out how much they affect the diversity (Bell, 2011). From an analysis of the monitoring that needs to be done over a period, the root problems can be identified. From here, better policies and practices can be formulated to include the workers, since they shall be affected directly.
Considering that UAE is the leading region in tourism, hotels are frequented by tourist from all parts of the world. These customers have their standard when it comes to laundry and expect to find good services in the hotels. Flower Basket Laundry comes to offer the laundry services that the hotels needs. More so, the hotels have many expatriates working there, meaning there is diversity. Therefore, a diversified workforce for Flower Basket Laundry is a necessity in order to serve the different clientele. Although the survey shows a good level of satisfaction with the management of diversity within the workplace, it is very important to consider the results of the survey critically as well as the recommendations.
Bell, M.P. (2011). Diversity in Organizations. New York, N.Y: Cengage Learning.
Loden, M. &Rosener, J.B. (2001). Workforce America! Managing employee diversity as a vital resource. San Diego, C.A: Business One Irwin.
Paludi, M.A. (2012). Managing Diversity in Today’s Workplace: Strategies for Employees and Employers. Oxford, U.K: ABC-CLIO
University of California San Francisco (2012). Chapter 12: Managing Diversity in the Workplace. Retrieved from http://ucsfhr.ucsf.edu/index.php/pubs/hrguidearticle/chapter-12-managing-diversity-in-the-workplace/
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