Globalization had brought about an increased need for diversity in organizations. Globalization had also brought about the merging of employees and clients that come from diverse cultural backgrounds. Since the economy has been growing consistently worldwide, companies are realizing the importance of adopting a multicultural workplace environment that will help them gain benefits from diversity (Ilmakunnas & Seija, 2011). Diversity training intends at helping employees from diverse backgrounds with varying languages, beliefs and other formalities learn how to make decisions, communicate and deal with conflicts. Diversity training is a vital part of modern organizations as it not only focuses on employee engagement but also on corporate return on investment, teamwork, and productivity in the organization. Therefore, it is important for this company to adopt a diversity training program to reduce the number of lawsuits it faces and ensure that it becomes competitive in an internationally growing economy.
A Human Resource Strategic Plan
The diversity training program will be more of a process than an event because it will focus on organizational changes in the workplace. It will also raise awareness on the importance of diversity among all levels of employees. The training plan will be aligned with the strategies of the business to ensure that the organization still meets its goals and improves its relationships with stakeholders.
The first step will be to make sure that all the employees at all levels understand that diversity training is a process (Angeline, 2011). The employees must know that one class will not make them appreciate diversity. The employees will have to be committed to a long term to ensure that they build their knowledge, develop and apply their skills and abilities to intercultural communication, managing differences and self-awareness. In this step, the training will ensure that it’s tailored to the needs and objectives of the business.
The strategic plan will also ensure that it is a long term approach that integrates other training requirements (Harvey, 2015). The diversity training program is not a standalone class, and as such, it will be integrated with other corporate training programs. For instance, the diversity training program will focus on its relevance in sales and customer service departments. Moreover, the program will adopt a long term approach where in addition to a traditional classroom setting, the training will adopt latest technologies. For instance, the employees will be required to make presentations through webinars on what they learn from the program.
The plan will also ensure that it includes all employees from all levels in at least one stand-alone class (Angeline, 2011). The class will majorly ask for the opinion of the employees concerning the training and emphasize to them the importance of diversity in meeting the goals of the organization. The involvement of all levels of employees will reduce the chance of resistance from the employees and develop an all-inclusive environment. Finally, the plan will aim at choosing trainers well and where there is need ensuring that they are trained to meet the specific requirements of the organization. The trainers must be passionate and have the appropriate skills and knowledge to deliver the message on the importance of diversity in the organization.
Training Segments to Address Management’s Perspectives
Effectiveness in the Organization
Management ought to get the point of view that discrimination is not only wrong morally and legally, but it reduces the effectiveness of organizations (Carr-Ruffino, 2012). In the past, management focused on diversity as increasing racial, social class, gender and national representation of employees in the organization (Ilmakunnas & Seija, 2011). However, this kind of diversity only reduces the effectiveness of organizations, and this training program will focus on benefitting the organization. The training will help managers realize that diversity training is more than adding different identity groups into the payroll. As such, managers will understand that diversity is the ability of individuals with different beliefs, cultural backgrounds and attitudes to create effective teams, reach goals, design processes and communicate ideas.
The management of an organization often dictates the work environment and culture in an organization (Mor-Barak, 2017). As such, if the management can appreciate the role of diversity in promoting effectiveness in the organization, the employees will also be motivated to bring their whole selves to their jobs. They will identify fully with the jobs given to them regarding developing the right attitude, ensuring proper interpersonal communication and reduced conflicts. Thus, the productivity of the employees will be boosted and change the work environment in the organization. Diversity will become more important than how individual looks or where they come from and focus on the holistic approach of what the person can bring to the organization.
Mental Connection in the Organization
It is also important for management to get the perspective that diversity will provide an opportunity for different groups to create relationships (Carr-Ruffino, 2012). Relationships are critical in organizations as they define both the internal and external work environment. In diversity training programs, the management must understand that it is important to invest time and resources to understand the social meanings of different groups in the organization. As such, the management will understand how the various groups define work and relationships in the workplace either between colleagues or those with clients.
The understanding of how diverse groups of employees view relationships in the place of work determine how they perceive accomplishment of goals in the organization. As such, the management will understand the best motivational practices for different employees depending on their perspective towards work and relationships in the organization. The point of view of mental connection will also help the organization to assign tasks to individuals depending on their positions. For instance, people who are friendly and place a high value for social networks can serve best in customer service departments as they are highly likely to interact well with clients.
Kotter’s 8-Step Change Model
Change is constant in an organization, and it is important that the management therein supports the modifications to ensure that the diversity training program succeeds (Harvey, 2015). Therefore, the change model suggested by Kotter will assist the management to adopt the changes that will be brought about by the diversity training program. The first step is to create urgency on the need for the modification (Campbell, 2014). Most organizations are becoming multinationals with the increased need for globalization. As such, the company must ensure that it beats the competition by adopting strategies such as appreciating diversity. The management must also understand that the sooner it becomes multicultural, the better for it because it will gain a competitive advantage in its industry.
The second step in the change model is to get a powerful coalition (Campbell, 2014). Although I will be the leader in the diversity training program, it is important to identify support from key people and stakeholders in the organization. The coalition will include visionary members of the organization who are influential, are team builders and can commit emotionally to the program. Thirdly, the change model will create a clear vision for the diversity training programs. It will assist the employees to understand the values that are vital to the modification and the strategy required to implement the change. The clear vision will help all employees understand their role in the diversity training program and get the future that it intends for them and the company.
The next step is to communicate the vision to the employees in the organization (Lawrence, 2015). First, I will lead the change by implementing what is taught in the training programs. As such, the employees will copy the behavior they learn and apply it in their job positions. Communication of the vision will also include often talking about the training program, addressing the concerns of employees promptly and including the aspects of the vision into all operational activities of the business.
The fifth step of the change model will include removing all obstacles in the diversity training process (Lawrence, 2015). During this step, all the organizational structures, compensation systems, and job descriptions will be aligned to the vision of the process. Moreover, there will be the need to reward the employees who make the change happen and even help those who resist by continually emphasizing the need for diversity training to the success of the organization. All barriers to the success of the change brought about by the diversity training program will be eliminated at this stage.
The next step will include creating short term wins (Lawrence, 2015). The success of some parts of the training program will inspire not only the employees but also the management and all the relevant stakeholders. The short term success points will those that are inexpensive and can be implemented quickly without much criticism from the employees. The short term achievements will bring the perception that the change is possible and effectual in the minds of both the management and staff.
The next step suggested by Kotter is to build on the change (Campbell, 2014). Kotter argued that the reason many projects fail is that the victory is declared too early. Therefore, in this program, all the short term wins will be analyzed to identify what went wrong and all areas that require improvement. The employees will also be encouraged to keep building on the momentum created by the short term needs and continually suggest their new opinions regarding the change.
Finally, the change model will require that the modification is anchored into the corporate culture (Campbell, 2014). One of the ways to ensure that the change becomes part of the corporate culture is to incorporate it when training and to hire new staff. Moreover, there is the need to keep talking about the progress made the training program in every chance that one gets. The repetition will ensure that the employees do not neglect the knowledge they acquire in the training program as they will feel that they are a part of the change.
The diversity training program will first touch on respect in the workplace. Respect is a critical factor in ensuring that individuals establish good working relationships with the management, colleagues, and clients (Angeline, 2011). Moreover, respect provides that individuals can accept different beliefs, attitudes, and convictions towards aspects in the workplace. As such, respect leads to reduced conflict and hence improved productivity which helps an organization meet its goals.
Ethnic and Cultural Differences
Ethnic and cultural differences is also another issue that the training must address. Employees need to understand that they should not view people of specific race, color or religion as inferior (Campbell, 2014). The training will also empower the individuals from different races, ethnic groups, and religions to realize that they can be accepted in the workplace and help them improve interpersonal skills. As such, this will reduce the chance of unfair treatment and prejudice in the organization.
Lifestyle acceptance is another issue that the training will address. Individuals in the workplace need to respect issues such as gay marriages, transgender people and bisexual workmates (Harvey, 2015). Employees also need to understand those lifestyle choices do not affect the job performance of individuals. As such, they should learn the importance of embracing the differences for teamwork and a collaborative working environment.
Satisfaction and participant reaction is the assessment process that will be used to assess if the training created the needs it targeted (Angeline, 2011). A survey will be conducted some months after the training program comes to an end to determine the behavioral application of what was learned in their job operations and their opinion towards the program. The evaluation survey will seek to identify if the staff enjoyed the training, their views towards the content and the trainer and any suggestions for future diversity training programs. Moreover, they will state whether they felt that their time was appropriately used and if there is any relevance to the work they do.
The evaluation method will also seek to identify the chance that the employees apply the knowledge they gained in their workplace. As such the staff will state if the training has helped them accept individuals with varying lifestyles, ethnic beliefs, cultural differences and religious practices. Moreover, the employees will indicate if they are now empowered to work with people who they could not interact with in the past. They will also be required to state if they can make decisions collectively, manage healthy working relationships and solve conflicts amicably. Finally, to help identify the perspective of the employees towards the program, they will state if they would recommend such a program to their colleagues in different organizations. The evaluation program will help the management identify the results of the training programs in comparison to the set targets. If there is any need for a corrective action, it will be identified and planned for using the evaluation method.
A diversity training program is crucial in this modern day of increased globalization of organizations. Diversity training programs position an organization to gain a competitive advantage in its industry. The strategic plan will ensure that employees at all levels are involved and that they understand that the training is a process and not an event. Moreover, the program will make sure that the training is a long term approach aimed at changing the internal environment and all business operations. To address the perspective of management, the training will focus on the mental connection in the workplace and the role of diversity in ensuring effectiveness in the organization. Kotter’s change model will be used to make sure that the change brought about by the training program is implemented into the practices of the organization. Respect, lifestyle acceptance, ethnic and cultural differences are some of the content that will be included in the training program as they profoundly impact productivity in an organization. A survey to identify the behavioral application of knowledge acquired in the daily job operations, satisfaction and participant reaction of the employees will be used to evaluate the effectiveness of the diversity training program.
Angeline, T. (2011). Managing Generational Diversity at the Workplace: Expectations and Perceptions of Different Generations of Employees. African Journal of Business Management, 249.
Campbell, H. (2014). Managing Organizational Change. Philadelphia: Kogan Page.
Carr-Ruffino, N. (2012). Managing Diversity. Boston: Pearson Learning Solutions.
Harvey, C. (2015). Understanding and Managing Diversity: Readings, Cases, and Exercises. London: Pearson Publications.
Ilmakunnas, P., & Seija, I. (2011). Diversity at the Workplace: Whom Does it Benefit? De Economist, 223.
Lawrence, P. R. (2015). Leading Change: How Successful Leaders Approach Change Management. London: Kogan Page Limited.
Mor-Barak, M. E. (2017). Managing Diversity Toward a Globally Inclusive Workplace. Thousand Oaks: SAGE Publications.