Diversity and Inclusion an Organization Emperical Study of Hul (Draft)
ABSTRACT In the last few years, the focus of efforts in companies across the land has shifted from diversity to a focus on inclusion.
This sea change has happened without fanfare and almost without notice. In most organizations, the word inclusion has been added to all the company’s diversity materials with no explanation. This article is a short account of why this shift has happened and what it means. Probably the most widely-read article on diversity in organizations was Roosevelt Thomas’s “From Affirmative Action to Affirming Diversity,” which appeared in the Harvard Business Review in 1990.
Diversity, said Thomas, was no longer about complying with a legal mandate but about seeking to create a diverse workforce because it would be beneficial to the organization. Before 1990, most large companies had an Employment Equity and Affirmative Action Officer, usually a lower-level employee who worked in the bowels of the organization compiling statistics about how many employees were in targeted groups, eg, people of color and women. This project covers all the aspects of cross culture to the managing diversity by HUL. This project includes primary data analysis and the end of project recommendation also to be provided.
Content Abstractii Signatory pageiii Topic approval letteriv Acknowledgmentv Approved thesis synopsisvii 1. Introduction 2.
company profile 3. literature review 4. research methodology 5. finding and analysis 6. recommendation 7.
CONCLUSION 8. Bibliography 9. annexure – questionnaire INTRODUCTION [pic] Today, at the beginning of the 21st century, the world is submerged in a wide range of demographic trends which have the potential to radically change the demographic, cultural and ethical mixture of the population in many countries within just a few decades.
Top managers often say that their company’s people are its most important asset. In a tight job market and a global economy a company that puts people first – regardless of their race, religion, gender, age, sexual preference, or physical disability – wins.
Companies, especially big multinational players which have to deal with these changes, are growingly forced to react. Employees, once a homogenous group in many countries, are increasingly diverse and need to be integrated within and into working environments.
Diversity can present an immense source of opportunities but it can also mean the opposite, a big threat. Diversity management is a managerial approach in response to these trends and can help companies to effectively and efficiently manage their personnel diversity, i. e.
personnel made up of diverse and multifaceted people. The text argues that a diverse workforce can be regarded as an instrument of sales promotion, a marketing tool to induce customers to buy certain products or services.
To be successful at creating workforce diversity program involves attracting and retaining the highest quality individuals in the talent pool. For the HR professional it means looking beyond obvious recruitment methods and venues for good people, then learning how to manage human potential sensitively. It requires an ever-increasing awareness of how people from different backgrounds deal with authority, communication, overall business etiquette, and relate to their communities of affiliation.
Promoting workforce diversity is a process that takes place in many stages and on many levels.
It requires HR professionals first to recruit a competent and qualified staff, then to accommodate individual needs within the context of the work team and the organization. In today’s world of cultural diversity, our business can’t thrive unless we implement a workforce diversity initiative. Besides tapping into the unique abilities and talents of people from different backgrounds, we can improve our image in the community by opening up a place of business to anyone regardless of race, color, gender, ethnicity, sexual orientation and disability. What is diversity? Diversity to us means all aspects in which people differ from one another.
This includes both the visible and relatively easily demonstrable personal characteristics such as gender, age and ethnicity, as well as the less visible personal characteristics, such as competencies, needs and wants, work styles and character traits. Each employee has his or her own, unique combination of such characteristics. Another definition describes diversity as creating high performing organizations through valuing and using all the talents of employees of different groups. Regardless of how diversity is defined, it is an issue that is sweeping the nation.
If the corporate society does not address the issue by learning how to manage diversity, they will fail. “It is very helpful to suggest that diversity is not so much an end in itself as it is a condition of our society and the condition of the World in which we live.
” Frank Wong Vice President for Academic Affairs University of Redlan Diversity Management Managing diversity is one of the most important challenges faced by managers and their organizations. In today’s work environment, co-workers are likely to be of different gender, age, religion, cultural background, race and ethnicity.
They also differ in terms of lifestyle, choices available, perspectives, attitudes, value system, beliefs, behaviors, expectations, skills and experiences. These issues are not just about discriminatory practices but they modify the nature and demands placed on leadership and management and bring into prominence the concept of diversity. How well or how prepared managers are able to invest in the concept of diversity will impact not just on work issues but also on sensitivity to customer’s needs, legal compliance, business’ ethical issues, profitability and even social cohesion.
Diversity management is a strategic process to manage a diverse workforce-including the fight against stereotypes, prejudice and all kind of discrimination due to the individual perceptions and assumptions- in the manner to maximize the benefit and minimize barriers of different opinions, behavior and attitudes of human beings within a company. PRINCIPLES OF DIVERSITY MANAGEMENT [pic] Categorization of Diversity Management Diversity management can be divided into two categories- 1. The internal effect has an influence on organizational structural changes within the company. 2.
The external effect concerns the environment of the company e.
g. customers, stakeholders, suppliers etc. The concept of diversity management is extensive; there are various components of diversity as follows: Diversity of ethnicity, nationality and cultures Diversity of demography (gender, age and experience) Diversity of competencies (educational and professional backgrounds) Diversity of organizational functions and processes Diversity of networks (i. e. relationships and communications channels and/or patterns etc.
) Miscellaneous diversity (sexual preferences, occupational disabilities, i. . handicap or physical mobility, etc. ) Work Force as a challenge First, there is an increase in the cost of training. This increase comes from costs associated with seminars, programs and lectures given to promote diversity in the corporation.
These types of training are given to all levels of staff within the organization. They teach employees others. These programs also teach one how to deal with conflicts and prejudice in a professional and civil manner. A disadvantage of diversity in the workplace is an increase in conflicts.
Conflicts arise when two or more individuals or groups do not see eye to eye on a particular situation.
In regard to diversity, conflicts arise largely due to ignorance. Prejudice feelings or derogatory comments cause a lack of acceptance. “This can produce negative dynamics such as ethnocentrism, stereotyping and culture clashes”. The most common conflict comes from one feeling superior. If management ignores such conflicts, the company’s performance may suffer.
If conflicts can be managed and controlled creativity and performance can be increased.
Employers will work harder to gain acceptance by creating a solution or invention first. Increases in labor turnover and absenteeism are another disadvantage in having a diverse workplace. Research has shown that the turnover rate for African Ameri-Ongori and Agolla 075cans in the US workforce is 40 percent greater than whites. Another study by Corning Glass stated that between the years 1980 – 1987, the turnover rate for women in a professional job was two times higher than males. Women also have a 58 percent higher absentee rate than men.
Yet, another study shows that a person, who is not a member of the “inner group”, will be one of the first to leave a company (White, 1999). Some research contradicts the idea that flextime reduces these rates; however absenteeism and turnover can cost a company up to and over $3 million annually. Workforce diversity increases labor turnover and absenteeism in organizations on employee satisfaction and productivity. Employees who perceive themselves as valued members of their organization are harder working, involved, and innovative.
Unfortunately, minority-group members often feel less valued than do majority-group members due to stereotyping, ethnocentrism, and prejudice. Mismanagement of diversity in the form of denied access or unfavorable treatment can have negative consequences, such as inhibiting workers’ abilities and motivation.
Work Force as an Opportunity Managing diversity can create a competitive advantage. Potential benefits of this diversity include better decision making, higher creativity and innovation, greater success in marketing to foreign and domestic ethnic minority communities, and a better distribution of economic opportunity.
Organizations with a diverse workforce can provide superior services because they can better understand customers’ needs. Diversity enhances creativity and innovation (Adler, 1997; Jackson et al. , 1992), and produces competitive advantages.
Why should we strive for diversity in personnel? An often heard argument to avoid having to put energy into diversity is that it only leads to misunderstanding, undesired formation of groups, communication problems and conflicts in the work force. When put like this, paying attention to diversity seems a useless investment.
But demographic developments cannot be ignored. In situations like labor shortage, organizations cannot permit themselves to exclude a substantial part of the labor force. Diversity in personnel has different advantages pertaining to business economics: Attraction for a wider group of customers: more people can identify with the organization.
This could increase your turnover; More creativity within the organization: diversity leads to innovative products and services, which is necessary to compete with other businesses; An improved business image: more people see you as an ’employer of choice’.
Diversity covers a wide variety of issues, including communicating with employees, whose first language is not English, helping a diverse team cope with conflict, learning which rewards are valued by different groups, and dealing with discrimination. Managers can improve handling of diversity issues by following these eight behaviors. Embrace diversity: Successfully valuing diversity starts with accepting the principle of multiculturalism. Accept the value of diversity for its own sake — not simply because you have to. You need to reflect your acceptance in all you say and do.
Recruit broadly: When you have job openings, work to get a diverse applicant pool. Avoid relying on referrals from current employees, since this tends to produce candidates similar to your present workforce. Select fairly: Make sure your selection process doesn’t discriminate. Particularly, ensure that selection tests are job-related. Provide orientation and training for minorities: Making the transition from outsider to insider can be particularly difficult for nontraditional employees.
Sensitize all employees: Encourage all employees to embrace diversity.
Provide diversity training to help all employees see the value in diversity. Strive to be flexible: Part of valuing diversity is recognizing that different groups have different needs and values. Be flexible in accommodating employee requests Seek to motivate individually: You need to be aware of the background, cultures, and values of employees. What motivates a si0ngle mother with two young children and who is working full time to support her family is likely to be different from the needs of a young, single, part-time employee or an older employee who is working to supplement his or her retirement income.
Encourage employees to embrace and value diverse views: Create traditions and ceremonies that promote diversity. Celebrate diversity by accentuating its positive aspects. But also be prepared to deal with the challenges of diversity such as mistrust, miscommunication, and lack of cohesiveness, attitudinal differences, and stress. IMPORTANCE OF DIVERSE WORKFORCE Our Nation is made up of people from diverse backgrounds, cultures, customs and beliefs. It is those differences that contribute to the richness and strength of our society.
Like our Nation, the workforce Is also becoming more and more diverse.
As a result, in order to recruit, hire and retain the best people from every background and community, we must foster diversity in our workforce, manage it effectively, and value what it has to offer. A diverse workforce is critical for any organization that seeks to improve and maintain a competitive advantage. Focusing on diversity and looking for ways to achieve an inclusive environment is not just a “nice to have objective,” it makes a good business sense. A diverse workforce offers greater productivity and a competitive edge.
Diversity improves the quality of our workforce and offers a higher return on our investment in human capital. Our agency’s future depends on the quality of employees we recruit today. New employees often consider an organization’s diversity efforts when deciding whether to accept or reject an employment offer. Potential candidates are usually more attracted to employers that are committed to sustaining a diverse workforce. Moreover, diverse perspectives increase creativity as they offer different perspectives, ideas and solutions.
People have a lot of viewpoints and having people from many backgrounds and places in life brings a lot of those viewpoints into the mix. In some situations, a lot of viewpoints give us a lot of options. Plus, since there are many different viewpoints and environments in the workers, there are many opportunities for these different viewpoints to come into the planning of strategic initiatives, allowing the firm to serve a wider group of consumers and interests. The Various . advantages of having a diverse workforce are the following; 1.
It helps motivating employees. 2. It enhances the innovation and creativity of employees. 3. It helps in reducing cost. 4.
It creates flexibility in the organization. 5. Immediate access to problem solving. 6. Easy transfer of knowledge. 7.
Better marketing structure. 8. Innovative work environment. 9. Immediate outcomes.
10. Fulfillment of social responsibility. 11. It helps attract and retain employees. Management of Diversity in leading INC’s A manager or the superior must be aware of the background, cultures, and values of employees.
The motivation factors for a full time working mother to support her two young children are different from the needs of a young, single, part-time employee or an older employee who is working to supplement his or her retirement.
COMPANY PROFILE Introduction Hindustan Unilever Limited (HUL), a 51%-owned subsidiary of Anglo-Dutch giant Unilever, has been prying its way into India since 1888. India’s largest consumer goods company, HHL markets products such as beverages, food, and home and personal care goods. Its brands include Kwality Wall’s ice cream, Lifebuoy soap, Lipton tea, Pepsodent toothpaste, and Surf laundry detergent.
HUL markets atta (a type of meal), maize, rice, salt, and specialty chemicals, and its export division ships castor oil and fish. The company also sells bottled water and over-the-counter healthcare products.
Hindustan Unilever Limited (HUL) is India’s largest fast moving consumer goods company, with leadership in Home & Personal Care Products and Foods & Beverages. HUL’s brands, spread across 20 distinct consumer categories, touch the lives of two out of three Indians. They endow the company with a scale of combined volumes of about 4 million tonnes and sales of Rs. 10,000 crores.
The vision that inspires HUL’s 32,400 employees (40,000 including Group Companies), including about 1,425 managers, is to “meet everyday needs of people everywhere – to anticipate the aspirations of our consumers and customers and to respond creatively and competitively with branded products and services which raise the quality of life. ” This objective is achieved through the brands that the company markets.
Business nature HUL is India’s largest marketer of Soaps, Detergents and Home Care products. It has the country’s largest Personal Products business, leading in Shampoos, Skin Care Products, Colour Cosmetics, and Deodorants.
HUL is also the market leader in Tea, Processed Coffee, branded Wheat Flour, Tomato Products, Ice cream, Soups, Jams and Squashes. HUL is also one of the country’s biggest exporters and has been recognized as a Golden Super Star Trading House by the Government of India; it is a net foreign exchange earner. HUL is India’s largest exporter of branded fast moving consumer goods.
The company’s Exports portfolio includes HUL’s brands of Soaps and Detergents, Personal Products, Home Care Products, Tea and Coffe Market leading brands HUL’s brands have become household names. The company’s strategy is to oncentrate its resources on 30 national power brands, and 10 other brands which are strong in certain regions. The top five brands together account for sales of over Rs. 3000 crores. Some of the big brands in Soaps and Detergents are Lifebuoy, Lux, Liril, Hamam, Breeze, Dove, (all soaps), Surf Excel, Surf, Rin, Wheel (the number one detergent brand in India, and HUL’s largest), 501, Sunlight (all detergents). HUL also markets the Vim and Domex range of Home Care Products.
In the Personal Products business, HUL’s Hair Care franchises are Clinic, Sunsilk and Lux shampoos; the company markets Nihar oil.
In Oral Care, the portfolio comprises Close-up and Pepsodent toothpastes and toothbrushes. In Skin Care, HUL markets Fair & Lovely Skin Cream and Lotion, the largest selling Skin Care Product in India; a brand developed in India, it is now exported to over 30 countries. It has been extended as an Ayurvedic cream, an under-eye cream, a soap and a talc, in line with the strategy to take brands across relevant categories. The other major Skin Care franchises are Pond’s, Vaseline, Lakme and Pears.
In Colour Cosmetics, HUL markets the Lakme and Elle-18 ranges.
In Deodorants, the key brands are Rexona, Axe, Denim and Pond’s, while the Talc brands are Pond’s, Liril, Fair & Lovely, Vaseline and Lifebuoy. Axe and Denim are HUL’s franchises for Men’s toiletries. SWOT ANALYSIS OF HUL STRENGTHS: ? strong brand portfolio ? consumer understanding ? R ability ? distribution reach ? high quality manpower WEAKNESSES: ? Increased consumer spends on education, consumer durable, entertainment, travel, etc resulting in lower share of wallet for FMCG ? limited success in changing the eating habits of people complex supply chain configuration and unwieldy number of stock keeping units (SKUs) with dispersed manufacturing locations ? price positioning in some categories that allows for low price competition and high social costs in the plantation business. OPPORTUNITIES: ? market and brand growth through increased penetration especially in rural areas ? brand growth through increased consumption depth and frequency of usage across all categories.
? upgrading consumers through innovation to new levels of quality and performance. ? emerging modern trade to be effectively used for introduction of more upscale personal care products. growing consumption in out of home categories. ? Positioning HUL as a sourcing hub for Unilever companies elsewhere and leveraging the latest IT technologies. THREATS: ? low-priced competition now being present in all categories ? grey imports ? spurious/counterfeit products in rural areas and small towns ? Changes in fiscal benefits and unfavorable prices in oils, tea commodity, etc. DIVERSITY AND INCLUSION AT HUL Diversity and inclusion is about creating a work force that represents the global communities in which we live and work and ensuring an environment in which every individual’s contributions are valued.
A diverse and inclusive environment challenges our way of thinking by bringing together a variety of talents, backgrounds and experiences, and serves as a catalyst for new ideas and innovation. Discovering and developing the best ways to make our differences work – for the good of our enterprise, our employees, our vendors and our communities – is an ongoing process. We believe that these contributions and differences drive our competitive business advantage, stimulate personal growth and ultimately create success for the company.
In our most recent employee opinion survey, ConocoPhillips maintained a high level of satisfaction for creating an environment where people with diverse backgrounds can succeed. [pic] |2009 Global Diversity Metrics – HINDUSTAN UNILEVER | | Leadership All Employees | |Women 12.
4% 23. % | |Non-U. S. Employees 12. 9% 33. 2% | |2009 U.
S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission Statistics | | Officials and Managers Professionals | |Women 15. 1% 28. % | |Minorities 11. 9% 17. 7% | Our diversity and inclusion statement captures our commitment to creating an inclusive work environment.
Managers and supervisors are instrumental in developing and progressing global diversity and inclusion initiatives. In 2008, this was reinforced and renewed by communication from our CEO to employees about the importance of enhancing our focus on people through four key areas: Development – Providing career-long learning and development opportunities that maximize every employee’s potential and performance. • Retention – Valuing all employees’ contributions; and providing challenging and rewarding jobs, as well as competitive compensation that is linked to performance. • Recruiting – Hiring the best talent from around the world to support our global operations. • Global Outreach – Partnering with professional organizations that can both help us in how we approach diversity and provide us greater access to diverse talent in our recruiting efforts.
Our businesses and corporate staffs incorporate People Plans into their five-year operating plans.
These plans include the strategies and tactics that are needed to ensure the optimum workforce size and capability over time. We monitor the progress on our People Plans twice a year to help drive accountability. We review demographic information on nationalization, recruiting, attrition, promotion, and the identification and development of future leaders. These metrics plus the efforts taken are used to assess progress and ensure that operating plans are successfully executed.
The results of these metrics and efforts are assessed and tied to the performance-based incentives for managers and supervisors.
Employee network groups exist globally and play an important role toward achieving the company’s long-term diversity and inclusion objectives. Each group is sponsored by a senior executive and is empowered to determine their key activities, while also providing input for the company’s diversity and inclusion programs. For example, in our Houston headquarters, networks are established to support women, people of African descent, Asian-Americans and Hispanics.
These groups meet regularly to network, develop professional skills and support community activities. Beginning in 2009, employee network groups will be integrally involved in the company’s recruiting activities.
To provide further access to best practices, innovative thinking and talent, in 2009, the company has formed strategic partnerships with five diverse professional organizations representing the African-American, Asian-American, Hispanic, and female professional communities. Arrangements also have been established with six new diversity job boards.
We anticipate that these partnerships and arrangements will increase our access to a more diverse talent pool, and will supplement existing external relationships already maintained by our businesses around the world. Ethnic background of the workforce in the companies [pic] Additionally, employees have participated in external diversity programs in order to enhance their professional development, and cultivate new ideas and share them with their colleagues. In July 2008, interested employees ttended the Black Woman’s Leadership Summit, which offered a unique networking opportunity with global decision-makers, challenged attendees to further develop critical skills, and defined specific tools to use to assure their career success. The 2008 Asian Leadership Summit was attended by employees who gained insight into how global companies are leveraging and growing their Asian leadership talent.
The Summit also highlighted Asia’s expanding markets and work force, and several speakers addressed how cultural traditions impact their professional and personal life.
To help employees achieve balance between work and their personal health and well-being, ConocoPhillips offers a number of programs in different parts of the world, including: flexible work schedules, corporate wellness, educational assistance, local volunteer programs, the Employee Assistance Program (EAP) and family-friendly corporate events. Individual locations also provide other programs based on local employee needs and cultural expectations. As an example, to promote greater diversity, inclusion and work/life balance, the Australian business unit created a work environment that provides increased employment flexibility.
The program includes flexible work schedules and paid maternity and paternity leave provisions, and has been successful in encouraging more women to consider engineering, geoscience and geodata roles.
In late 2008, HUL was recognized by the HUL Government with the Business Achievement Award for Outstanding Workplace Flexibility and internally with a SPIRIT Award for their efforts to promote a more inclusive workplace. Hindustan Lever created Shakti, a direct-to-consumer sales distribution network to reach millions of consumers in remote villages in India.
Shakti taps into women’s self-help groups and has been successful for both the company and women entrepreneurs. Started in 2003, the Shakti network has grown to over 45,000 micro-entrepreneurs selling products in 100,000 villages in India. The model creates profitable micro-enterprise opportunities. Armed with micro-credit, women from self-help groups become Shakti Entrepreneurs: direct-to-home distributors in rural markets.
This micro-enterprise offers low risks and steady returns. The products distributed are some of the country’s most trusted brands of consumer goods, nd include a range of mass-market products especially relevant to rural consumers. The company invests resources in training the entrepreneurs, helping them become confident, independent businesswomen. A typical entrepreneur earns a sustained monthly income of US$60 on average. As most of these women live below the poverty line in extremely small villages, this earning is very significant, often doubling household income. Further, this income is totally incremental as a woman entrepreneur spends about five hours a week on this initiative without compromising other economic activities.
The company provides regular support to the entrepreneurs by providing on-the job and classroom training. Various social activities like medical camps and education programs are run with the intention of increasing the credentials of Shakti Entrepreneurs in the village and enhancing the standard of life of the rural community. After its success in India, the model was replicated in Bangladesh and Sri Lanka as Joyeeta and Saubhagya respectively, followed by a similar initiative in Vietnam, as strategic and long term cooperation between Unilever Vietnam Foundation and the Viet Nam Women Union.
Hindustan Unilever also started in 2003 the Fair & Lovely Foundation, which aims at economic empowerment of women across India by providing information, resources and support in the areas of education, career and enterprise. It specifically targets women from low-income groups. The Foundation awards scholarships to women with aptitude, drive and the ambition to carve a place of pride for themselves in society who do not have the financial strength to realize their dreams.
Since 2003, over 500 scholarships have been awarded to women from across India LITRATURE REVIEW
Throughout the 1990’s, diversity continued to be about the numbers of different kinds of people in the workforce as a whole and at each level. Diversity staffs tried to increase the number of people of color and women in their organizations. They saw this primarily as a hiring task. During that decade, the definition of diversity expanded. Diversity came to include many dimensions beyond gender and race: age, class, disability, ethnicity, family situation, religion, and sexual orientation. Companies started to pay attention to their representation of all these groups.
It became clear over the years that it was not enough to focus on hiring alone. It became important to retain “diverse” workers, as well. Some organizations were astonished to learn that after years of effort, they had fewer African Americans than they had earlier. Companies became aware that for the most part the upper ranks of their organizations remained heavily white and predominately male. These were the years when companies offered diversity awareness training and diversity skills training to help their newly diverse employees work well together.
It’s the culture Today, in the 2000’s, as organizations try to retain diverse employees in their workforce, companies have started looking at the quality of these employees’ experience in the organization.
Do employees in all groups and categories feel comfortable and welcomed in the organization? Do they feel included and do they experience the environment as inclusive? To answer these questions, diversity staffs need to assess their environment and identify the barriers to inclusion, whether they are practices, policies, or the informal culture of the organization.
Having identified barriers, the job of the diversity staff is to change the company culture and to create an inclusive workplace environment. Systems and policies As inclusion becomes the focus of diversity work, the attention switches to the systems, policies and practices of the company. Several systems influence the degree to which the climate is inclusive: • Communications • Work assignment • Training and education • Performance management • Mentoring • Coaching • Hiring • Career development • Flexible work arrangements; and • Managers’ accountability.
Companies that are known for their inclusive climate do not rely on the goodwill of their managers but work hard so that each organizational system is equitable.
Once barriers are identified, they take action to address them. Each system is analyzed to determine the degree to which it provides equitable access and benefits to all employees. Creating an inclusive environment: a case study Here is an example of how one company addressed inclusion issues. A division of an institute in the defense industry had the reputation of not being welcoming to women.
For years, they had experienced difficulty in both hiring and retaining female employees at all levels but particularly in the highest ranks of management.
For years they clung to the idea that what they needed to do was to hire two or three high-level women. But to their chagrin, as soon as they would hire a new high-level female executive, it seemed one of the other high-level women would resign. At first they explained these recurrent departures in terms of the personalities of the women – “She has family problems,” “She is too aggressive,” or “She is too timid. Gradually it dawned on them that these resignations were not about the women, they were about the culture and the organizational climate. This led to a whole new strategy. The director of the division created a Diversity Task Force to suggest and implement changes that would create a more inclusive workplace in order to support the efforts to recruit and retain women.
The Task Force was supported with resources and time for its work. Guided by an organizational consultant and working in small action teams, they first conducted a series of focus groups to identify the issues and concerns of women in the division.
Then they moved into action, devising a number of changes and short-term projects to address the important issues. As soon as a team implemented a change or completed a project, they took on another. Here are some of their accomplishments over the first two years: • They created a buddy system for all new employees • Senior Managers hosted a series of lunches to meet lower-level women engineers and learn about their projects • All brochures about the division were revised to include pictures of women • They created a ebsite where articles about women in the workplace were posted • They developed a special relationship with a women’s engineering college, inviting students from that college to come on-site for field trips and setting up summer internships for women undergraduate engineers • They instituted networking and professional development events for women • Senior managers attended two training programs, “Men and Women Working Together” and “Flexibility.
Two of their learnings about creating an inclusive climate were: 1) It doesn’t take huge amounts of money to make significant progress; and 2) Changing an organizational culture is about doing many small things, not one or two big things. In reality, as this story attests, creating an inclusive environment is about a hundred small changes. As you look at your own organization, ask yourself: What are we doing, in ways large or small, to move from yesterday’s diversity to today’s need for inclusion?
In a knowledge economy, it is people—not capital or market—who make all the difference. As talent occupies centre stage in the Indian workplace, managing and retaining manpower is becoming crucial to an organization’s success. To achieve this, companies across sectors are focusing on some of the more critical HR practices.
We identify 10 such trends: Leadership Development Creating a pipeline of leadership talent is key to a business’ future growth.
Peter Cappelli, the George W Taylor professor of management and director of the Center for Human Resources, The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania, says it is imperative for the top level of an organization to make leadership talent management a priority, and put its money into long-term plans, as opposed to short-term ones. If companies are worried about their talent pipeline, they have to develop their people, says Cappelli.
Also, good bench strength helps companies deal with volatility in labour supply. “Companies including Hindustan Unilever, Procter and Gamble and GlaxoSmithKline have been able to withstand attrition in key executives because they have always invested in developing leaders,” says P.
Dwarakanath, president, National Human Resource Development Network. Experts say succession planning should not be seen in isolation, but as part of overall organizational development. Work-life Balance
No company or employee has found the Holy Grail of balancing work and life, but that is a work in progress. However, multinationals, information technology (IT) and IT enabled services (ITeS) companies have been able to promote the balance between career, family and leisure-time better. Other sectors have also been increasingly promoting a work-life balance. Interestingly, most companies in India use benefits such as flexible timings, telecommuting, creche facilities and concierge services as an attraction and retention strategy.
We are yet to fully buy into the fact that employees become more productive and remain motivated when companies allow them to have a life beyond work,” says Prabir Jha, global head, human resources, Dr Reddy’s Laboratories Ltd. Experts say companies should see the work-life balance as a business proposition since progressive companies carry business forward with employees and families. Inclusion and Diversity With higher numbers of Gen Yers joining the workforce in India at a time when companies across the world have an ageing workforce on their rolls, conflicts are to be expected. One of the challenges companies face today is resolving conflicts among different generations,” says Pavan Bhatia, executive director, human resources, Pepsico India Holdings Pvt.
Ltd. “An inclusive and diverse workforce is the future of the workplace,” he adds. Therefore, companies are investing both time and resources in ensuring that all age groups are comfortable working together. Organizations in India have also been focusing on making workplaces more representative.
For companies such as ICICI Bank Ltd, Hindustan Unilever Ltd, Vedanta Resources, PepsiCo India, Shell Companies in India and Bharti Airtel Ltd, gender diversity has become a critical area of focus. “Diversity is a business imperative since it brings diverse skills, ideas and approach to an organization,” says Pallavi Tyagi, general manager, human resources, EI DuPont India Pvt.
Ltd. Health and wellness The work culture at globalized workplaces involves long working hours, frequent travel, multitasking and tight deadlines—and all this often leaves employees mentally and physically stressed. Employees are increasingly grappling with lifestyle-related diseases such as hypertension, diabetes and cholesterol, which can be checked by regular monitoring and a healthy lifestyle,” says A. Sudhakar, executive vice-president, human resources, Dabur India. Companies have begun to realize that healthy employees contribute to higher efficiency and productivity. Apart from medical benefits, companies are also offering yoga classes and health camps and have doctors on campus.
HCL Technologies Ltd, for instance, like many other IT companies, has 24/7 medical facilities in all its centres.
DuPont has an Intranet-based tool, which assesses an employee’s health through a questionnaire and makes recommendations based on the scores. Right Skilling Right skilling, or matching jobs with a particular level of training rather than hiring overskilled workers, is gaining currency. Companies use this strategy to tide over a manpower supply crunch and to broaden their talent base. “You don’t need an IITian to supervise a car maker’s shop floor or a management graduate from a premier business school to sell soaps, which largely has been the case,” says T.
V. Mohandas Pai, head, human resources, Infosys Technologies Ltd. Apart from IT and ITeS firms, organizations in the banking and financial services sector, too, have been increasingly hiring graduates and training them. The upside? Lower attrition rates and wage costs. Pai explains that when you have an over-qualified employee, it is very difficult to meet her aspiration levels and, therefore, the chances of the employee moving on to something more challenging are higher.
Managing Solid Citizens Solid citizens” are the second-rung performers who make up 50-60% of employees in any organization. They are the backbone of any company. Although they contribute significantly to the company’s overall performance, they don’t have the potential to become leaders. “Unfortunately, most organizations focus on the 15-20% key talent at the expense of solid citizens,” says Dwarakanath. Organizations which neglect their solid citizens are doing this at their own peril, say experts.
Unlike star performers who are potential leaders, and therefore more likely to move out of an organization faster, this group provides stability and bench strength to an organization. Experts say companies need to take a fresh look at solid citizens and invest time and resources in managing and developing this group Instant Rewards Recognizing and rewarding performers is one of the most effective tools to attract and retain the right talent. Companies in India are looking at rewards systems more seriously, and are adopting total rewards practices that include compensation in both cash and kind.
Apart from lifestyle perquisites such as a house, a car or a club membership, profit-linked incentives, deferred gratuity, and wealth-building programmes in the form of stock options and soft loans, companies are also including work-life balance programmes; competency pay packages where niche skills are compensated; and career opportunities, such as overseas assignments, new projects, etc. , to reward staff. These rewards can be tailored to suit the top performers’ aspirations to achieve maximum effect.
Measuring human capital
Evaluation of performance plays a key role, not just in rewarding an individual employee, but also in setting performance benchmarks. And hence, the need for a fair and transparent performance management system. A strong performance analysis helps make human resources both efficient and effective. “In today’s business environment, where the focus is on increasing performance, companies must have robust systems to identify performers so that the best performers get identified, recognized and duly rewarded,” says Ganesh Shermon, partner and head, human capital advisory service, KPMG India.
Shermon cites the example of oil and gas company Bharat Petroleum Ltd, which has instituted a balanced scorecard based on key result areas to measure performance. Managing Aspirations As aspirations of organizations grow, so do those of employees.
And, with the changing lifestyles and profiles of the workforce, personal and professional aspirations of employees are not just varied, but are increasingly on the rise. “Since competitive advantage depends on competent people, knowing what employees aspire for could just be the way to have an edge over competitors,” says Kishore Poduri, head, human resources, eClerx
Services Ltd. Experts say people as well as organizations have aspirations, and when the two get aligned, achieving business goals becomes easier. Dwarakanath suggests companies should be clear about goals of individuals as well as of the organization, and the role each needs to play. The firm should also communicate the goals, and have robust and reliable processes to execute them, he adds. 360 degrees feedback Finally, recognizing the need to make performance appraisal systems more effective, an increasing number of companies are using the 360 degrees or multi-rater feedback process.
Unlike the traditional appraisal system, which gives unidimensional feedback, this one allows an employee to give feedback to her reporting manager, peers, direct reports and others. “Multi-rater feedback not only reduces the risk of biased perceptions, but also gives you a holistic view from all the stakeholders within the company,” says Sanjay Bali, vice-president, HR, Samsung India Electronics Pvt. Ltd. While most companies started using this system as a means for performance appraisal, most of them now use the 360 degrees feedback system to identify the learning and development needs of employees.
This section of the review of literature focuses on the concept of Social Style as developed by Merrill and Reid (1981). The section begins with the history of the development of Social Style through Merrill and Reid. The next section focuses on the progression of Social Style since its conception. The origins of Social Style theories are found among the American Behaviorists of the 1950s and 1960s. During this time the field of psychology underwent a shift towards behaviorism and away from psychoanalysis. This shift on the part of psychologists was an attempt to demonstrate that their research was grounded in rigorous cientific principles and worthy of serious consideration within the broader scientific community (Merrill & Reid, 1981).
Behavior and interaction were easily observed, manipulated and, most importantly, quantified. The concept of Social Style developed from theories that were evolving during this time period (Merrill & Reid, 1981). In the 1950s the United States Office of Naval Research, working in conjunction with researchers from Ohio State University, articulated a theory of style as a result of their attempts to discover the components of effective leadership (Merrill & Reid, 1981).
Researchers developed a list of descriptive behaviors, then asked various people to identify those behaviors they felt demonstrated good leadership. In the end, 150 behaviors were identified as characteristic behaviors of good leadership.
Factor analysis was done to organize the terms into categories. “Next, several questionnaires were developed to determine which factor characterized the best leader, but no reliable results were obtained” (Merrill & Reid, 1981, p. 41). Fred Fiedler determined that the research was flawed because it examined eadership in a vacuum. He decided to take context into consideration.
His research concluded that effective styles of leadership vary depending upon different situations (Merrill & Reid, 1981). From this background research Merrill and Reid began to study the concept of style in the 1960s. They borrowed a questionnaire that was developed in the early 1960s by James Taylor, a staff psychologist at a large corporation. Taylor developed his questionnaire by asking corporate employees to mark the adjectives that they felt described their own behavior.
Through testing he narrowed his original list from 2331 adjectives to 150 adjectives. Through factor analysis of the responses to the narrowed adjective checklist, Taylor found a tendency for clustering of adjectives.
He then developed five scales that took into account this clustering effect. The original five scales of human behavior were “1) self-confident; 2) considerate; 3) conforming; 4) thoughtful; and 5) rigid”. With Taylor’s permission, Merrill and Reid adapted his research and worked towards creating what is now known as Social Style.
Conforming to the behaviorist thought of the day, Merrill and Reid altered the way that respondents answered the questionnaire. Instead of marking adjectives describing one’s own behavior, others were asked to report on the subject. This method would be more like clinical research in that it would provide only observable patterns of behavior.
Another change Merrill and Reid made was to do a second factor analysis, where they found significant clustering around only three scales rather than five. The scales that would from then on determine Social Style were 1) assertiveness, 2) responsiveness, and 3) versatility.
As defined by Merrill and Reid (1981) assertiveness is the tendency one has to “ask” or “tell” in an effort to influence the decisions of others; responsiveness is a dimension that indicates whether a person “emotes” or “controls” feelings. Assertiveness and responsiveness were then put together to become the two scales that form the Social Style Profile, a questionnaire designed to determine Social Style. It is important to note the third scale, versatility. This third dimension of human behavior is not affected by the other two.
It often is tested separately.
Merrill and Reid even provide a separate questionnaire for determining an individual’s versatility. Versatility is determined by the amount of endorsement, approval of behavior, that we receive from others with whom we interact. Since it is a separate dimension that does not effect how an individual is plotted within the orthogonal Social Style matrix, this study will not look at the effects of an individual’s level of versatility. Further research may want to investigate the sex-role effects on an individual’s level of versatility.
Psychometric properties: As discussed earlier, psychometric properties include an instrument’s reliability and validity.
Because Social Style questionnaires have been used primarily in a corporate environment rather than an academic one, information regarding the psychometric properties of Social Style measures is limited and contradictory. Most corporations that sell these instruments make claims about the reliability and validity of the instruments that often are not confirmed by independent research.
Although there has been little research regarding the psychometric properties of these scales, they continue to be used widely by corporations. With this deficit in mind I suggest that data gathered during the present study should be used to conduct tests for reliability and validity on the Social Style instrument. Only continued testing of these instruments will allow for certainty of their ability to do what they are designed to do. The next section will look at the applications of Social Style.
With hot topics like globalization and cross-cultural opportunities in the Asia Pacific rim, one might think it would be easy to research the implications of cross cultural issues. Rather, what the writer found was a significant discussion all around the periphery but little in-depth analysis. Discussion prevailed on the socio-economic and technological ramifications. Others resources focused on the language issues but little work was intuitively available on the subtleties of cross cultural issues one may encounter.
Based on experience working in the Asia Pacific rim for two years as a PMO Manager, and training PM’s in many European countries, I decided that understanding international socio-cultural issues encountered in business is essentially at the heart of the issues companies will encounter in globalizing operations.
Therefore, the writer will approach the crosscultural issues from a personalized understanding based on his many months of first hand mistakes in understanding cultural issues encountered in Asia Pacific.
I will base my observations of cross-cultural issues on my experiences in working most closely with individuals from China, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Taiwan, Singapore, Japan, and India. Naturally there are more countries in the Pacific Rim but these mentioned provided the most opportunity for interaction. I want to also acknowledge the contributions of my wife, Helena Shiu Leung Chow Ballow, whom I initially met in Asia. Her wisdom, coaching, and meaningful insights on the many differences between Western and Eastern business and cultural practices were, and remain till this day, illuminating, helpful and daunting.
Clearly we all understand to some degree the impact of cultural issues in communications.
If nothing else, we have encountered situations where language was the barrier. But language may be the smallest of the issues when dealing with other cultures. Even when we pull out our Translation Guides or employ translators we may get pass some of the language difficulties. But from the writer’s experience, language is the least of the issues. Ingrained and systemic patterns of cultural behaviours can be so subtle as to completely deny meaningful communications.
I found a really good example of just how easily cultural variances can cause communications problems.
In this case the issues was “psychological filtering” of appearance or gesture. I would think is would also be easy for the reader to extrapolate this example into some experiences that may have encountered even in the West. Timofeev (2002), in an article in National Concepts and Globalization, provided the following example: “The idea or rather the hypothesis that underlies this paper was stimulated by a trivial chat with a friend of mine.
Being a linguist by trade, Russian by origin and living in Finland, she is well aware of cross-cultural discrepancies and provided me with a curious example. It was a TV commercial of an international brand of Persil washing powder. Two young ladies were shown sitting in a crowded place, some restaurant or a cafe.
One of the ladies notices quite a peculiar manner her friend has chosen to wear her wristwatch. It was placed above the cuff of her blouse. It turned out in a second that the only reason for placing her watch there was to cover some stain that regular detergents failed to deal with. Oh dear, you should use Persil instead! ” When multinationals develop into or with other countries there may be an assumption that because everyone within the company is working for the same goals and to the same values, they will automatically communicate, think and view the world in the same way. When multiple cultures begin working together, problems or difficulties arise that many people within these companies are not skilled or adept enough to deal with effectively. This can simply be because they’ve never had to deal with the issue before.
Language is often the least difficult barrier to breach.
When we know there may be language differences, we have a greater awareness of the potential for problems. However, much more often it’s a completely different way of seeing things and an inability, or unwillingness, to see what the other person is seeing that causes the difficulties. Misunderstanding is the norm At Impact Factory we say that ‘misunderstanding is the norm’. We assume that because the other person knows our language (or we know theirs) that we speak the same language. Often we don’t.
Even when our ‘Mother’ tongue is the same, we don’t speak it the same way.
When we work with other cultures, it’s easy to be influenced by common stereotypes, misconceptions and prejudices about our new colleagues. Without realising it, we carry those misconceptions and stereotypes into meetings, conferences, trainings or even social gatherings that can make communication difficult and hard work. In our own culture (where we feel at ‘home’), we are all individuals with a host of differences; yet there are so many similarities that the differences can seem negligible. There appears to be more in common than may actually be so, but somehow we absorb and adjust to the differences.
When we are abroad, or even in our own home territory working with others from abroad, the differences are far more apparent and it becomes much harder to see the similarities.
‘Home’ is that place where we feel most comfortable. The landscape looks familiar and we know the signposts that tell us where we are. When we are away from ‘home’ we may try to recreate that landscape: we surround ourselves with people who are like us; we join clubs where we’re all similar; we may even try to get the ‘aliens’ to be more like us so that we feel more comfortable.
Not only that, if we start having difficulties with someone, it seems easier to focus on the differences and to start gathering ‘evidence’ to support our case about how difficult they are, than to look for the common ground which might lead to a resolution. We might even create a hurdle out of a hillock! Changing you to change others Life would certainly be a lot simpler if other people would just shape up and see things our way! As ridiculous as that statement looks when written out, that is often what we think when things aren’t going well, particularly when communication starts breaking down.
We wait for the other person to change so we’ll be all right (‘If only he’d listen to me I’d be fine.
‘ ‘If only she’d be clearer I could get my work done more efficiently. ‘). All of us at some time or another have thought something similar. The reality is: the only person you can change is you. When you are the ‘interloper’ you can’t afford to wait for the other person to change and see things your way. If you are in trouble and it feels as though people won’t meet you halfway, unless you change and do something different, communication will continue to disintegrate.
Even if you aren’t the interloper but are working at ‘home’ with someone from another culture, waiting for the other person to change could mean a long wait. The really good news The really good news is that something can be done about these difficulties that doesn’t require you to change everything about you. It is far easier to make small adjustments, tweaks and fine-tunings in order to become a more effective and aware communicator when working cross-culturally. On an Impact Factory Cross-Cultural programme delegates:
Examine how to look after themselves whilst changing the outcome of difficult or complex communications. Practise how to be in charge of the way communication happens. Look at some of the things that separate cultures and create unnecessary misunderstanding.
Discover how they can adapt their behaviour without being in conflict with who they are. A Cross-Cultural Programme looks at: • Diversity of Difference Terms of Reference and Language Assumptions Projection and Perception Images (media, historical) Beliefs and Traditions Avoiding Avoidance Finding Common Ground Spheres of Influence Blame vs.
What CAN I do Conflict Resolution and Negotiation (Creating Win/Win solutions) Dealing with Misunderstandings Getting what you want Delegate’s specific situations and difficulties Companies that have asked us to include material on cross-cultural issues have been concerned that the vital work of their companies can get compromised (or at least, slowed down) if problems (or potential problems) are not brought into the open and addressed. For instance, Nokia Communications knows that there are communication issues between Finland and Britain, because in general Finns and Brits communicate differently sometimes very differently).
People from each culture think they are making adjustments and accommodations to suit the other, but those changes are not necessarily the ones that are needed: they are often the ones that people assume are needed! Impact Factory would be pleased to provide a complete proposal with a more detailed outline of the course content. Naturally, a full day’s training will provide a comprehensive look at the issues involved. However, Impact Factory is able to offer a Cross-Cultural Programme in a four-hour module to individuals who already communicate at a relatively high level.
I will present the materials in a table format such that it may be easier to digest. A simple summary provided by Bhagat et al (2002 provides a good stepping-stone for analysis of the cross-cultural issues: Cross-border transfer of organizational knowledge is most effective in terms of both velocity and viscosity when the type of knowledge (i.
e. , human, social, or structured) being transferred is simple, explicit, and independent and when such transfers involve similar cultural contexts.
In contrast, transfer is least effective when the type of knowledge being transferred is complex, tacit, and systemic and involves dissimilar cultural contexts. (p. 204) Table 1: Cross-cultural Implications – Asian (China, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Taiwan, Singapore, Japan) and the West [pic] • [pic] [pic] Because most of the areas discussed in Table 1 also apply to Indian culture, we will only look at a few areas that are subtle variances in implications.
This time I will ask the reader to think about the implications based on a review of Table 1. Let’s see if you have started to figure it out. [pic] [pic] Applications of Social Style
At the time that Merrill and Reid developed Social Style they primarily focused on insurance sales agents as participants when developing their Social Style questionnaires. Since the development of the concept of Social Style, researchers have focused on determining other areas to which the concept of Social Style also would apply. This section will look at the applications for Social Style.
Most research has looked at how Social Style can aid in organizational communication through training, consulting, and staff development. Other social science research has taken a more academic look at Social Style.
This section will be divided into the areas of corporate application and social science research. Corporate application: The