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EFFECTS OF WORK-PLACE DIVERSITY

Introduction

Workplace diversity refers to the variety of differences between people in an organization. That sounds simple, but diversity encompasses race, gender, ethnic group, age, personality, cognitive style, tenure, organizational function, education, background and more.

Diversity not only involves how people perceive themselves, but how they perceive others. Those perceptions affect their interactions. For a wide assortment of employees to function effectively as an organization, human resource professionals need to deal effectively with issues such as communication, adaptability and change. Diversity will increase significantly in the coming years. Successful organizations recognize the need for immediate action and are ready and willing to spend resources on managing diversity in the workplace now.

The world's increasing globalization requires more interaction among people from diverse cultures, beliefs, and backgrounds than ever before. People no longer live and work in an insular marketplace; they are now part of a worldwide economy with competition coming from nearly every continent. For this reason, profit and non-profit organizations need diversity to become more creative and open to change. Maximizing and capitalizing on workplace diversity has become an important issue for management today.

Supervisors and front-line managers could benefit from reading this paper. Supervisors and managers are the targeted audience because they need to recognize the ways in which the workplace is changing, evolving, and diversifying. Since managing diversity remains a significant organizational challenge, managers must learn the managerial skills needed in a multicultural work environment. Supervisors and managers must be prepared to teach themselves and others within their organizations to value multicultural differences in both associates and customers so that everyone is treated with dignity.

This paper is designed for managers to effectively manage diverse workforce populations. It provides a general definition for “diversity”, discusses the benefits of diversity in the workplace, the challenges of managing a diverse workplace, and presents effective strategies for managing diverse workforces.

Diversity Defined

Diversity is generally defined as acknowledging, understanding, accepting, valuing, and celebrating differences among people with respect to age, class, ethnicity, gender, physical and mental ability, race, sexual orientation, spiritual practice, and public assistance status.

The term „diversity‟ has a very broad connotation and includes many facets of differences, apart from disparities in race and gender. In the context of a workplace, diversity gets manifested in many forms such as - age, gender, ethnicity, physical attributes, sexual orientation, educational background, income, marital status, geographical location, spiritual practice, parental status, work experience, job classification and the like. With the advent of globalization, diversity in workplace is getting increasingly pronounced. All the same, an organization‟s success and growth rate are also determined by its ability to welcome, understand and manage diversity in an effective manner. It is only when people of different background and beliefs work together as a team that the company can hope to progress and

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grow. The main key to achieve this is by working towards valuing diversity. Read on to know about the advantages of diversity in workplace and also learn about managing issues related

to it.

Demographic changes (women in the workplace, organizational restructurings, and equal opportunity legislation) will require organizations to review their management practices and develop new and creative approaches to managing people. Changes will increase work performance and customer service.

Benefits of Workplace Diversity

An organization's success and competitiveness depends upon its ability to embrace diversity and realize the benefits. When organizations actively assess their handling of workplace

diversity issues, develop and implement diversity plans, multiple benefits are reported such

as:

Increased adaptability:

Organizations employing a diverse workforce can supply a greater variety of solutions to problems in service, sourcing, and allocation of resources. Employees from diverse backgrounds bring individual talents and experiences in suggesting ideas that are flexible in adapting to fluctuating markets and customer demands.

Broader service range:

A diverse collection of skills and experiences (e.g. languages, cultural understanding) allows

a company to provide service to customers on a global basis.

Variety of viewpoints:

A diverse workforce that feels comfortable communicating varying points of view provides a

larger pool of ideas and experiences. The organization can draw from that pool to meet business strategy needs and the needs of customers more effectively.

More effective execution:

Companies that encourage diversity in the workplace inspire all of their employees to perform to their highest ability. Company-wide strategies can then be executed; resulting in higher productivity, profit, and return on investment

Diversity is beneficial to both associates and employers. Although associates are interdependent in the workplace, respecting individual differences can increase productivity.

Diversity in the workplace can reduce lawsuits and increase marketing opportunities, recruitment, creativity, and business image. In an era when flexibility and creativity are keys

to competitiveness, diversity is critical for an organization's success. Also, the consequences

(loss of time and money) should not be overlooked.

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Advantages Of Diversity In Workplace

When employees come from diverse backgrounds, they bring individual talents and experiences with them. This invariably employees come from diverse backgrounds, they bring individual talents and experiences with them. This invariably contributes to an organization‟s overall growth.

Diversities in a working environment add a unique richness to the workplace. There is a special kind of challenge - every individual within the organization feels like putting in extra effort to overcome these individual differences. Such united opinions, in fact, work for the betterment of the company or the institution.contributes to an organization‟s overall gro wth. Embracing employees with different skills and cultural

Embracing employees with different skills and cultural viewpoints helps in understanding the needs and requirements of the customers, on a global scale.work for the betterment of the company or the institution. Diversity in workplace leads to a

Diversity in workplace leads to a wide variety of viewpoints and business ideas. This helps an organization formulate the best business strategy, with its large pool of different ideas and solutions.needs and requirements of the customers, on a global scale. Challenges of Diversity in the Workplace

Challenges of Diversity in the Workplace

Taking full advantage of the benefits of diversity in the workplace is not without its challenges. Some of those challenges are:

Communication:

Perceptual, cultural and language barriers need to be overcome for diversity programs to succeed. Ineffective communication of key objectives results in confusion, lack of teamwork, and low morale.

Resistance to change:

There are always employees who will refuse to accept the fact that the social and cultural makeup of their workplace is changing. The "we've always done it this way" mentality silences new ideas and inhibits progress.

Implementation of diversity in the workplace policies:

This can be the overriding challenge to all diversity advocates. Armed with the results of employee assessments and research data, they must build and implement a customized strategy to maximize the effects of workplace diversity for their particular organization.

Successful Management of Diversity in the Workplace:

Diversity training alone is not sufficient for your organization‟s diversity management plan. A strategy must be created and implemented to create a culture of diversity that permeates every department and function of the organization.

Individual versus Group Fairness:

This issue is closely related to the “difference in divisive versus better” i.e. how far management should go in adapting HR programs to diverse employee groups.

Resentment:

Equal Employment Opportunities (EEO) was imposed by government rather than self initiated. The response to this forced change was in many cases grudging compliance.

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Group Cohesiveness and Interpersonal Conflict:

Although employee diversity can lead to greater creativity and better problem solving; it can also lead to open conflict and chaos if there is mistrust and lack of respect among groups. This means that as organizations become more diverse, they face greater risks that employees will not work together effectively. Interpersonal friction rather than cooperation may become the norm

Backlash:

Some group in the organization feels that they have to defend themselves against encroachments by those using their gender or ethnicity to lay claim to organizational resources .Thus, while women and minorities may view a firms cultural diversity policy as a commitment to improving their chances of advancement.

Retention:

The job satisfaction levels of women and minorities are often lower than those of majorities. Therefore it becomes difficult to retain such people in an organization.

Competition for Opportunities:

Already, there are rising tensions among the disadvantaged groups jockeying for advancement. Employers are being put into the uncomfortable position of having to decide which disadvantaged group is most deserving

There are challenges to managing a diverse work population. Managing diversity is more than simply acknowledging differences in people. It involves recognizing the value of differences, combating discrimination, and promoting inclusiveness. Managers may also be challenged with losses in personnel and work productivity due to prejudice and discrimination and complaints and legal actions against the organization.

Negative attitudes and behaviours can be barriers to organizational diversity because they can harm working relationships and damage morale and work productivity. Negative attitudes and behaviours in the workplace include prejudice, stereotyping, and discrimination, which should never be used by management for hiring, retention, and termination practices (could lead to costly litigation).

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Managing The Challenges Of Diversity in Organizations

An organization should keep a check on the perceptual, cultural and language barriers related to diversity and see that they don‟t give way to confusion and low team related to diversity and see that they don‟t give way to confusion and low team spirit.

While working towards managing diversities in organizations, attempts should be made to identify the similarities, instead of looking for the differences. This will help the organization set up the basis for a healthy working environment.that they don‟t give way to confusion and low team spirit. Proper steps should be taken

Proper steps should be taken to involve every employee while devising and executing diversity initiatives in the workplace.set up the basis for a healthy working environment. Take polite and sincere interest about the

Take polite and sincere interest about the well being and emotional health of the workers. For the smooth running of any institution, it is very essential to keep the „human For the smooth running of any institution, it is very essential to keep the „human aspect‟ in mind. It should be kept in mind that every person has his or her personal life and it is important to value that and give the person some space.

Respect and value each person‟s contribution, overlooking their differences in opinions and beliefs. r differences in opinions and beliefs.

An organization should provide an atmosphere of openness and candour. Employees should never be dissuaded from voicing their opinions and ideas, regarding any matter.overlooking thei r differences in opinions and beliefs. Try to create an environment within the institution

Try to create an environment within the institution wherein every person will enjoy working.from voicing their opinions and ideas, regarding any matter. An organization should always see that it

An organization should always see that it promotes diversity in managerial and leading positions.the institution wherein every person will enjoy working. Organizations can also arrange training, in order to

Organizations can also arrange training, in order to improve policies and procedures related to diversity

Recommended steps that have been proven successful in world-class organizations are:

Assessment of diversity in the workplace:

Top companies make assessing and evaluating their diversity process an integral part of their management system. A customizable employee satisfaction survey can accomplish this assessment for your company efficiently and conveniently. It can help your management team determine which challenges and obstacles to diversity are present in your workplace and which policies need to be added or eliminated. Reassessment can then determine the success of you diversity in the workplace plan implementation.

Development of diversity in the workplace plan:

Choosing a survey provider that provides comprehensive reporting is a key decision. That report will be the beginning structure of your diversity in the workplace plan. The plan must be comprehensive, attainable and measurable. An organization must decide what changes need to be made and a timeline for that change to be attained.

Implementation of diversity in the workplace plan:

The personal commitment of executive and managerial teams is a must. Leaders and managers within organizations must incorporate diversity policies into every aspect of the organization‟s function and purpose. Attitudes toward diversity originate at the top and filter downward. Management cooperation and participation is required to create a culture conducive to the success of your organization‟s plan.

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Diversity as an Asset

Diversity in the work force was previously thought to lead to garbled communications, conflict, and a less efficient workplace. Today, many firms realize that diversity can actually enhance organizational effectiveness.

New Products and Services:

Diversity generates ideas in geometric progression fuelling greater creativity and innovation. It can stimulate consideration of less obvious alternatives. This results in flurry of new products and services to meet the customers expectation and needs.

Better teamwork:

Organizations are operating in such a fashion that it is impossible to function without teamwork. Interacting with diverse workforce is leading to better ideas and enhancing the morale and motivation in the organization

Better Image:

Companies that have diverse workforce are having better image, reputation and patronage than those who do not encourage diversity. This has huge impact on expansion of business as it can reduce the talent crunch by targeting the diverse groups.

Effective and Happy workforce:

Adept handling of diversity can multiply motivation and enhance productivity due to the satisfaction employees enjoy on being treated fairly, valued equally and given dignity at workplaces. It reduces the chances of absenteeism and attrition too as the undue stress, unnecessary frustration or low morale due to being insensitive, discriminatory etc gets drastically reduced. Hence, many organizations are charting diversity initiative not merely to comply with legal obligations but reap the business benefits especially in term of better recruitment and higher retention among the talented workforce

Expansion of Markets:

Globalization has brought together heterogeneous teams to enhance the problem solving capabilities and produce creative solutions leading to expansion of business landscape.

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Diversity in hiring

There is a great deal of interest in effectively hiring candidates from diverse backgrounds. At Power Hiring we see hiring of diverse candidates as a matter of course. We need better understand what individual hiring managers do differently that resulted in their hiring of a broader group of diverse candidates. Looking at the diversity issue from these three perspectives provides some important information every company and manager can use to address this critical business issue.

The common key: hiring top candidates is no different than hiring diverse candidates. When you set up your hiring systems up to look for the best based on their ability to deliver the desired results, all aspects of fairness and diversity are taken into account. Race, age, religion, gender and physical challenges are less important in the hiring decision when performance is used as the primary measuring stick.

Unfortunately, most hiring systems don´t work this way: they still use skills, competencies, personal judgment and personal biases as the selection criteria. Building a diverse and talented workforce requires more than just desire, commitment, exhortations and a few tactical action plans taken by HR. It requires a fundamental change in a company´s hiring process.

Four Key Components for Effective Diversity Hiring

Four key components are necessary to implement an effective diversity hiring program. This four-step program will enhance all aspects of your company´s hiring standards, not weaken them. In the process, you´ll attract a better class of candidate for all positions.

1. A corporate commitment to diversity hiring, coupled with specific training addressing these fundamental themes.

2. A proactive diversity sourcing effort.

3. Personal awareness, through reinforcement and intervention, that at the moment of the first interview most hiring decisions will be based on emotional biases, prejudices and stereotyping.

4. Practical tools to use during the interview that naturally substitute performance as the primary selection criteria rather than emotions and personal biases.

Each step is critical, but if you don´t get Step Four right the rest won´t matter. In fact, I would suggest that many companies have already implemented Steps 1 and 2, and a few 3, but they aren´t getting the success desired. Here´s why. Most hiring managers don´t know how to interview and assess competency properly. So no matter what the corporate initiatives and desires are, hiring will never be effective until you train managers how to interview and hire correctly. Using a team approach where everyone has a vote worsens the situation. It just compounds the problem, because now you have more people who aren´t necessarily great interviewers, but with an equal vote, involved in the decision. Since nobody has enough time, they always defer to the higher-ups or the most persuasive person, in the hope that this person has some expertise. The results: a compromise candidate who meets the lowest common denominator. When this is combined with a decision-making process based on first impressions, intuition, and personal biases the chance of accurate hiring is remote. Until this is fixed, diversity initiatives will have marginal success.

However, if the hiring manager - the real decision maker in all this - can overcome his or her past conditioning with real training on how to hire correctly, then the ability to hire a talented and diverse workforce can be the basis of building outstanding teams of dedicated employees. Some simple steps can be taken immediately to address this critical issue.

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Job Descriptions Don´t Do the Job

The real problem is that traditional job descriptions -- listing skills, experiences, competencies and academics -- are fatally flawed. They don´t define the job: they attempt to define the person taking the job. We know that just because someone has all of the skills, it doesn´t mean they can deliver the desired results. I suspect that you have many successful people in your company who don´t meet the criteria listed on their own job descriptions. Everyone who has been promoted or transferred to a lateral position would fit this bill. We also know that someone who can deliver the results by definition has all of the real skills, experiences, and academics to do the job. The best job descriptions define the results first, including a minimum set of skills.

Another major problem with traditional job descriptions is that they ignore motivation. This is the core attribute of success. And although motivation is always listed on the list of desirable traits, how do you really measure it? The people most highly motivated to do the job rarely have the skill set listed. They´re motivated to obtain this skill set, to learn more, to be challenged, and to achieve results. While they might meet 60-70% of skills/experience requirements, it´s getting the balance that drives them to perform at peak levels. Motivation needs to be matched to the actual job. Because a person has shown motivation in the past doesn´t guarantee motivation in the future -- unless the job challenges are comparable. Lowering the skills bar doesn´t mean you are lowering your standards. You´ll raise them if you don´t compromise on the performance requirements of the job. When you select candidates based on performance, you obtain the best of both worlds - the appropriate level of skills in combination with high motivation.

Performance profiles are a great substitute for traditional job descriptions. If you want to hire superior people, first define superior performance. A performance profile describes the deliverables required for job success. To create one, just start by asking the hiring manager what the person taking the job needs to do to be successful. Break this into a time-line covering the first month to the first year. Find out what the person taking the job needs to do in the first 30 days, the first 90 days, the first six months, and first year to be considered successful.

Sensitivity Training and Structured Assessment

Once you have this foundation in place, it´s time to think about diversity. Â Some type of sensitivity training might be appropriate. Hiring managers and other interviewers must be made aware of their own biases. This is the role of corporate training. However, these biases are powerful and deep-rooted, and won´t be neutralized with just the training session. We are pre-programmed to hire people who are like us. I´ve discovered that this can be overcome when the sensitivity training is combined with a simple, structured interview and assessment process that each interviewer is required to use. We´ve developed a version of this to complement the performance profile. We simply have candidates describe in great detail personal accomplishments comparable to those listed in the performance profile. The goal is to paint a detailed word picture of the accomplishment that covers the results achieved, the process used to achieve the results, and the environment in which the results were achieved. This takes at least 8 to 12 minutes for each task. The answers then need to be compared to the objectives described in the performance profile, the environment and culture of the company, and resources available. The effectiveness of this type of performance-based behavioral interviewing is enhanced when combined with realistic situational questions. Asking candidates how they would organize, plan, or implement the desired objectives uncovers the thinking and planning aspects of the job.

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Getting a Supply of Good Candidates

A hiring process that includes corporate diversity training, performance profiles and

performance-based interviewing is the secret to building a diverse and talented workforce. Proactive sourcing programs must also be developed to ensure a good supply of top candidates. Research revealed that diverse candidates are more likely to use the major job boards in finding employment rather than diversity-specific sites. They believe that better jobs are listed here. Creative and compelling advertising is the key to getting top candidates to apply to ads placed on any of these boards. To build a bigger pool of motivated candidates, write ads (these could be verbal, radio spots, or on the side of buses) that describe what the person will do if they get the job. People who are motivated to do this type of work will respond.

Use these same types of ads in your referral network. Top candidates know other top candidates, and great diverse candidates know other great diverse candidates. Make sure your web site describes the challenges of the job, and the company culture. Highlight in word and pictures the company goal of building a diverse and talented workforce where everyone gets

an opportunity to excel. Sourcing is a critical piece of the puzzle, and all the messages must reinforce each other.

Executive Leadership, Not HR, Should Drive Diversity Hiring Efforts

More than two-thirds (68 percent) of executive recruiters say diversity hiring efforts should be spearheaded by top company leadership, according to international recruiters who completed the latest edition of the quarterly Executive Recruiter Index, released by Korn/Ferry International. This overwhelming trend reflects the importance of diversity hiring practices in today‟s competitive market for talent.

Other champions of diversity, according to global recruiters, include the company‟s board of directors (13 percent) and the human resources department (11 percent).

Additionally, nearly half of recruiters (46 percent) reveal that minority candidates are present in 25-75 percent of their executive searches. More than one-fifth of recruiters (21 percent) report that diversity candidates had been included in three-quarters or more of their recent engagements.

The recognition of diversity as an effort that needs to start in the C-suite and permeate throughout every level of the organization shows great progress, said Bob Damon, president

of North America for Korn/Ferry International. As globalization continues to shape the

workplace, our clients are seeking executive leadership who not only reflect today‟s talent

pool, but who also understand the social and cultural nuances of varying markets.

Almost half (49 percent) of recruiters attribute the increased visibility around diversity issues

to globalization, while another 30 percent cite the increased presence of women and

minorities in the workplace as the leading reason.

Lastly, nearly 9 out of 10 recruiters (85 percent) agree that companies that have successful diversity programs in place enjoy a competitive advantage in the marketplace. Effective diversity programs provide a more robust talent pool for organizations around the world, allowing them to attract and retain more top talent amidst today‟s shortage of skilled professionals.

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Attract & Maintain a Diverse Workforce

Drive Board of Directors to measure diversity and monitor its successes What gets measured gets noticed – ensure commitment to diversity by CEO by measuring his/her performance in this area Share ensure commitment to diversity by CEO by measuring his/her performance in this area Share ownership for diversity across all senior management; measure individual leaders‟ results; make diversity management a core leadership competency

Intentionally create an environment of inclusion through mentoring programs, leadership development training and succession planningmake diversity management a core leadership competency Train management and staff on diversity awareness and how

Train management and staff on diversity awareness and how to communicate and manage constructive conflict and how to communicate and manage constructive conflict

Engage a diverse slate of employees to be “diversity talent identifiers”and how to communicate and manage constructive conflict Demonstrate patience and willingness to invest in a

Demonstrate patience and willingness to invest in a long-term recruitment diversity strategy; develop a clear, attainable planslate of employees to be “diversity talent identifiers” Recruiting A Diverse Workforce Cast a wide net

Recruiting A Diverse Workforce

Cast a wide net when searching for prospective employees keeping in mind that networking is the most effective way to recruit and hire diverse candidates Actively network among communities representing full spectrum of diversity (ethnicity, sexual orientation/identification,
Actively network among communities representing full spectrum of diversity (ethnicity, sexual orientation/identification, gender, age, etc.) most effective way to recruit and hire diverse candidates Develop partnerships with professional organizations and
Develop partnerships with professional organizations and other sources where diverse candidate pools exist. sexual orientation/identification, gender, age, etc.) Post jobs with web sites and publications targeted at
Post jobs with web sites and publications targeted at underrepresented communities Use an employee referral program focused on attracting diverse candidates and other sources where diverse candidate pools exist. Recruit at college campuses with large minority populations
Recruit at college campuses with large minority populations Use diversity search firm partners with demonstrated competence in finding professionals from underrepresented groupstargeted at underrepresented communities Use an employee referral program focused on attracting diverse candidates

Be strategic – integrate all tactics to leverage effectiveness and efficiency integrate all tactics to leverage effectiveness and efficiency

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THE INDIAN PERSPECTIVE

Why is it required?

Most HR managers emphasise that managing a diverse workforce is no longer a choice, but

an imperative.

A diverse organisation is shaped or influenced by the basic corporate culture, which comes

from the vision and mission of the founder-promoter. Then there's the influence of the

geographical culture. The company is largely influenced by the personal culture of the people

at the mid-management and senior management levels. Then, ultimately, it is also shaped by

the client culture.

Most Indian companies have customers abroad. These customers are usually international companies which are expanding globally. They require a known company to service their needs in different locations where they operate.

As Indian companies cater to the service requirements of these companies, it is imperative that they align their growth with those of their clients. Hence, they need to set up operations globally, for which they need to recruit people from diverse backgrounds.

Not having a culturally diverse workforce will create a serious handicap for Indian companies when they plan to expand overseas - or even when they have to compete with foreign imports

or MNCs.

For example, if an Indian company is competing to provide services to an International company, then it must have some employees in its marketing team who are experienced in working in the location of that company.

Imagine the consequences if the entire marketing team consists of only Indians!

The only way to overcome this disadvantage is to have a proactive diversit y policy based on meritocracy. This will ensure that the best talent is hired and makes it comfortable for people from different cultural background to work in that company.

Companies that have traditionally operated in only one country or in one cultural geography - i.e., Europe, South Asia, Central America etc., had a uniform workforce. A vast majority of employees were from the similar background - same religion, culture, speak same language etc.

But as companies expand abroad and go global - the demographics of its work force needs to change. Company‟s need for talent and desire to hire the best - will force companies to look for people beyond their national boundaries.

India itself has a diverse group of people: Different Religions, Languages, Ethnicity and lifestyles. India is home to 50+ languages and 200+ dialects. India probably has all the world‟s religions represented and also has people from almost all ethnicity (African, Caucasian, Aryan, Dravidian, Chinese, and Polynesian). Yet a workforce of Indians alone is not enough. Firms will need people from other nationalities too.

A good thing about India though is that the country and its culture has been diversity friendly.

This creates a suitable base for Indian firms to create a globally diverse workforce. A diverse work force can create diverse ideas which are superior and that can provide competitive

advantages.

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The Challenges for Indian Companies

The benefits of diversity are not instantaneous. Diversity creates differences and this difference often mean conflicts.

Despite all the high profile news of hiring from foreign universities; hiring foreign nationals, Indian business organizations have not yet whole heartedly embraced the need for cultural diversity. A vast majority of Indian firms are cultural mono types. They hire people from the same background - usually the same religion, religious subgroups (castes), and those who speak the same language. Exercising the concept of diversity is easy to understand but difficult to inculcate for most firms. This prevents them from realizing the benefits of having a diverse workforce.

Also, people from different countries tend to form their own groups and these groups do not get along easily with each other. The same is applicable to the work force within a company.

Differences in communication styles, work attitudes, or behaviour can create friction within teams - and when these differences are not controlled, it can cripple a team. Research has found that diverse teams often go through an extended period of time in the Storming Phase.

It becomes important and essential for the management and team leaders to take concentrated

efforts to integrate the team.

Managing diversity creates one of the biggest challenges to any organization; the need for

skilled managers who can integrate diverse teams. Managers who skilled at this are not easy

to find - and therefore existing managers have to be trained in diversity skills: Ability to

mediate disagreements, ability to put down any form of intolerance, ability to understand different cultures and speak different languages.

These global mangers are very difficult to find - let alone hire or train in India.

To make diversity succeed, a strong and committed leadership is needed. These leaders who

are from top management must understand the benefits of diversity. They must be committed

to create a diverse workforce - by creating suitable staffing strategy and cultural integration

plans.

Integrating a diverse work force is not easy neither it is instantaneous. International companies such as Intel, Microsoft, IBM, Accenture etc., have created a high performing global work force by taking a series of steps over an extended period of time. The same will hold true for Indian firms.

Leaders must be able to stand-up to these beliefs and demonstrate their appreciation to different ideas. The best way to have such a leadership is to create a diverse leadership.

A weak leadership or if leaders show any signs of favouritism, inter-group fights will reign

which results in low morale and high employee turnover. And over a period of time if the problem is not corrected, the company loses its image and that can turn away customers and potential good employees.

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THE GLOBAL PERSPECTIVE

WHY IS IT REQUIRED?

An organization‟s success and competitiveness depends upon its ability to embrace diversity and realize the benefits. When organizations actively assess their handling of workplace diversity issues, develop and implement diversity plans, multiple benefits are reported such as:

Increased adaptability:

Organizations employing a diverse workforce can supply a greater variety of solutions to problems in service, sourcing, and allocation of resources. Employees from diverse backgrounds bring individual talents and experiences in suggesting ideas that are flexible in adapting to fluctuating markets and customer demands.

Broader service range:

A diverse collection of skills and experiences (e.g. languages, cultural understanding) allows a company to provide service to customers on a global basis.

Variety of viewpoints:

A diverse workforce that feels comfortable communicating varying points of view provides a larger pool of ideas and experiences. The organization can draw from that pool to meet business strategy needs and the needs of customers more effectively.

More effective execution:

Companies that encourage workplace diversity inspire all of their employees to perform to their highest ability. Company-wide strategies can then are executed; resulting in higher productivity, profit, and return on investment.

Steps To Enable And Sustain Diversity

The first and the most essential step in creating diversity is to have commitment from the top leadership. Leaders of the company should wholeheartedly endorse diversity and should also create diversity in the leadership cadre. For example take a look at the leadership team (VP and above) at Intel, it consists of people from multiple countries - India, China, USA, Europe etc. The same holds true for IBM and Accenture.

Second step is to replicate this diversity in all levels of the organization starting from the top. This implies that the company will now need a global staffing strategy. Few firms have gone to the extent of having a policy that mandates it to have at least one woman, one racial minority employee in each level of the organization.

The third step is to set target for the entire organization. Targets for every group/division within the company in terms of workforce diversity has to be set. This will mobilize the middle management to take proactive steps to create a diverse work force. This should be followed by having a suitable employee rotation program - wherein employees are encouraged to work in different locations and with different sets of teams (these teams are diverse teams). A well crafted work rotation program can create a truly integrated diverse work force.

Most employees have to work with people from multiple ethnicity, cultures and nationalities - and deliver results against a set target. The need to achieve targets will overpower any cultural differences between team members.

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An important process in cultural integration is to have formal training classes for all employees. It is essential to have formal classes which explain different cultures and tell people why certain people behave the way they do. All employees must attend these training programs and these training programs must be held regularly.

QUESTIONNAIRE

Workplace Diversity

The questionnaire will take the following format:

Section 1 Basic Data

Section 2 Questions on Race

Section 3 Questions on Age

Section 4 Questions on Disability

Section 5 Questions on Gender

Section 6 Questions on Religion

Section 7 Questions on Sexual Orientation

Section 8 Questions on Foreign Management

Section 9 Questions on Perception of Your Workplace

Section 1

Q1. Please mention if you are a part time / full time employee:

Q2. Please specify your length of service (in months):

Section 2

Q1. Please mention your ethnic origin:

Q2. Have you ever experienced any negative issues regarding your Race/Ethnic origin?

Q3.a If Yes, Are you satisfied with the resolution provided to you?

Q3.b Please indicate whether you are satisfied with the support you received from:

Line Manager/Supervisor

HR Unit

Other Team Members

Section 3

Q1. Please specify your age (in years):

Q2. Have you ever experienced any negative issues regarding your age?

Q3. Have you been denied a position in your workplace with regards to your age?

Q4.

a) If Yes, Are you satisfied with the resolution provided to you?

b) Please indicate whether you are satisfied with the support you received from:

you? b) Please indicate whether you are satisfied with the support you received from: Line Manager/Supervisor

Line Manager/Supervisor HR Unit

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Other Team Members Section 4 Q1. Do you consider yourself to have a disability (physical/mental

Other Team Members

Section 4

Q1. Do you consider yourself to have a disability (physical/mental impairment) or a physical or a hidden disability that affects your day-to-day activities?

Q2. Have you ever experienced any negative issues regarding your disability?

Q3.

a) If Yes, Are you satisfied with the resolution provided to you?

b) Please indicate whether you are satisfied with the support you received from:

Line Manager/Supervisor HR Unit Other Team Membersyou are satisfied with the support you received from: Section 5 Q1. Are you Female /

Section 5

Q1. Are you Female / Male?

Q2. Do you believe there are any problems regarding Gender at your workplace?

Q3. Have you personally ever had an issue regarding your Gender at your workplace?

Q4.

a) If Yes, Are you satisfied with the resolution provided to you?

b) Please indicate whether you are satisfied with the support you received from:

you are satisfied with the support you received from: Line Manager/Supervisor HR Unit Other Team Members

Line Manager/Supervisor HR Unit Other Team Members

Section 6

Q1. Please specify what best describes your religious beliefs / religion:

Q2. Do you believe there are any problems regarding Religion at your workplace?

Q3. Have you personally ever had an issue regarding your Faith at your workplace?

Q4. Have you ever been denied a holiday to observe a religious occasion pertaining to your Religion?

Q5.

a) If Yes, Are you satisfied with the resolution provided to you?

b) Please indicate whether you are satisfied with the support you received from:

whether you are satisfied with the support you received from: Line Manager/Supervisor HR Unit Other Team

Line Manager/Supervisor HR Unit Other Team Members

15

Section 7

Q1. Please specify what best describes your sexual orientation:

Q2. Do you believe there are any negative problems regarding Sexual Orientation at your workplace?

Q3. Have you personally ever had an issue regarding your Sexual Orientation at your workplace?

Q4.

a) If Yes, Are you satisfied with the resolution provided to you?

b) Please indicate whether you are satisfied with the support you received from:

Line Manager/Supervisor HR Unit Other Team Membersyou are satisfied with the support you received from: Section 8 Q1. Does your workplace have

Section 8

Q1. Does your workplace have foreign Leadership / Management?

Q2. Have you ever reported to a foreigner Supervisor?

Q3. Have you personally ever faced a negative impact due to reporting to a foreigner Supervisor, in any respect?

Q4.

a) If Yes, Are you satisfied with the resolution provided to you?

b) Please indicate whether you are satisfied with the support you received from:

Line Manager/Supervisor HR Unit Other Team Membersyou are satisfied with the support you received from: Section 9 Q1. Are you satisfied with

Section 9

Q1. Are you satisfied with the following Employment Factors?

a) Environment / Working Conditions

b) Supervisory Support

c) Resources / Equipment

d) Training

Q2. Do you believe your workplace gives personalized attention to individual employee‟s differing needs?

Q3. Overall, do you believe your employer has justified workplace diversity in a positive way?

16

Primary Data Analysis

With a sample size of 20 responses to the questionnaire, the data collected can be interpreted and represented in the following manner:

There are 20 responses. They were questioned on 8 parameters, after their basic information was taken (Full Time/Part Time, Experience in months)can be interpreted and represented in the following manner: The questions were close ended (Yes /

The questions were close ended (Yes / No) / one word answer, for simplicitywas taken (Full Time/Part Time, Experience in months) The positive and negative responses were as shown

The positive and negative responses were as shown in the graph below:

25 20 15 10 Positive 5 Negative 0
25
20
15
10
Positive
5
Negative
0
25 20 15 10 Positive 5 Negative 0
25 20 15 10 Positive 5 Negative 0
25 20 15 10 Positive 5 Negative 0
25 20 15 10 Positive 5 Negative 0
25 20 15 10 Positive 5 Negative 0

Clearly, from the chart we can see that most of the employees are satisfied with the workplace diversity.

Minor cases of Age and Gender, sensitive issues of Race and Religion, and workplace environment issue of working with a foreign supervisor, can be seen on the chart above. But these cases of negative responses quantify to as low as 4.375%.

17

Refer to the pie chart below for its graphical representation:

Workplace Diversity

Workplace Diversity Positive Responses Negative Responses

Positive ResponsesWorkplace Diversity Negative Responses

Negative ResponsesWorkplace Diversity Positive Responses

The samples have been collected from employees working in an International BPO Genpact, India (Gurgaon Branch). This company recruits candidates from all over India. It has offices in select main cities such as Delhi, Gurgaon, Calcutta, Bangalore, Jaipur and Hyderabad. However, it has vendors in remote areas such as Chhatisgarh, Jharkhand, Dehradun, Shillong, Imphal etc for purpose of recruitment.

The methodology of recruitment in itself is diverse, giving rise to possibility and eventuality of diversity in workplace.

The responses taken are from people with diverse backgrounds, age, religion, regions and work experience. This sample mostly represents the overall functioning of Genpact in terms of Diversity in workplace, mutual Respect, Teamwork and Integrity.

18

COMPANY CASES

TEAM FROM: LARSEN & TOUBRO LIMITED

The research paper aims at two dimensions. Firstly it tries to identify the various elements of diversity, as it exists in a modern Indian Business corporation. Secondly it looks at the methods that the companies can employ, not only to understand and cope with the diversity but also to leverage it towards building wholesome business relationships. Diversity in many ways is closely connected to another term that we see commonly used today, which is „Change‟. Managing diversity is an essential part of change management. If Indian companies have to thrive in today‟s changing global marketplace, it has to learn to manage diversity, both within the company and without.

The two Realms of Diversity at India Inc.

Diversity exists in two key realms

in an Indian Business Organization; the

first is at the

workplace and involves the employees of the company. The second is at the marketplace

and involves the interaction of the company with three groups of stakeholders- the owners, the partners and the customers.

Reasons for Diversity at the Workplace

There are two reasons for increased levels of workplace diversity today:

India has witnessedreasons for increased levels of workplace diversity today: significant demographic changes in the past twenty years

significant demographic changes in the past twenty years

proactively encouraging diversity within its ranks.

; many

people from traditionally agricultural communities have now joined the ranks of the middle class. Also, large numbers of women are now being employed in traditionally male dominated areas

Some of

them have adopted best practices of corporations around the world.

Many companies in India areadopted best practices of corporations around the world. Reason for Diversity at the Marketplace The reason

Reason for Diversity at the Marketplace

The reason for the increasing levels of diversity at the market place can be summed up in one

Though a much maligned and overworked word, no other term

captures so effectively the situation in the markets today. The challenge for Indian companies that cannot manage marketplace diversity effectively is enormous. This is true not only in global marketplace, but increasingly so in the Indian marketplace itself.

Advantages of Diversity

A company gains several advantages if it can effectively manage diversity. Some of these include the ability to spot new markets, reduction of costs, improved hiring quality, and reduction in unintended biases, favourable publicity and creative advantages. In the Indian context, promoting and managing diversity, particularly at the work place would go a long way in promoting social progress and help bring down barriers created by differences in Language, Caste, Ethnicity and Religion

word

Globalization.

19

Diversity in the Indian Workplace

Managing workplace diversity is one of thorniest challenges for HR managers in India today. Gone are the days, when most people in the office looked the same, spoke in the same manner and had the same outlook in life. Now things are somewhat different and so are the challenges.

Kinds of Diversity at the Workplace

There are different kinds of diversity that one encounters at the workplace. These include diversity of Gender, Age, Psychology, Education, Language and Culture. We will look at how three of these, those of Gender, Ethnology & Psychology can be managed

Managing Gender Diversity at India Inc.

The corporate workplace has traditionally been a male-dominated one. This has changed greatly in recent days in many of the business sectors like Technology Services, Finance & Banking and Retail. One significant change now is that men and women are being employed in the same roles within a company, whereas earlier even in the most diverse of organizations, there was clear demarcation as to what was a „woman‟s job‟ and what was not

The Challenges from Gender Diversity

This has brought with it a fresh set of challenges from the HR perspective. Gender Diversity is one of the reasons many HR policies fail; one man’s bread is often another woman’s poison. One sector that has been relatively successful in promoting Gender diversity is the IT Industry. Even here, the Gender ratio is skewed heavily in favor of men. A study by the magazine Dataquest in 2002 showed that the ratio of men to women in the major IT companies ranged from 2:1 to 24:1. Another study by the same magazine in 2007 showed that the representation of women in the IT workforce was around 24% in 2005. In 2007 this figure had marginally improved to 26.4%.

Gender Need Survey

Companies often ask two questions with regard to changing the above scenario:

a) What can be done to encourage women to join our company?

b) What can be done to ensure women continue in the company once they have joined?

To answer these two questions we conducted a „Gender Need‟ survey to find out if the needs of women employees in India are distinct from that of men. While it is quite convenient to assume that the needs of women employees are the same as their male counterpart, our survey revealed that this might not be the case in the Indian context. Our respondents included people in different age groups and working in different sectors. Equal number of men and women were covered in the survey. The following list of 16 „needs‟ was provided to the respondents. They were then asked to rate the importance they gave to these parameters on a scale of 1 to 5. The question asked was, “How important are the following things to you in considering a company for a long term career.”

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Fast growth opportunity Salary and remuneration Flexibility in location Performance based incentives Flexibility in timings and holidays Clean and safe working environment Diverse workforce Opportunities to learn and upgrade Recreational facilities Good quality canteen facilities Job security Opportunity for friendship State-of-the-Art work environment Access to technology/internet Appreciation from superiors and peers Liberal work culture

The rating scale was defined as below:

Rating Definition:

5

Critically Important

4

Very Important

3

Moderately Important

2

Hardly Important

1

Not Important at all

BLUE CROSS LABORATORIES LTD

Managing

In a modern Indian workplace, there is a great deal of diversity when it comes to language, ethnicity & culture. We will now look at the challenges and difficulties this presents to the organization and ways to overcome it.

Elements of Ethnological Diversity

There are

of Ethnological diversity that one can find in an Indian Workplace. Four

of them are the identities of Language, Religion, Caste and Ethnicity. There is also a fifth element that we call „inter-ethnological experience‟; some employees may have mixed ethnicity or may speak more than one language fluently

The Challenges from Ethnological Diversity

Ethnological Diversity

An India specific Challenge

5 elements

1.

The challenges an Indian company faces from Ethnological diversity

could stem from

 

differences in any of the 4 identities:

 

2.

Language:

People

speaking

different

languages

find

it

difficult

to

communicate

effectively when working in a group

 

3.

Animosity or ill-feeling could stem from religious differences

 

4.

Religion: Caste:
Religion:
Caste:

Caste divides could make its presence felt even in the most open and diverse of

workplaces

5.

Ethnicity:
Ethnicity:

Misunderstandings can arise among employees because of perceived ethnic

stereotypes.

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Recommendations for Managing Existing Ethnological Diversity

The following are our recommendations for managing the existing diversity in a workplace:

1. Encourage the use of a common language in the workplace.

2. Cross-ethnological teams should be formed whenever possible.

3. Team building exercises should be an integral part of any team project.

4. Across-ethnic mentoring scheme whereby a mentor from a different ethnic group is assigned to new recruits.

The Challenge to an Ethnologically Diverse Workplace Community Ethos

One significant challenge to improved levels of Ethnological Diversity in India is Community Ethos. Different communities have been strongly associated with certain trades or occupation. The reasons for this are Geographical as well as Historical:

1. Certain regions in India have been naturally conducive to certain trades or occupations.

2. Occupations in India like many other parts of the world have been passed on along familial/caste lines.

CE Response Test

To evaluate the degree of community-occupation association, we subjected around 40 Indians to our Community Ethos Response Test. This Test is loosely based on the famous „Implicit Association Test‟ introduced in 1998 by Anthony Greenwald, Debbie McGhee, and Jordan Schwartz. We developed a software application to evaluate the accuracy in making associations between certain ethnic groups and occupations. The application displays a screen with information about the name, ethnicity and occupation of six individuals. The test taker is asked to memorize the details on the screen and questions are asked based on the data. The first set of data displayed has five strong Community- Occupation associations. The second set has five weak Community-Occupation associations.

The following was the result of the tests conducted on 40 Indian respondents:

1. The average score for the first set was 3.6 and for the second was 2.7

2. 62.5% of the respondents scored higher for the first set of data. Only 20% of the respondents performed better with the second set of data We also conducted this test on respondents from 8 other nationalities to verify the validity of the test. We found out that, on average the non-Indian respondents performed equally well for both sets of data.

This suggests that people find it easier to remember community-occupation associations that are strongly stereotyped. This is in many ways a reflection of the strong community ethos that is prevalent in many parts of India.

Influence of Community Ethos on Workplace Diversity

Community Ethos plays a very significant role in determining the level of diversity at the work place.

There are two ways that this can happen

1. People from communities generally not associated with a certain occupation find it difficult to assess their chance of success in those jobs. A person who has seen a member of his family succeed at a trade or occupation is far more likely to take it up.

2. During job interviews, there is a possibility of recruiters making such community- occupation associations. An individual from a certain ethnic group is sometimes assumed

22

to be better suited for a certain job if the recruiters are familiar with people from the same ethnic group who work in such roles.

Improving Ethnological Diversity - Diversity Index

Simpson‟s Diversity Index is used by Ecologists to quantify the biodiversity of a habitat. Corporations could use a similar mechanism to measure the level of diversity for the various Ethnological parameters. For example Simpson‟s index for language diversity in an organization would be calculated as follows:

in an organization would be calculated as follows: Simpson‟s Index of Diversity = 1 -D =

Simpson‟s Index of Diversity = 1-D = 1-0.275 = 0.625

A high value of „Index of Diversity‟ (close to 1) indicates a diverse group. Such an index can be used by organizations to measure their performances in improving the levels of Ethnological diversity.

Managing Psychological Diversity

Psychological

Diversity

is

the

least

understood

kind

of

diversity

and

consequently

the

most

difficult

to

manage.

Some

of

the

acknowledged

difficulties are:

1. In many sectors job roles are quite similar for large groups of people, and the inherent flexibility to accommodate for psychological diversity is missing.

2. Performance of a person in a particular role is the primary consideration for promotions in most companies. This would have been ideal, if it weren‟t for the fact that oftentimes skills required after such promotions are significantly different.

Recommendations to accommodate for Psychological Diversity:

1. The employee is given a role in deciding where he/she would work

2. An employee can be switched between roles to understand in which role he or she would be most comfortable

3. A career growth path is defined for each of the roles in a project

4. De-linking pay rises from promotions. A person performing well in a business critical role should be rewarded for his work without „promoting‟ him to a role in which he is unlikely to succeed.

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5. Psychometric testing before Job/role assignment

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Diversity at the Marketplace The Challenges for Indian Companies

Diversity can be understood in terms of three key market interactions. These interactions are between:

A company and its owners, a company and its partners and a company and its customers. The first has assumed a great deal of significance in the wake of many changes in the corporate world. The second is the one that we in India are most familiar with. The third is probably the most significant, in terms of both the extent of diversity and the challenges involved.

Managing Diversity in Ownership

In the Indian context, two things are happening today. Firstly, many foreign companies are „investing‟ or setting up shop in India. Secondly, many Indian companies have started setting up units in other countries. Some have even ventured to take over foreign companies.

Four Case studies from India Inc, and our findings

In order to understand challenges connected to ownership diversity, we talked to employees from four companies experiencing ownership diversity. The people we talked to were in some way involved in or affected by the „Company-Owner‟ interaction. The companies included:

1. An Indian R&D unit of a large Japanese technology company

2. An Indian engineering firm which has acquired a South-East Asian manufacturing firm

3. A Indian Pharmaceutical company which has taken over a Japanese drug maker

4. The Indian subsidiary of an American Electronic Component manufacturer.

The following points came out from our study:

1. There was a feeling that the larger goals of the parent organization were not being transmitted to the daughter company.

2. Many people felt that their units were seen largely as low-cost outsourcing center rather than an integral part of the bigger business

3. A foreigner usually heads the daughter company. This often leads to misunderstanding and mistrust.

Our recommendations to better manage the diversity involved:

1. The parent company should ensure that the „adopted‟ company very quickly feels a part of the larger organization by communicating the larger goals of the organization along with the short term objectives

2. The owners should not try to make drastic cultural changes quickly but try to gradually incorporate the essential elements of its work-culture, while at the same time maintaining as far as possible the identity of the adopted company.

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Managing Diversity in Partnerships

Partners for a company may include among others, Vendors, dealers, distributors, Technology licensees & licensors. We have looked at some of the interactions that Indian companies have had with their partners and have realized that one of the most critical elements for managing diversity in partnerships is improving communication between the partners.

Effective Communication - The Key to a fruitful relationship

We suggest two broad areas where communication can be improved:

1. Language & Form of communication: Many partnerships encounter difficulties with the form of language used for communication. We encountered cases where use of certain expressions during semi-formal communication, particularly while using email were misunderstood by partners and strained the company-partner relationship.

2. Media of communication: This includes the development of systems; including IT applications that enable partners to quickly access relevant information.

Managing Customer Diversity

Diversity rears its head in many forms in a company‟s interaction with existing or potential customers. Sometimes the diversity is so overwhelming that a company can lose focus and fail to understand actual market requirements. We have identified two imperatives for Indian companies with regard to managing Customer Diversity in a diverse marketplace. These are „Understanding cross- cultural sensitivities‟ and „Building Customer Relationships.

Understanding Cross-cultural sensitivities

Understanding cultural sensitivities is the first lesson that an Indian company has to take when expanding into diverse global markets. The cultural sensitivity my be with respect to Product & Service Quality or with respect to Marketing Strategy.

Product & Service Quality for a Diverse Market

The elements of quality includes among other things functional quality, aesthetics and after sales support. A company venturing into a diverse market place should ensure that it has what it takes to provide what the market requires in terms of quality of products and services. For most products there is a trade-off between product quality and price. One of the key advantages that an Indian company has in the global market is the ability to provide products and services at a lower price. But in quality sensitive markets like Western Europe and North America, low prices may just not be enough. Indian companies sometimes find that they have to provide products or services of drastically improved quality if they have to survive.

Marketing Strategy

The following things should be kept in mind when marketing a product in a diverse Marketplace. Indian companies can learn much from the mistakes made by global Companies in this regard.

1. Product names acceptable in certain countries may have negative connotations in others.

2. Slogans when translated sometimes have completely different meanings.

3. Certain methods of advertising products may be considered offensive in certain countries.

4. The primary way of advertisements may be different in different places. In some places, personal marketing may be far more effective than using the media.

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Building Customer Relationships in Diverse Markets

Though customer relationship management is of fundamental importance in any kind of market, it assumes fresh significance in a diverse market place. We have identified two steps to building strong Customer Relationships. These are:

1. Potential Account Management

2. Developing Customer Loyalty

The first deals with building relationships with potential customers and the other with existing customers.

Potential Account Management (PAM)

The concept of Key Account Management (KAM) is well known. Through KAM organizations give added importance to building relationships with its most important clients, also called Key Accounts. We have developed a concept called Potential Account Management or PAM, which can be used to build relationships with potential customers. Indian companies trying to make a foray into new markets often find it difficult to break in because they do not have an existing relationship with potential clients in the market. In PAM, a business organization first decides who its potential key customers will be in the long term. For example, a firm, whose clients are largely in India at present but is planning to expand abroad, will select two or three prospective international customers, or group of customers as its Potential Accounts. A Potential Account Manger will be assigned to one or more of these Potential Accounts.

The objectives of the PA Manager include the following:

1. Analyze requirements of the new market

2. Understand cultural sensitivities with respect to quality, service, price and marketing strategy.

3. Build personal/market relationships with decision makers.

4. Identify opportunities for leveraging comparative advantages existing in that market.

Developing customer Loyalty

The most difficult thing in a diverse market place is keeping existing customers loyal. This is applicable both in the global as well as the Indian market. One way of doing this is by trying to achieve „Customer Delight‟. A satisfied customer is not always a loyal customer particularly in a diverse global market place where barriers to entry may be low. A company, which is willing to go the extra mile to achieve customer delight, is often rewarded with a loyal customer. Another effective method to achieve customer loyalty is the use of „Loyalty schemes‟ like Air miles, where regular customers are rewarded for being loyal to the company. Such a scheme benefits both the buyer as well as the seller.

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F IG . MANAGING WORKPLACE DIVERSITY DISSOLVING DIFFERENCES@ A CCENTURE Gaps between people or groups

FIG. MANAGING WORKPLACE DIVERSITY

DISSOLVING DIFFERENCES@ ACCENTURE

Gaps between people or groups are bridged through initiatives that seek to respond to respond to both organizational & individual needs.

Accenture

developed and implemented the “Great Place to Work for Women” initiative in

1994. Since then, the percentage of female “partners,” or senior-level executives globally has

increased from 5.8% to 10% of all partners in 2002.

 

VALUING DIFFERENCES @ HENKEL

This refers to social group based differences and the recognition of the way in which these can contribute to inequality if not managed well. But on the other hand, if leveraged properly can bring numerous benefits.

In collaboration with ANAND, a manufacturer of automotive components and systems, Henkel Teroson operates a joint venture company in India which is a partner of the SNS Foundation. With the help of the SNS Foundation, the recruitment of employees at the three

sites of the joint venture has been adapted to the local circumstances.

The aim is to ensure

that different regional population groups and women are appropriately represented.

The Chennai site has made particularly good progress. At present, 40 percent of its engineers are women.

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ACCOMMODATING DIFFERENCES@ RANBAXY

This is broadly similar to ‘equal opportunities’ where there is a commitment to creating policies that open up opportunities (rather than providing special measures) to under- represented groups.

and that gets reflected in the rich and diverse

workforce. They value the diversity that exists within their employees and leverage this to

Ranbaxy is

an equal opportunity employer

bring about synergy within the organisation.

Ranbaxy workforce of over 11,000 people is

represented by 51 nationalities with approximately 26% constituting foreign nationals.

 

UTILIZING DIFFERENCES @ INFOSYS

This approach is not concerned with social justice, rather on putting differences to use for the

benefit of the organisation. "We firmly believe that the future success of

Infosys lies in its

ability to create an environment that is open to people from different nationalities and

ethnicities,"

-- Infosys Chairman Narayana Murthy

"Talent is imperative in today's economy and the increase in globalisation means the competition for global talent is rife. At Infosys, we recognise the importance to invest in skills globally and provide opportunity for future business leaders to understand the changing dynamics of a flat world." -- Mr Nandan M. Nilekani, CEO, Infosys Technologies.

BENEFITS OF DIVERSITY

Externally Internally Consumers/Markets:

Increased market share Ease of entry into new markets improved customer intimacy Individual:

Increased productivity Improved morale and commitment Shareholders: Shareholders:

productivity Improved morale and commitment Shareholders: Enhanced rating Improved attractiveness Interpersonal:

Enhanced rating Improved attractiveness Interpersonal:

Improved team effectiveness and cooperation Easier integration of new staff Labour markets:

Broader access to labour markets Improved employer image Organizational:

to labour markets Improved employer image Organizational: More openness to change Enhanced effectiveness of complex
to labour markets Improved employer image Organizational: More openness to change Enhanced effectiveness of complex
to labour markets Improved employer image Organizational: More openness to change Enhanced effectiveness of complex
to labour markets Improved employer image Organizational: More openness to change Enhanced effectiveness of complex

More openness to change Enhanced effectiveness of complex organization Community Improved public image

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WORKFORCE DIVERSITY IN INDIA

India occupies 2.4% of the total area of the world but supports over 15% of the world‟s population.

Although Hinduism is the popular religion comprising 83% of the population, India is also home to one of the largest population of Muslims in the world over 120 million.

India has the world’s largest number of professionally qualified women & has more working women than any other country in the world across skill-levels, from the surgeon & the airline pilot to bus conductors & menial labourers.

In India there are approximately 450 ethno-linguistic people but over 2,300 ethnic people groups, when caste, religion and cultural factors are considered.

India's population bulges in the prime working-age group (15-59) with about 35% of its population in that group, and this is expected to peak to 64% around 2020.5 The widespread diversity in gender, age, education, religion, place of birth, language, ethnicity, race and, caste puts special pressures on employers in India around finding, competing for, holding and cultivating the skilled employees they need. A diverse organization is one that invites embraces and manages difference in the changing workforce to gain the best from its people and to provide the best service to its customers. Companies are embracing workforce diversity as a strategy to remain competitive in the face of changing demographics and the rapid globalization of business.

www.indianchild.com/population_of_india.htm

http://www.indiaonestop.com/womenindia.htm

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CASE STUDY: HSBC THE WORLD’S LOCAL BANK

HSBC

is an equal opportunities employer with no discrimination on grounds of age, gender,

race, ethnicity, language, caste, economic or social status or disability.

Being the “WORLD‟S

LOCAL

BANK”,

they

recognize

that

having

a

workforce

that

broadly

reflects

the

composition of local communities in which they operate places them in a unique position to

understand & respond to needs of their customers.

Diversity

initiatives & programmes are

driven by their “Diversity Committee”

which comprises senior executives from across the

company. Its

main areas of focus

are:

Gender
Gender

A number of affirmative actions such as maternity, paternity and adoption leave, flexible working hours, late night transportation etc. have been taken to support gender diversity.

Disability

Certain categories of job have been identified as suitable for physically challenged individuals, like phone banking operators in call centres (for movement impaired only); data processing staff (for movement and hearing impaired); telephone operators in HSBC pan India (for visually impaired).

Underprivileged

The “underprivileged” i.e. orphans and destitute individuals are assisted by tying up with NGOs such as Future Hope and SOS Children's Villages to provide short-term training internships. After their training, they are eligible to apply to join the bank and will be considered for employment based on merit and availability of suitable vacancies. HSBC India has signed the Confederation of Indian Industry’s and ASSOCHAM’s

Code of Conduct for Affirmative Action

The Company has a senior executive accountable to the CEO to oversee and promote its Affirmative Action policies and programmes. The senior executive presents / will present a biannual report to the Board of the Company about such policies and programmes. Thus, with diversity central to HSBC‟s brand image and an integral part of their “managing for growth” strategy, they use diversity as a competitive differentiator, in employment and in customer markets.

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Key findings:

Key findings: 32

32

Noteworthy trends were:

Experience in same industry as a pre-requisite to hiring: 8

Male-Female Ratio (average): 72:28

System of Reservation while hiring: 2 (preferred candidates of local domicile)

Movement between Branches: 11

A brief overview of the employee profile is given as follows:

of local domicile)  Movement between Branches: 11 A brief overview of the employee profile is
of local domicile)  Movement between Branches: 11 A brief overview of the employee profile is

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Findings and Conclusions

Findings and Conclusions 34

34

Findings

From the research based study on workplace diversity, we have realised the importance of workplace diversity, on, not just the organization, but also the marketplace. We have also understood the different perspectives of workplace diversity, which includes the Indian perspective and the global perspective as well.

The study has revealed findings, like, the impact that different activities have and how effective they are, where, it was found that, employee meets are the most common ways of promoting diversity, while recruitment was not as popular as the former.

Also, a prominent made known fact was that the positives outweigh the negatives of workplace diversity as, shown in the primary data analysis. Companies too, are more open to workplace diversity and look for ways and means of promoting diversity and a healthy mix of employees.

Conclusion

We‟ve looked at the challenges that Indian companies face because of diversity, both at the workplace and the marketplace. We‟ve also seen the ways companies can use, to not only manage existing diversity but also to promote it and gain a competitive advantage in the market. Probably, the most important aspect that comes out from the study is that diversity is finally all about human beings, and how they differ from each other. Any company that understands its key stakeholders well its employees, its shareholders, its partners and most importantly, its customers, can thrive in the most diverse of environments.

A diverse workforce is a reflection of a changing world and marketplace. Diverse work teams bring high value to organizations. Respecting individual differences will benefit the workplace by creating a competitive edge and increasing work productivity. Diversity management benefits associates by creating a fair and safe environment where everyone has access to opportunities and challenges. Management tools in a diverse workforce should be used to educate everyone about diversity and its issues, including laws and regulations. Most workplaces are made up of diverse cultures, so organizations need to learn how to adapt to be successful practices. Diversity, if positively managed, can increase creativity and innovation in organization as well as improve decision making by providing different perspectives on problems. When diversity is not managed properly, there is a potential for higher turnover, more difficult-communication, and more interpersonal conflicts.

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BIBLIOGRAPHY

Bombay management association journals

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