The very diverse nature of society determines how workforces in different firms globally are constituted. Society is stratified in a variety of ways and each of these strata has its own set of norms and beliefs. These norms and beliefs find their way into the workplace and greatly affect the productivity of the workforce. The task is passed down to the management to try and create some sense of order at the workplace and maximize productivity despite the diversity of a given staff (Pless & Maak 2004).
The most common diversities are race and ethnicity. People of different skin colors and tribes find themselves sharing a common staff room and are entrusted by the management to work together for the general good of the firm, this, however, may never come true given the different mindset that these two factors have been determined to create among people. Race and ethnicity create division and favoritism; these two would drag the productivity to a standstill. The management must thus strategize and come up with ways of ensuring that people from diverse origins do not let their diversity surface at the place of work. The other grate cause of diversity in religion, religious, and cultural beliefs can cause division among people of similar race and ethnic groups (Bernard 2007).
Coca-cola is the world’s leading beverage producer. Started in Atlanta Georgia in 1892, the company has had the most commendable growth rate and product diversity a result that is attributable to the effective management that it has had laid down. This is a firm has an international presence with branches in two hundred countries. This implies that the firm has employees from all walks of life, people of diverse cultures, religious backgrounds, ethnicity, and even races. The positive growth that the firm has recorded within the years of its operation is proof enough of the success that the management has had in consolidating its staff and operating with them beyond their diversities.
Several kinds of literature, however, do not view the diverse workforce as an entirely negative attribute. (Jayne & Dipboye 2004) alludes to diversity in the workplace as a competitive advantage. A diverse workforce offers equal opportunity to every member of the society despite their background. Such a firm that does not discriminate in employment opportunities to the members of the society, is likely to benefit more from the diversity in that every individual is unique in his or her potential. The workplace thus becomes more competitive and this would eventually result in more productivity in the firm.
A company that is increasing in its diversity level is a developing one. Firms that expand to newer territories are the ones that are more likely to experience more diversity of the workforce in that, they hire individuals from the regions that they expand to. This diversity takes different forms, in some regions women were never meant to be employed and for a very long time, women were viewed as mere objects of pleasure to the men, when a company breaks this norm and begins to hire even female employees, the economy of the region gets boosted and with more economic power the products of the firm stand a higher chance of being purchased. This is normally an indirect benefit of diversifying the workforce.
(Ollapally & Bhatnagar 2009) on the other hand, scrutinizes the negativities that diversity may cause if not properly managed. Some of these stratifying factors tag along with a series of stereotypes, should these be let to take effect in the workplace then productivity would most definitely be hampered. When an individual from conflicting backgrounds begins to share a staff room with the stereotypes well embedded in their minds, the chances that there would no cooperation among them are indeed high. Without proper cooperation in the firm, productivity is thus dealt a blow
Organizations in which the diversities are not properly managed, the minorities in the workplace normally feel left aside and this would hamper their productivity. Minorities are a group of individuals who do not find they’re own quantifiably relative to others in the firm, members of a similar religion or tribe who find themselves outnumbered in the firm normally tend feeling threatened. This person would very quickly relate their small number to some of the stereotypes in society. They would, therefore, work in doubt of every single task they undertake.
Analysis of workforce diversity
The coca-cola company is one of the leading multinational firms and this means that it has one of the most diverse workforces in the world as well. From its headquarters in Atlanta, employees are from all walks of life. There are African Americans, Britons, the white American and all these people have got differing cultural and religious beliefs. For the general good of the firm, they are compelled to work together putting behind their differences for the sake of the attainment of the firm’s objectives.
The firm has branches in other countries too, in these other countries, there are other stratifies too but the company still has to draw its workforce from the very society. Such aspects as tribe and ethnicity are deeply embedded in the African continent yet this is one region where coca-cola has the presence of the leading drink. All these diversity in the social spheres find its way in the workplace in one way or the other but it is the mandate of the management to find a way of using this diversity to its advantage.
Analysis of management
Coca-cola has had one of the best management strategies of dealing with these diversities in their workplace. In the several countries that the firm has its presence, the management employs several techniques that would not let diversity bring negative effects to the productivity that is required of them.
In hiring their employees, the firm prides itself on being an equal employer. It offers equal employment opportunities to all those who seek employment with them. They place several qualification requirements and whoever effectively meets them is offered the chance to serve regardless of his or her background. This technique ensures that the firm hires professionals only and do not show any aspect of discrimination in its workforce.
The other aspect of management that the farm has in the past employed in its system of management is that it never imposes managers to regions that they are not familiar to. In its process to expand, Coca-cola has always employed individuals who are well aware of the regions. Such managers are aware of the diversities in their regions and therefore devising ways of dealing with them do not become problematic (O’Leary & Weathington 2006).
The firm offers a very friendly environment to all its employees, from such basic means of motivation such as remuneration to recognition. All these are done about the employees’ level of commitment and not any other means. They discourage aspects of favoritism and encourage equal treatment of their employees. Such an environment is competitive enough yet very conducive for production. These among many other policies that the firm has continued to effect are responsible for the global expansion the Coca coal company has had since inception (Stefan, Christof & Jochen 2008).
In retrospect, employee diversity is both a gift and a vice to the firm. The diversity of the workforce can lead to greater innovations that would increase output thus develop the firm. But similarly, with poor management, diversity can form the basis for the collapse of the firm. The obligation to achieve either of these lies entirely with the management. The management must thus rise beyond the aspects of diversity in society and turn to exploit the positives attributes that diversity creates.
Firms must employ as diverse a workforce as would be possible. The companies exist in the society, it would be unwise for a firm to play blind to this fact and draw its entire workforce from a homogeneous group.
The diversities of the workforce has several advantages that would increase productivity in the firm, managers must therefore effectively manage the diversities to the attainment of the goals and objectives of the firm.
Bernard, K 2007, Structural Fighting: Strategies and Tactics. Oxford University, Oxford.
Jayne, A & Dipboye, L 2004, ‘Leveraging Diversity To Improve Business Performance: Research Findings & Recommendations For Organisations’, Human Resource Management, Winter Jones, vol. 43 no. 4, pp. 409-424.
Ollapally, A & Bhatnagar, J 2009, ‘The Holistic Approach to Diversity Management: HR Implications’, The Indian Journal of Industrial Relations, vol. 44 no. 1, pp. 454- 472.
O’Leary, J & Weathington, L 2006, ‘Beyond the Business Case for Diversity in Organisations’, Employee Responsibilities and Rights Journal, vol 18 no.4 issue 4, pp. 1-10.
Pless, M & Maak, T 2004, ‘Building an Inclusive Diversity Culture: Principles, Process, and Practice’, Journal of Business Ethics, vol. 54 no 2, pp 129-147.
Stefan, L, Christof, W & Jochen, S 2008. Designing E-Business systems markets, services and networks. 7th workshop on E-business. Springer, Paris.