In the state of Massachusetts, diversity in the banking sphere has for long been the issue of major organizational concern. Whether in banks or other agencies universities – diversity remains a problem due to the whole set of obstacles that professionals face on their way to developing and implementing effective cultural strategies. Despite great changes in affirmative actions programs, employed 20 new people in 2008, TD Bank, located in Massachusetts, experienced diversity problems caused by a lack of communication and ethical principles. It appears that on the one hand, it is not easy to develop a cultural strategy that would effectively work in the long run. On the other hand, businesses are not prepared to accept and hire diverse populations that have just been employees and learned to promote diversity as an essential component of individual and societal culture. Diversity begins with effective quality education, and whenever we will seek to create multifaceted cultural strategies in bank departments, they will be readily reflected in business and market environments, for these are also shaped by those who graduate from schools and who are actively involved in various types of cultural initiatives that are closely aligned with the major goals in career development.
Diversity as a Current HR problem
Despite its roots and historical significance, cultural diversity is still an issue of the day for many banking institutions. Current diversity problems deal with a lack of respect and negation of cultural values and beliefs of modern employees. Objectively, and contrary to someone’s expectations, businesses need to be more attentive to what globalization tells them about diversity. The liberalization of commercial exchange and commodification of culture about which Konrad et al (14) write are nothing else than the major drivers of cultural diversification, which is equally important for business and education (Mor Berak 87). Moreover, multiculturalism in education is the necessary prerequisite of major successes in other fields of human performance. That is why to promote these changes, there is a growing need to change curriculum and to integrate traditional curriculum disciplines with multicultural studies. In a multicultural society, and as a result, in the atmosphere of multicultural education, employees are given better chances and opportunities to become educated about the multiple strands of the past that have created webs of the present. In many instances, multicultural education is the means to teach employees to look through the prism of multiple multicultural experiences and to catch up with the rapid cultural changes that are characteristic of present-day societies. To be respectful and ethnic toward people from other ethnic and cultural groups is impossible without creating an effective system of multicultural education that will take various forms and will be closely aligned with the major operations at the bank. Managers at the bank should know and be able to explain historical and cultural questions from different cultural perspectives. Moreover, the cultural knowledge of pupils with various backgrounds can be successfully used by managers to broaden the scope of workplace education and learning and to give other pupils a chance to review their cultural attitudes toward their classmates. Finally, diversity can be used as the instrument to involve employees in various types of cultural extracurricular activities, which in their turn will produce significant positive impacts on employees’ interaction in class. Mor Berak (43) is known for having identified 12 sources of cultural identity. These can be divided in the following manner: race, ethnicity, nationality, social class, sex/gender, health, age, geographic region, sexuality, religion, social status, language, ability/disability. According to Mujtaba (32), culture has a strong influence on teaching and learning. When combined, these things are universal to the present-day culture. The same thing can be told about cultural knowledge. These things are usually filtered or transmitted to the individuals through the help of numerous socializing agents. These include family, church, community. In reality, the major features of cultural strategies in the U.S. include direct orientation on actions and huge investments into cultural programs that do not always produce anticipated results. The American commitment to cultural strategies is an increasingly positive cultural feature, it is difficult to deny these commitments and interventions are effective only at the initial stage of their implementation, whereas the future is unlikely to become a favorable environment for the development of such policies. Those having accents and well-expressed minority background features are unlikely to become a part of one’s business staff. That is why employees should primarily be given a chance to learn of the existing cultural programs, practice keen observation when evaluating these programs, as well as looking deeper into the ways these programs can be transformed to fit into existing cultural frameworks and satisfy the basic cultural needs (Konrad et al 98).
Problems at TD Bank
The HR management concludes that the greatest difficulties people face while exploring diversity are related to culture. People had a big difficulty in agreeing on what perception of culture should become the dominant one. The other research implication is that people are introduced to hundreds of definitions of culture. Under circumstances like these people might find it difficult to find the common thread that ties each of the various definitions together. This threat lies in the idea that culture is connected to a human-made part of the environment. When connected, these parts represent different aspects of nature. This urgency nationwide is used to create awareness of cultural diversity. The idea was based on the fact that there is an increasing number of minority employees who abide at different places (TD Bank Home Page n.d.). The above-mentioned behaviors help the people to reinforce numerous feelings in the people. Usually, these feelings help the employees to better perceive their sense of alienation. This process helps to hinder employees’ personal, academic, and professional development (Banks and Banks 65). Some recommendations have been made regards to improving the employees’ overall awareness of the workplace environment. The measure has been taken to instill in employees the value of diversity in teaching and learning included (Konrad et al 98).
The bank initiatives are characterized by many important things. One of these things is the flexibility issue. In many cases, this thing is caused by a combination of several factors. One of these factors is a growing realization of the desirability of flexibility and diversity. In the majority of cases, the problem is caused by the need to move away from a ‘one size fits all mentality in education. The same thing can be told about a vision of development that is closely related to human thinking. One interesting implication has been once made by Mujtaba (76). According to the researcher, human existence is characterized by the presence of three main development discourses. The combination of these discourses helps to influence every field of human education. The first discourse was known to be based on the idea of deficit. As for the second one, this kind of discourse dealt with disadvantages that are posed on humanity by diversity (Konrad et al 45).
Conflict Resolution Strategies
To reduce cultural differences I would propose the following course of action. The Massachusetts bank authorities should introduce different programs and initiatives to level racial and national differences in education. Involving employees into observation and discussion is just another means to review the major benefits and drawbacks of the current cultural programs. Managers should be prepared to deal with different employees, different cultures, and different personalities. Simultaneously, employees should know that they can always address their managers for assistance and that their managers are primarily there for cultural education and cultural understanding. Managers at all levels should be responsible for practicing consideration, and for developing multicultural strategies that would help employees learn in the same way. Managers should also discover the multiple ways of learning that would help particular employees fit into specific cultural environments. Implementing multiculturalism is important for the aims of monitoring employee progress and increasing the effectiveness of employee input and output in learning. Finally, even with these boundaries and criteria of cultural learning delineated, managers should feel free to make a reasonable choice on the way employees have to be taught. According to the research, several elements of diversity have been reviewed and studied in recent research. Researchers seemed to probe many important things. First of all, the research into the issue helped the people to preserve several important things. The first and foremost thing is preserving managers’ attitudes and dispositions towards diversity. The final effect is based on the effect of required multicultural courses (Mujtaba 76).
The main objectives to be reached in the cause of the new diversity program are divided according to the following principle:
- Being aware of stereotypes. Instructors should take much time and patience to assume that women employees show the tendency to shun projects that quantitative work. Usually, people are fully aware of their own biases. This fact helps people to deal to promote several important things. One of these is promoting a sense of fairness and equality in the workplace.
Staying away from protecting any group can be regarded as a rather complicated process. The procedure is comprised of numerous processes. When properly handled the procedure helps people to avoid several important stereotypes.
Under the circumstances like these many instructors are facing numerous challenges. Many of these challenges are caused by the difficulty that might be met by the different groups of people who are trying to avoid preferential treatment for minorities. Just the same thing can be told about foreign employees. Many of these people are characterized by having a strong belief in the system they live in.
Many of the people may face the need for extra help. The need is caused by language difficulty. The above-mentioned fact may lead to lowering the standards of people’s life. The other important consideration is that the employees may be left less prepared. This fact allows employees to feel that they are not fairly treated. One more interesting thing is that the instructor considers minority employees to be a group of less prepared people. This fact gives employees a chance to feel that they are not fairly treated. The other important benefit of this kind of treatment option is the fact that it helps people to undermine their self-esteem. This thing provides people with rather a different view of their abilities and competence (Mujtaba 78).
Sensitivity to employees’ geographical or societal backgrounds is one more thing that matters. This thing helps employees to perceive the fact that there are several very important things that matter. Hispanic employees are the group of people that show the tendency to be different from the other groups of people. The major research implication is that the Hispanic group of people should be more carefully studied than any other group that has ever been engaged in the research.
The use of politically correct terminology is also a very important thing. This thing helps people to become politically correct citizens. The idea is based on the use of modern terminology that is frequently applied in the workplace. This thing helps to keep in mind the fact that the workplace can be regarded as a laboratory for the employees’ workplace.
Instructors are the people who set an example for future graduates. This example is used about different groups of people. There are many ways in which employees can be accepted in human society (Mujtaba 76).
In many cases these people show the tendency to avoid the use of the word “black”, thus preferring to use African American names. The same thing can be told about Native Americans or American Indians. These people also represent the group of national minorities (Thomas and Ely 229).
Effective Organizational Initiatives
Effective Organizational Practices have been drawn based on extensive research. In general, the main objective of the research is to provide effective instruction for managers in the context of cultural diversity. According to recent research, effective instruction can reach many important objectives (Mujtaba 54). One of these objectives is warranting careful research. The main implication of the research is that minimal attention has been paid to the organization- and district-level factors. The combination of these things can meet many important goals. One of these goals is facilitating effective instruction in diversity programs. The programs are subjected to groups of ethnic and language-minority employees (Mujtaba 55). The Massachusetts programs are subjected to meet the following objectives:
- Creating the conditions for early work
- Creating an appropriate model aimed at manager training. The combination of these models is aimed at promoting the experimental approach to instruction. Usually, the process is signified by the term “reflective practitioner”.
- The other important objective is incorporating managers in future research. Usually, the managers are involved in incorporating people into the early experiences. The combination of these experiences can warrant the needs of the people.
- Understanding employees’ perspectives are also important for the further development of their interests (Mujtaba 71).
The value of the discourse of ‘diversity’ in Massachusetts TD Bank when people will realize the development strategies should be people-centric. The recent time has been characterized by the tendency when people started to look for the ‘solutions’ rather than ‘problems’. As a response to forces of globalization, people have to look not only for the solutions but for the problems too. The need for diversity in education is justified by the need to maintain similar diversity trends in broader social contexts. Given that positive communication is the critical element of one’s career growth, it is in business that we seek to diversify our approaches to business forms and solutions and create a favorable picture of minority participation. True learning is impossible without people; thus, true cultural learning is also impossible without involving multicultural ethnic minority employees in the discussion.
Konrad, Alison M., Prasad, Pushkala., Pringle, Judith K. Handbook of Workplace Diversity. Sage Publications Ltd, 2006.
Mor Berak, Michàlle E.. Managing Diversity: Toward a Globally Inclusive Workplace. Sage Publications, Inc, 2005.
Mujtaba, Bahaudin Ghulam. Workforce Diversity Management: Challenges,Competencies and Strategies. Llumina Press, 2006. TD Bank Home Page. 2010. Web.
Thomas, Debora. A. Ely, Ron. J. Cultural Diversity at Work: The Effects of Diversity Perspectives on Work Group Processes and Outcomes. Administrative Science Quarterly, 46 (2005), 229.