A firm’s production ability provides a new paradigm which it uses to penetrate new markets globally. Global penetration is often laced with global issues such as taxation, government regulation, economic concerns, and cultural diversity. Of these issues, cultural diversity is significant as it affects employees. If not carefully handled, it may affect the firm’s production capability because cultural diversity creates animosity among workmates, violates human rights, hinders creativity, and compromises the team’s performance. Thus, diversity training is an essential management tool that can be used to enhance employees’ cultural awareness, integration, and inclusion in various identity groups in the organization.
Diversity training is tailored towards achieving cohesive work ethics among employees with a different religious background, sexual orientation, gender, and age, among others. With increased globalization and induced migration, organization activities such as hiring, retaining, and motivating employees to require financial incentives, moral support, and a sense of belonging. Hence, fostering a system that accommodates these diverse orientations promotes an employee’s productivity, creativity, and preserves work ethics in an organization.
The international business supports diversity by harnessing skills from employees. These skills are nurtured and supported through programs such as diversity inclusive training. Diversity inclusive training helps an organization to address negative moral issues that employees may be having. This aspect is important for an organization because it helps preserve human rights and fix a cohesive team. Similarly, enhancing moral consideration for all identity groups in the organization is also important in cultural diversity. By conducting training on how to enhance moral values, geographical and cultural barriers abridged, it ultimately establishes a unified workforce (Griffin, 2011).
Diversity training attempts to reduce conflicts that may occur as a result of a diverse workforce. These aspects may include communication barriers and prejudice among employees, among others (Bagshaw, 2004). Thus, managers should devise a strategy to use when dealing with an employee’s fundamental issues. For instance, a frontline manager should know the methods to use so as to assist an employee in optimizing his/her full potential besides offering adequate legislative guidance.
Nokia Diversity Strategy
Nokia is a global phone company with remarkable success. The secret for its success in the phone industry is the superior diversity training and recognition of its multi-cultured employees. Bagshaw (2004) indicates that diversity training within the company is provided to the managers and the entire workforce, in general. Thus, each employee has the freedom to exercise his/her free will, express her opinion and dexterity at the workplace (Hasenoehrl, 2009).
In addition, the company uses mentoring efforts, leadership coaching, and results based on management programs. Viadot (2004) illustrates that Nokia’s diversity policy has attributed to the firm’s 70 percent annual growth. He further asserts that Nokia integration and courageous approach to face stiff cultural and international barriers has strategically made it the largest phone producing company in the world.
Griffin (2011) points out that the company’s diverse training is directed towards equipping local employees with requisite skills necessary in a global environment. Goldsmith and Lyons (2006) cite that this process is achieved by encouraging each employee to use his/her inherent skills for producing superior technologies. Consequently, diversity training in the organization is used in harnessing the unlocked potential of an individual by alleviating cultural barriers. Hence, aspects such as team participation, idea sharing, and experimentation are supported.
Another aspect of Nokia diversity programs is the ability to link recruitment, skills development, and employee retention to the company’s output. The training outlines the development process, maps career growth, and recognizes special creativity and innovations through awards. Thus, Goldsmith and Lyons (2006) indicate that regardless of the employees’ background, they are provided with the opportunity to rise to any management position based on merit or performance.
Gender discrimination is a common issue across the world. Despite relentless efforts to promote gender, balance, and equity, many companies are still reluctant to promote the practice. Nokia has established an elaborate and affirmative action that outlines the rights of each employee. It has a strategy where a certain percentage of recruitment slots are reserved for women (Patrige, 1999).
Coca-cola diversity training
Diversity is the backbone of Coca Cola Company. The company’s management has fostered a favorable environment that provides equal treatments and opportunities for all employees. The company’s outlook is rich in diverse skills, ideas, dexterities, and competencies. According to Goldsmith and Lyons (2006), Coca Cola diversities are not only a policy issue but the core of its business strategy. Therefore, diversity is part of the company’s mainstay, its identity, and the future.
Diversity training has facilitated the corporation to understand it and run effectively in a multicultural setting. Diversity training is keen on promoting a cohesive workforce and enhancing productivity. The training has also helped the company to promote understanding with its customers from a global perspective. According to the 2011 US Diversity Report, Coca Cola outlines diversity training as the pillar through which it is anticipated to achieve its 2020 vision. Thus, to make this vision a reality, the company has organized diversity training based on organizational and resolution resource programs. Both pieces of training help to solve emerging issues emanating from the diverse labor force (Kent, 2011).
Also, the firm has addressed the gender issue in a strategic manner. Kent (2011) affirms that in the US, 18 percent of the organization’s total employees’ are women. This representation is bigger compared to similar organizations dominated by men. Similarly, African-Americans constitute 20 percent, American Indian forms 1 percent, Caucasian contributes 58 percent, and Hispanics contribute 18 percent to the firm’s performance. In North American, women constitute about 52 percent, while men are a minority group with 48 percent (Kent, 2011).
The cited statistics indicate a need for continued diversity training for Coca Cola so as to realize growth. Also, the high cultural, religious and ethnic diversion is a constant source of conflict and animosity in the workplace; therefore, there is a need for diversity training for the company to achieve its goals and improve employee’s productivity.
For Coca-cola, the diversity training program has helped the company reduce management bias by promoting employees based on merit. Thus, the firm has employed and promoted existing managers. These managers are from different backgrounds; the firm has dispersed them across its major branches. The diversity of Coca Cola motivates other employees as they view that “every employee stands an equal chance of rising up the management ladder” (Patridge, 1999). Consequently, a provision of equal opportunity is significant in stimulating women’s productivity and enhancing creativity. In all of its franchising outlets, Coca Cola has shown great productivity due to its structured training and development.
Patridge (1999) notes that while diversity training enhances productivity among employees, it supports behavioral change among managers and fosters respect among subordinates. In addition, diversity training increases awareness and a sense of appreciation for the broad goals of the organization.
To managers, diversity training forms the basis for conflict resolution and acts as an arbitration center. In other words, by making diversity legislation centric, any conflict can be resolved without consulting HR. Also, the training provides intuitive and influences decision-making (Viardot, 2004), providing the manager with the appropriate requisites for handling challenging and complex issues.
Diversity issues are private, involving a person’s cultural background. Australian Centre for International Business (2002) illustrates that for any training to be effective, an individual’s approach should be used to yield maximum results. Thus, an aggregate approach may create barriers that would require a lot of perseverance, time, and tolerance. People from marginalized ethnicities and cultures require tender handling, specialized coaching, and a one-on-one partnership. Bagshwa (2004) asserts that trainers are susceptible to using distorted judgmental filters. These aspects raise the wrong perception of others.
To overcome this errant approach, non-judgmental coaching should be embraced. In most cases, the gains of training are short-lived. To overcome this, coaching should be combined with training. Therefore, merging coaching and training provide sustainable behavioral change (Australian Centre for International Business, 2002).
Conversely, inappropriate diversity training is not only detrimental for encouraging productivity, but it also hinders the company’s global competitiveness. When the training fails to promote cohesiveness, the organization uses hefty bills in solving conflicts through the arbitration process. In addition, an incoherent workforce is less motivated, productive, innovative, and expensive to maintain. Thus, inappropriate training might widen the difference by fuelling animosity and tension. Such a move would trickle down the good intention aimed at helping an organization attain its goals.
As globalization and competition continue to affect businesses, diversity training becomes a strategic tool that organizations can use to foster sustainable growth. Firms embracing diversity training cite a high return on investment per employee index. Similarly, such firms boast high employee retention, cohesion, innovation, as well as vibrant production.
Australian Centre for International Business. (2002). Programme for the Practice of Diversity Management. Web.
Bagshaw, M. (2004). Is diversity divisive? A positive training approach, Industrial and Commercial Training, 36 (4).
Goldsmith, M & Lyons, L (2006). Coaching for Leadership, San Franscisco: John Wiley & Sons.
Griffin, R. (2011). Management. Mason: Cengange Learning.
Hasenoehrl, C. (2009) Diversity: An Elusive Concept, Gallup. London: Wiley Publishers.
Kent, M. (2011). 2011 U.S. Diversity Stewardship Report. Atlanta: Coca cola Press.
Patridge, L. (1999). Strategic management. New York: Select Knowledge Limited.
Viardot, E. (2004). Successful marketing strategy for tomorrow’s Leaders. London: Artech House Publishers.