The need to establish diversity in the workplace presents a problem for present-day tech companies, and Google is no exception to the rule. The recent scandal related to the lawsuit of the fired engineer James Damore proves that this challenge is far from being efficiently resolved (Tiku, 2018). Even though Google managers have continuously attempted to organize meetings with employees and develop other measures to meet the above objective, their efforts have apparently failed (Tiku, 2018). Therefore, a new strategic course is required for overcoming the obstacles to the well-being of its employees. The analysis of this case will be beneficial for revealing all the aspects of the situation, which should be adequately addressed, providing corresponding recommendations, and elaborating an action plan for its further implementation.
Analysis of the Problems
In any situation, which implies a conflict between managers and employees, it is critical to assess both standpoints in order to see a clear picture. This initiative means evaluating the causes of these processes disrupting the company’s work instead of focusing on its consequences, such as harassment and hate speech in social media (Tiku, 2018). From this perspective, firing James Damore was an inappropriate decision for Google’s leaders since his case is not a single occasion but one of the manifestations of the same issue. It is connected to the ineffectiveness of communication between the parties, which is not addressed by Google, and eliminating the seeming threat stemming from one’s actions is not an optimal solution. This circumstance contributes to the need to reveal the source of misunderstanding to adequately deal with it in the future.
Thus, the principal reasons for the emergence of the described problems can be ascribed to the conduct of both managers and employees. The former’s fault was the neglect of the requirement to develop further the initiatives on establishing and promoting diversity, which remain unchanged since the moment of their introduction (Tiku, 2018). Consequently, it leads to the failure to ensure a solid basis for creating a positive organizational culture and foster communication between managers and employees at different levels with regard to the above condition (Tiku, 2018). In turn, the latter’s position concerning the conflict can be described as the lack of trust and unity in the decision-making process, which leads to unfair treatment of one another and unhealthy competition among workers (Damore, 2017). These two stances expressed by the mentioned parties in the conflict do not allow finding a compromise since both feel that their position is unstable, and the opposing opinions are viewed as a direct threat (Tiku, 2018). Hence, the resolution of this challenge is possible only if the described causes are addressed instead of emphasizing their outcomes and attempting to deal with them.
Considering the above analysis, the recommendations for addressing the current crisis for Google should be divided into measures for managers and employees. The former’s decisions should include the clarification of the company’s current goals in promoting diversity in the workplace in order to demonstrate Google’s interest and activity in the matter in the first place. They will help make the existing substantive conflict productive and allow eliminating the issues of an affective nature (“Managing conflict and negotiating effectively,” n.d.). In addition, it would be reasonable to emphasize the role of managers as negotiators instead of disturbance handlers as the latter position leads to complications, as can be seen from the case of James Damore (Tiku, 2018). In this way, the combination of these approaches, which are the creation of clear objectives and the orientation on productively negotiating matters, will be optimal grounds for managing the problems.
Moreover, the development of suitable methods to eliminate the concerns of workers in the course of the proposed discussion and prevent their aggressive attitudes should be based on their critical needs. They include workplace safety and health, which are not guaranteed in the case of violence against them. However, as mentioned in the analysis above, these events are consequences, not the causes of the problem, which should be addressed. From this point of view, the focus should be on changing the erroneous perceptions of threats, which encourage employees to act against the company. In other words, their intentions are directed by the ambiguous information received from Google’s leaders, and the lack of understanding adds to the improper decisions, whereas detailed interpretation of opportunities and problems will be advantageous (“Managerial decision-making,” n.d.). Thus, the concerns of all participants in the process can be efficiently addressed when adopting an approach based on a thorough examination of cause-and-effect relationships.
The action plan on the ground of the above recommendations should be implemented in accordance with the highlighted priorities. First, Google’s managers should organize a meeting for the company’s leaders to discuss the necessary modifications in their program aimed at establishing diversity in the workplace with regard to current trends. This step will serve as the basis for further communication with employees to increase their awareness of Google’s activity in terms of respecting their rights. Second, the elaboration of a new policy in this regard should be presented to all workers for discussion so that they could feel the importance of their opinions in the matter. These decisions will be beneficial for eliminating the risks deriving from the misinterpreted intentions of the parties.
Subsequently, the elaboration of a new strategic course as per the existing initiative on promoting diversity in Google should be followed by the analysis of individual cases, such as the one of James Damore. This task will be beneficial for revealing the reasons for people’s discontent in the long run and applying appropriate measures for meeting their essential needs in the workplace. Moreover, it can be performed not only by considering previous problems with employees but also by conducting a survey among them in order to demonstrate their attitudes and the possible shift in this respect. It is clear that the adoption of new measures will help Google’s leaders prevent such cases in the future if they resort to this practice on a regular basis. As a result, the elaborated course will be flexible, which means greater satisfaction of workers and fewer challenges for managers.
To summarize, the analysis of the problems with diversity among Google’s managers and employees showed that they were caused by inefficient communication and the neglect of the need to develop the initiatives further. These issues were followed by an adverse reaction of workers, which perceived them as a direct threat to their safety. Therefore, it is recommended to address the revealed challenges by implementing a new action plan based on the above considerations. It implies organizing a meeting with the leaders and the personnel to discuss their possible actions intended to change the situation with diversity in the company and conducting regular surveys. These measures seem advantageous for efficiently preventing the emergence of concerns in this regard and demonstrating the involvement of the company’s managers in this area.
Damore, J. (2017) Google’s ideological echo chamber. Managerial decision making. (n.d.). [PowerPoint Presentation].
Managing conflict and negotiating effectively. (n.d.). [PowerPoint Presentation].
Tiku, N. (2018). The dirty war over diversity inside Google. Wired. Web.