One of the biggest challenges facing small and medium-sized organizations today is the coordination of work among the workers and managers. Many companies have been successful in gathering or statistically evaluating data, but find it hard to convert the findings into positive results. Studies have shown that with globalization, many companies have had problems in motivating or working with ethnic and other culturally different employees. Many organizations have valued diversity to enhance organizational effectiveness and growth, while others still languish from hostile and unhealthy practices.
As a general rule, organizations must address the importance of employee participation programs and group based pay incentives. These measures have met with success, and so too have profit and gain sharing programs. High-performance and High-involvement are two business terms related to employees and production. In order to attain perfection, employee performance is mandatory, and the company’s management needed to develop a strong belief and determination among the leadership and worker-class, to accelerate progressive changes and create a difference.
Only those with exceptional influence can change the way an organization runs. Management must consider the criticality of a visible and active role taken by them to integrate policies of diversity and inclusion into every aspect of an organization’s operation and culture. Culture affects every employee of the organization, whether it is a man or woman. It’s imperative that any policy decision reach all concerned in the organization; every individual of the organization must feel a part of the scheme of things, for the welfare of the organization.
A healthy work environment goes a long way in instigating quality work. At the workplace, it is imperative for the management to introduce an increased and effective mode of cooperation between the workers and managers. One way of looking at it is by creating better leadership styles and flexible work/career patterns. There are many number of business tactics, that can be employed to bring about operational changes to manage talent most effectively. Some tactics, most noticeable among them are: • Identifying role models and establishing mentoring programs • Eliminating all bias-based company policies and procedures
• Providing equal opportunities, training and development for all • Conducting workshops for employees to impress upon them the importance of diversity and inclusiveness to increase performance and production Though the above initiatives may sound simple, there is more to it, than meets the eye. The exercise needs the wholehearted support and sustained effort by all employees to make it a success (David Pappie, p. 103, 2006). 1. 1 Thesis Question There have been many studies undertaken to understand the importance of cultural diversity and its acceptance in the process of organizational growth and productivity.
In most cases, studies carried out have been successful in identifying the areas which have led to organizational breakdowns and slow progress. Many of these theories have been put to test with varying results. What is it that determines cultural unity, and how can this attribute to an organization’s progress? This paper tries within the limits of its structure to elicit the importance of cultural unity, by taking into consideration, the most important factor; the workforce, to gauge and underline how organizations counter cultural and other variants to become successful.
2. 0 Executive Summary Performance is the cornerstone to success and productivity. Performance comes about through the wholehearted and sincere effort of employees of an organization. This is possible only if the employees are kept happy and cared for. Strategies that favor employee retention, elicit competitive bonus schemes, and creates healthy work environment are pre-requisites for employee performance, culminating in higher production. A company’s best asset is its people, so there is a good reason why the company needs to do what is right for them.
A point of contention to performance and productivity is the way one works; the ability to work remotely, where enterprise convergence gains momentum. This can come about only if the people concerned in the program are well trained to perform under least supervision and motivated. For business bosses and their employees, a converged environment makes work location and distance irrelevant. The impetus to work for the benefit of the organization must come from within the individuals concerned. Just as a students finds his/her studies important and strive for excellence, employees must find the inclination to work from within their heart.
This can come about with the sustained effort of the management to bring changes that enliven the workplace (Tanuja Randery, p. 107, 2006). Globalization has opened up new vistas for entrepreneurs and other organizations to forge partnerships in third countries and enjoy governmental subsidies and tax benefits, apart from cheap labor and raw materials. When people with cultural difference enter employment in many western countries, the U. S included, they find the work ethics and style different from their own. This could have serious repercussion on co-workers and the organization as a whole.
Production could get affected, quality gradually begins to deteriorate, and the organization machinery could go haywire. People from ethnic background find it hard to communicate or follow their organizational strategies or goals and are forced to defend for themselves. Just as in a foreign collaboration or merger where the foreign participant has to adjust to their surroundings and local policies and rules, workers who travel abroad and take up employment in organizations there, have to make the adjustments to fit into their roles to be of asset to that organization.
Since the organization stands to gain through good HR policies, it is imperative that the organization welcomes these workers with a helping hand and guard against discrimination or inequality. 3. 0 Literature Review In order to understand the importance of cultural unity among a workforce, one could perhaps study how organizations counter cultural and other variants to become successful. During a merger, or an association, many organizations worked diligently to assimilate the various synergistic features; right from assets and equipment to technology and strategies, discounting the complexity of variant cultures.
They barge into an alliance and without a thought; obliterate the long-standing traditions, practices and policies of the merged company, to meld it into a faceless subsidiary. Even in case of an equal alliance, the combined entity loses the erstwhile individualistic charm and appeal as they overlook the people factor. Corroborating this theory is a recent ‘Making Mergers Work’ study by the Society for Human Resource Management, wherein HR professionals listed incompatible cultures as the biggest obstacle to success in mergers and acquisitions.
They emphasized that these companies failed to recognize the importance of cultural issues. This caused the merger to lose ground due to the negligence of culture conflict. So, what makes a partnership tick successfully? It’s the people and its culture. The recipe for getting a successful merger off the ground is shifting the spotlight from deal-making to merging-of-cultures. In fact, culture has been attributed to being one of the most important factors in building relationships. How do cultural variations integrate?
Every organization has its own unique way of doing things, be it management, employment, or compensation to investment. When two firms seek to merge, customary differences are more than likely to crop up. Structured-entrepreneurial, proactive-reactive, centralised-decentralised, formal-informal or extravagant-economical, each firm has its own firm belief in what is right and what’s wrong. This is where cultural differences emerge. Management has always devised a set of ethics on which the company and its employees perform; this is organizational culture (The Hindu, 2007).
Culture change management is a tough volley and can be successful only when employees ascribe to it. However, predisposed workers lose motivation and experience job insecurity. So, leaders should use persuasion, not coercion, to mobilize the apprehensive culturally different workforce. Culture within an organization is equally important in the context of organizational success. Culture is built over years of practice and cannot be changed overnight. The culture that one wraps around people can not alter them as individuals, but will definitely influence their behavior.
HRM needs to address the concerns of these workers. HRM policies should support employee grievance and at the same time be pro-employer. Using various HR techniques, HRM should be able to bring these workers to understand the importance of any new development that the organization initiates, and that with the growth of the organization, they grow too. Cultural changes are imperative in this world of globalization. Global competition means performing to global standards. This can be achieved only if the workers; the backbone of an industry, makes a strong effort to absorb these changes.
This can be done by proper management of human resource management. HR must play the pivotal role of educator where cultural differences occur among the workforce (Neville Lake, 2002). 3. 1 Advantages and Disadvantages of Cultural Diversity While there are many advantages in embracing the ethical minority in an organization, there are some disadvantages as well. Many organizations embrace a continued commitment to behave ethically and contribute to economic development while improving the quality of life of the workforce and their families, as well as the local community and society at large, says Holme and Watts (2000, p.
4) . Many organizations have targeted their HR policies to involve all employees equally, irrespective of their culture or gender. This helps those inclined to be different to be a part of the organizational strategy and brought into the mainstream to perform as one. With proper training and development, these individuals can become equally effective in their duties and contribute to the growth of their organization. These culturally different workers may need more time to understand their work and find it hard to communicate with their colleagues or superiors to work in unison.
This can upset the tempo of production. However, with some support and motivation, these people should be able to learn their responsibilities in no time. What is important is the support and encouragement to perform. It has been found that while white Americans have little or no issues at a relatively middle-age, ethnic people have a large family to support and look after. This means that while the demands of the white Americans are far less, ethnic people find that they have more responsibilities and demands to be met.
This is carried to their workplace, where they find that they have to balance their time at work and also at home, creating pressure to perform. Many organizations have responded to these issues or trends with sympathy and found their performance giving competitive advantages over other organizations. Leading academicians, researchers, and businessmen, according to Cox and Blake (1991), found that a well managed, diverse workforce held potential competitive advantages for their organizations .