I have gathered information over the last five weeks about department policies and best practices pertaining to ethical and diversity considerations. Based on these findings, the following proposal is presented to improve the strategic planning process. Diversity and ethics are buzzwords and are used frequently around the workplace. There are areas within both where making small changes could result in large benefits for the company’s HR strategic planning process. These considerations are important for the strategic plan because they encourage a positive company culture and decrease legal risks that could otherwise result in the demise of the company.
As a restaurant and bar located in the middle of a military-base town, our personnel records indicate management has been hiring primarily a specific demographic type (women ages 18-30). Management has hired this demographic type over other demographic types more qualified. Even in an effort to appeal to specific customers, this bias can come off as discriminative and reflect negatively on the company. Two areas in need of consideration are appearance-based discrimination and age-based discrimination.
ABC Restaurant & Pub, unlike Hooters or certain other establishments, is not protected with a bona-fide occupational qualification defense (BFOQ). Even though our company has not been presented with a legal issue in this regard it does not mean we are not vulnerable. It is in the best interest of our strategic HRM planning process to implement a Diversity Awareness Training Program and redesign the hiring process to minimize this bias from occurring during hiring.
The first step is to design a Diversity Awareness Training Program for managers that promotes a positive work environment. The training program explains the current equal employment laws and regulations and the benefits of a diverse workforce. Importantly, the training program helps reteach the managers how to recruit, hire, train, and promote based on qualifications and not strictly appearance or age. Each manager will receive the initial two-hour training and then attend an annual diversity-training refresher, thereafter.
The second step is to redesign the hiring processes. Currently, the restaurant accepts both electronic and paper applications. However, I propose we only accept electronic applications. Paper applications allow the manager to place a face with a name, before the manager is able to read his or her qualifications. Whereas electronic applications allow the manager to read the facts (qualifications and experience) first. In addition to switching to electronic only applications, I recommend candidates to be interviewed by a three-person panel. Because the restaurant is limited in management, the panel interview should consist of at least one manager, and supervisors or head servers and ideally contain both men and women. Panel interviews minimize discrimination and favoritism.
Legal Benefits: Compliance with EEO and Affirmative Action legislative and minimizes lawsuits allowing the company to evolve and reach its long-term goals. Diverse Customer Base: A diverse workforce appeals to a diverse customer base. Broadening customer base often brings more revenue. Variety of Viewpoints: A more diverse workforce brings more diverse ideas and experiences to the table. Diverse ideas can lead to an increase in creativity, innovation, and productivity.
Currently, we are a company with a high-turnover rate, in an industry with a high-turnover rate. Over time application of our promotion policies have slowly diminished. Employee reviews are not conducted within a specified timeframe, if at all. Qualifications for promotions are not specific. Employees have different perspectives on performance expectations. It is critical for the promotion process to be fair, transparent, and systematic (Buzz, 2012). Not only is this illegal and can lead to discrimination claims but it is unfair and not motivating for the employees. I believe it is important for the strategic management planning process to implement fair and concise promotion processes because it is the key to advancing and retaining good employees. Retaining good employees leads to an increase in motivation and productivity.
The first step is to publicize promotional openings so every employee is aware of advancement opportunities. Making this information available to everyone limits discrimination claims. The second step is to implement a strict employee review program. It is recommended to have a midyear meeting as well as an end of year review. The midyear meeting can address any issues or opportunities. Issues should be addressed regularly through the second half of the year. This is a time to be honest and ask the employee how they think they are doing, and any goals they may have for the next year. The end of the year review is to discuss compensation, bonuses, and promotion. There should be no surprises for the employee. The third step is to decide a specific salary increases guidelines for employees. Salary decisions must be based on performance and documented.
Improve Employee Motivation- Motivation increases when opportunities are fairly distributed. Increase Productivity- Employees are more productive when challenged and financially rewarded. Lower Turnover- Employees tend to stay longer with a company they feel their efforts are recognized and advancement is available. Minimize Discrimination Suits –
It is my belief that making the aforementioned improvements are important to ABC Restaurant & Pubs human resource management strategic planning process. Together the improvements will minimize legal issues, increase productivity, improve employee motivation, and diversify the customer base, all of which are important to develop a competitive advantage in the industry.