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How can diversity initiatives benefit a company?

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Please discuss the questions and scenarios below and write your responses in a 5 to 6 page document.

1. How can diversity initiatives benefit a company?

2. What are some of the advantages and disadvantages of alternative work arrangements?

3. Assume you are the plant manager for a company that manufactures tires for cars and light trucks. To compete more economically in the global market, the company is seriously considering closing the plant within the next year and moving manufacturing operations to Southeast Asia.

Upon hearing about the possible plant closing, the union votes to launch a strike in one week if its demands for job security are not met.

Because of a recent surge in orders, the company is not in a position to close the plant yet.

What are your options as you continue to negotiate with union representatives?

What legal and ethical issues do you need to consider? Which option would you choose and why?

4. How do self-directed work teams relate to Maslow's hierarchy and Herzberg's theory of motivation?

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1. How can diversity initiatives benefit a company?
It reduces the risk associated with each initiative, and thus increases the profit for the company. This speaks to diversification of company expenditures. On another level, diversity initiatives also refer to things like embracing diversity in terms of race, ethnicity, multicultural initiatives, to name a few. Organizations of the future must place more emphasis on valuing and managing diversity, or watch their productivity and competitiveness slip. A long-term perspective on diversity initiatives, together with integration with other organizational change efforts, will be needed. Diversity efforts should be linked to organizational needs and objectives through need assessments and evaluation. These efforts can substantially increase the company's productivity and profits over the long run (http://vocserve.berkeley.edu/CW82/Diversity.html).
Let's look at the following example, which deals effectively with many diversity initiatives.
Example: Institutions That Value Diversity Must Plan For It (excerpt)
5/9/2004
Diversity isn't easy to get right. But when a company strives to create a workforce that mirrors the population of a community, one that is as varied as its customer base, the benefits to all are broad and deep. Diverse employees offer an extraordinarily wide range of proficiencies for doing business (or doing good) in any marketplace.
These benefits extend way beyond executives and stockholders, to the employees themselves. When people work in a truly diverse organization, many feel challenged and fulfilled in ways that just weren't possible in their grandfather's workplace, which was most likely stratified by race, unaccommodating to disabled workers, rigid toward female advancement, and hostile to openly gay employees.
To attract the best, most diverse candidates, Boston employers take a variety of initiatives. Often they begin by getting active in college career fairs, says Michael Hyter, president and CEO of J. Howard & Associates, a diversity-consulting firm in Boston. It's at these fairs that they can target people of color who may be good potential workers.
Savvy employers also encourage the workers they've already hired to reach out to others of the same race or background. The Partnership Inc. is one way that many Boston companies are reaching out to professionals of color. About 100 firms including Massachusetts General Hospital, FleetBoston Financial, and Gillette have banded together to provide networking opportunities and skills development services. By offering a helping hand, the companies insure that a larger proportion of diverse young people will join their companies and stay in Boston. Similarly, these employees are more likely to stay if they are supported early in their careers.
Diversity From The Top Down
Enlightened employers know that they need to take a hard look at their own tactics for generating diverse job candidates. "Most organizations that take their diversity strategy seriously have done some internal assessment around recruiting," says Connie Wong, managing director of CSW Global, training and consulting firm in Sandy Hook, Connecticut. "They've targeted key groups of employees and then mentored them so they can navigate the system successfully."
A successful diversity program will also educate all of a company's employees to understand the business rationale behind these efforts, says Hyter. That way, the workers who don't directly benefit from a company's diversity efforts understand that they still have a stake in the program's success. Most important, diversity programs must be promoted from the upper echelon, says Wong. "People throughout the organization will pay attention when it becomes known that senior people will be held accountable" for reaching diversity goals such as recruiting, education and mentoring.
Colleges that Reflect Their Students
Bridgewater State College is one institution that has recently launched a campus-wide initiative to develop successful strategies in recruitment and retention of a more diverse faculty and staff. "It is essential to the success of our students that faculty and staff reflect what is an increasingly diverse student population," says Peter Martel, Bridgewater's Associate Vice President for Human Resources.
The students drawn to many state and community colleges are often the first in their families to attend college. Given that many are from non-white families or from backgrounds where English is not the first language, it's important that they find their college campuses familiar and welcoming. One crucial way to send that message, Martel says, is to be sure that a school's employees reflect the student populations they serve. Hispanic, African- American, or disabled students, for example, need role models as much as they need textbooks.
Similar diversity programs have been launched at Bunker Hill Community College, Holyoke Community College, Mass Bay Community College, and Roxbury Community College. Given that these schools were designed to serve their communities, as employer, resource, education center, it is essential they reflect the world in which they operate.
Mulitcultural Partners
Massachusetts General Hospital is another local employer that has infused its diversity mission throughout the organization. "We assess the needs of our workforce in terms of training and development, and bring the community to us so they know what we're looking for," says Oswald Mondejar, human resources manager and disability coordinator at MGH.
The hospital's Association of Multicultural Members of Partners [AMMP], which includes employees of Brigham and Women's Hospital and Partners Health Care System as well as Mass General, conducts workshops on job interviewing and resume writing, provides professional development services, and promotes recruitment and advancement of workers from a variety of backgrounds. AMMP also provides scholarships to help employees pursue higher education at area colleges.
Katia Canenguez, a Spanish medical interpreter, has received one of AMMP's scholarships. When she first came to MGH with a bachelor's degree, the hospital sent Canenguez to Cambridge College for training as a medical interpreter. Now Canenguez spends her days helping patients communicate with hospital staff, from physicians to therapists to medical technologists.
Mentoring Others
As an employee of color, Canenguez says she offers guidance to less senior members of AMMP. Indeed, the practice of mentoring diverse employees runs nearly to the top of the hospital's organization chart. This approach jibes with Wong's view of how diversity efforts should be distributed through an organization. "You can't expect a change in corporate culture unless you get your full employee base involved." Although racial and ethnic background is a primary focus of Mass General's initiatives, it's by no means the only dimension addressed. There's a healthcare forum, for example, oriented to GLBT (gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender) issues. "We'll also have a panel that addresses issues of coming to the hospital with a same-sex partner," says Mondejar, who describes himself as a gay man with Cuban and Latino heritage with a physical difference-he was born with only one hand.
In addition to addressing diversity issues in its workforce, Mass General looks outward, to the varying backgrounds of its patients. All employees who have contact with patients take a daylong training session on culturally competent care. Given that the MGH workforce so completely mirrors the community it serves, it's a good bet that someone at the hospital will be able to make every patient feel welcome (excerpted from http://bostonworks.boston.com/diversity/050904/).
What do you think? It seems like embracing diversity initiatives truly have many benefits for the company, but needs to be well planned as other company initiatives.

Example 2: Diversity Initiatives in the Workplace (excerpt)
Work in Progress at the University of Illinois
By Rose Mary Wentling
Defining Diversity
The experts we consulted defined diversity broadly. By including everybody as part of the diversity that should be ...

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