Academic Master

Business and Finance

Managing Diversity Of Walmart

Question 1 Case Study Of Walmart

Walmart has been and remains the global leader in the retail industry, with investments in all continents and stores in about twenty-eight countries. The company can also be considered to be the largest in terms of diversity and inclusion when it comes to the number of employees in all its stores. Most companies that work on multinational platforms have not always been able to deal with the issue of diversity and inclusion management effectively. This is because their international human resource management has not taken into consideration the impacts of going international. A case study of Lemma, a French-based multinational, showed that the company took time before it realized the need for a diversified workforce after it had acquired new companies abroad. Walmart has, however, been an exception to the company, playing along with the tune of globalization and being able to handle it efficiently. This paper will examine Walmart’s business case and the strategies Walmart uses to promote diversity and an all-inclusive environment. The paper shall also look at the role of the first-line management at Walmart in the execution of the approach.

Business Case

By the year 2004, Walmart was already the leader of the Fortune 500 list and the largest non-governmental employer in the United States. It also became the leader in the number of employees that it has across the world. It is important to note that the company, even though being the largest in the world, has experienced challenges in its retail operations. Considering that the company operates in countries where its customers have different cultural backgrounds, there was a need to integrate an international human resource management approach into its operations.

Strategies For Promoting Diversity And An Inclusive Workplace Environment

As a multinational company operating in different parts of the world, Walmart has no option but to embrace diversity and an all-inclusive workplace environment. This goes a long way in assisting the company realize the set goals and objectives in the areas of operation (Noon, M., 2007). Some of the strategies that the company has put in place to ensure the same is achieved include;

Acknowledging Differences

We can never be equal as human beings since there are some factors that separate us in different ways. What we need to understand and appreciate is the fact that we are all human beings, and our bodies operate the same. Walmart has always embarked on treating its employees on the same scale irrespective of their cultural backgrounds. In such a case, employees feel that they are appreciated and that no one’s welfare is being overlooked while the other person is being given privilege. Once the employees are content with the way they are treated at the workplace, it is an indicator that the organization is looking to create a workplace environment that is conducive for all. The management at Walmart has realized that the employees are the core of the organization, and providing them with a fair playing ground at their workstations improves their morale. This also helps maintain good relations not only between employees and management but also between the employees themselves. By ensuring the promotion of diversity through appreciating and acknowledging the differences between its employees, the company has been able to therefore create an all-inclusive work environment.

Creation Of A Company Culture

This involves coming up with a code of conduct and ethics that all employees should adhere to at their places of work. This means that employees from the top management to the store associates are working under the same guidelines (Herring, C., 2009). Strict measures have also been put forward to ensure that the employees are paying according to the rules of the company. In this era of globalization, companies need to understand that they are going to need to employ people from various regions of the world and expect them to work within the regulations of the company. Companies should also reciprocate this by ensuring that employees are protected from discrimination and work-related biases (Herring, C., 2009). All employees are to be treated in the same manner, not only in saying but also in stipulating the company’s rules and regulations.

The Corporate Social Responsibility

Walmart’s central theme is to value and appreciate everyone they come across. For instance, the management has embarked on a recruitment process that sees them play corporate social responsibility effectively. Wherever the company invests, they do not need to import employees since there are qualified persons within the locality of their investment. As a result, the company ensures that the majority of the employees have been recruited from the locality. This is one way of creating jobs for the locals as well as improving their livelihoods. For instance, in the African continent, where the level of unemployment and poverty is high, the company has greatly assisted in alleviating the problem by employing locals. This is an indicator that the company values international labor laws that require multinationals to ensure they employ locals.

Women Empowerment

The issue of gender equality has been hitting the headlines in the last decade or so, seeing the major transformation in women’s involvement in the corporate world. Over the years, women have been proven to provide ample and satisfactory assistance in the business world. Unlike in the past, when women were considered inferiors, and the key roles in most organizations were taken up by men, this trend has changed, with women holding leadership positions today. Walmart has not been left behind, with some of the most senior positions being held by women today. This is one way of promoting inclusion and creating room for women to grow themselves. Today, the director of innovations at Walmart is not only a woman but also a black woman. Tracey Lloyd began her career at Walmart as a store manager, rising through the ranks to become the innovations director at the company. International organizations have been advocating for the inclusion of women in leadership positions, and Walmart has not been left behind in implementing the same. This means that they have been working towards ensuring an all-inclusive and diverse workforce that meets international requirements.

Commitment To Inclusion And Diversity

The will to support certain aspects of job-related issues, such as diversity and inclusion, is key to achieving the same. This can be made possible if human resource management has the capacity to work independently. Recruitments should not be based on who knows who but on who has the best qualifications for the task mentioned. All applicants for a position should be subjected to the same level of scrutiny. To ensure this happens, the company Walmart lets the HR department act independently. They have also come up with standard recruitment methods to avoid biases and complaints from the applicants. Only the best candidates who qualify for the job are entitled to be employed, irrespective of their age, gender, race, and religion.

The Role Of First-Line Management In Embedding The Approach

Line managers are the link between the top management and the employees. They are, therefore, meant to oversee the implementation of the policies brought forth by the top management. Also, being the supervisors of the employees, they are mandated to oversee the implementation of diversity and inclusivity within the company. They, therefore, play the following roles when it comes to diversity and inclusivity;

Liaise With The Human Resource Management

The line manager has the statistics about the employees and the balance that could be missing. Once a position falls vacant, they have to ensure that the human resource department ensures a balanced workforce in their recruitment process. The HR department has to ensure that its selection is in line with the proposals of the line manager (Kaplan et al. 2016). The line manager understands the operations of the company better since they are in direct contact with the employees. They understand that there is a need for a balanced level of employment for operations to run smoothly. The fact that line managers are the people to implement the policies of the human resource department, their input during the selection process should be valued as well. They are, however, not allowed to interfere with the selection process and should let the human resource department do its job.

Solving Issues

Time and again, employees may seem to be involved in conflicts that are rooted in bias due to cultural differences. The line manager is obligated to amicably solve such matters before they get out of hand. They are, therefore, expected to come up with guidelines on the conduct of the employees and present the same to the HR department (Evans et al. 2007). Once an employee has been approved for recruitment, they should be served with the guidelines so that they can understand the expectations of the company when it comes to matters of conduct and relationship with their fellow employees. The manager should also introduce an induction program where the employee gets oriented to the company.

Organize Training On Diversity

At times things may get out of hand and the situation within the company uncontrollable. The manager should look for ways to ensure that this kind of occurrence is averted before it takes place. In collaboration with the top management and the HR department, the line manager should take charge and organize training programs for the employees (Küper, K., 2015). Such a program should be aimed at reiterating the company policies on expected employee relationships and the need to adhere to them. However, they are expected to lead by example by not showing any levels of discrimination to any of the employees. Their relationship should be purely professional, and they should also work within the policies that have been set. Employees will find it easy to follow the ways of their managers as they play role models.

Policy Implementation

As stated earlier, line managers are the overseers of all the operations of the organization. This includes implementing all the policies, including those that they have taken part in coming up with. As a result, they should ensure that all the employees are playing by the rules of the company and take any action required in case things seem to be getting out of hand. The line manager should, therefore, ensure continuous assessment of the situation at the employee level to determine any form of misconduct and give detailed reports together with their proposals on what should be done about the happenings to the top management.

Conclusion And Recommendation

Diversity is key to establishing a successful organization. Companies should, therefore, come up with clear guidelines on how they are going to ensure workplace diversity and inclusivity. The human resource department seems to be the main driver of the issue of diversity and inclusion within the organization. Their role is to ensure that the organization has a well-balanced employee base that includes people from different cultures and backgrounds. Some of the aspects of diversity and inclusion that should be checked include gender, race, and religion. However, the aspect most looked into today is gender.

Line managers should, therefore, be trained in diversity and inclusion so that they can execute their duties effectively (Evans et al., 2007). There should also be a clear communication path at all levels of management so that the company can have a culturally diversified workforce. The human resource department should also be left to work independently, though they should also be in communication with the line managers so that they can balance the workforce.

References

Evans, C., Glover, J., Guerrier, Y. and Wilson, C., 2007. Implementing diversity policies: guiding principles. Equalitec.

Herring, C., 2009. Does diversity pay?: Race, gender, and the business case for diversity. American Sociological Review74(2), pp.208-224.

Kaplan, M., & Donovan, M. (2016). Inclusion Dividend: Why Investing in Diversity & Inclusion Pays Off. Routledge.

Küper, K., 2015. Line Managers’ Involvement in Diversity Management-An Outlook into the Future (Bachelor’s thesis, University of Twente).

Noon, M., 2007. The fatal flaws of diversity and the business case for ethnic minorities. Work, employment and Society21(4), pp.773-784.

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