Question 1 case study of Walmart
Walmart has been and remains to be the global leader in the retail industry with investments in all the continents and stores in about twenty-eight countries. The company can be considered also to be the largest regarding diversity and inclusion when it comes to the number of employees in all her stores. Most of the companies that work on the multinational platform 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 she 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 the same efficiently. This paper shall be looking to examine Walmart’s business case and the strategies used by Walmart in promoting 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.
By the year 2004, Walmart was already the leader of the fortune 500 list and also the United States largest non-governmental employer. It also had become the leader in the number of employees that she has across the world. It is important to note that the company even though being the largest in the world as to experience challenges in her retail operations. Considering that the company is operating in countries where her customers have their different cultural backgrounds, there was the need to integrate an international human resource management approach in their 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;
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 her 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 that of the other person is being given privilege. Once the employees are contented with the way they are treated at the workplace, it is an indicator that the organization is looking to creating 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 in maintaining good relations not only between employees and the management but also between the employees themselves. By ensuring promotion of diversity through appreciating and acknowledging the differences between her 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. Meaning 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 also to ensure that the employees are plying by 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. The 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 therefore treated in the same manner not only in saying but also stipulating it in the company 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 the 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 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 levels are high, the company has greatly assisted in alleviating the problem by employing the locals. This is an indicator that the company values the international labor laws that require multinational to ensure they employ locals.
The issue of gender equality has been hitting the headlines with the last decade or so seeing the major transformation over women involvement in the corporate world. Women have over the years proven to provide ample and satisfactory assistance in the business world. Unlike in the past where women were taken to be inferiors and the key roles in most of the organizations being taken up by men, this trend has changed with women holding leadership positions today. Walmart has not been left behind with some of the some of the most senior position being held by women today. This is one way of promoting inclusion and creating room for women to grow themselves. The director of innovations, for instance, today at Walmart is not only a woman but a black woman. Tracey Lloyd began her career at Walmart as a store manager rising through the ranks to becoming 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 the human resource management has in its capacity the ability to work independently. Recruitments should not be based on who knows who but who has the best qualifications for the task in mention. 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 the 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 the 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 they make their selection in line with the proposals by 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 where there is a need to have a balanced level of employment for the operations to run smoothly. The fact that line managers are the people to implement the policies by 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 their job.
Time and again, employees may seem to involve 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 conduct and relationship with the 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 an 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 the same. 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 are going to find it easy following the ways of their manager as they are playing the role models.
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 misconducts and give detailed reports together with their proposals on what should be done of 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 most looked into aspect today is that of gender.
Line managers should, therefore, be trained on diversity and inclusion so that they can execute their duties effectively (Evans, et al. 2007). There should also be a clear communication path 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.
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 Review, 74(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 society, 21(4), pp.773-784.