Culturally Competent Organizations
For companies or organizations operating from different countries, pressure to create programs that are culturally diversified is common to them.in each of their country of operation, they are required to come up and implement policies that do not go against the cultural believes and practices of the native community. This is usually a hard task for the top management of the organization since cultures vary from place to place or from country to country. Furthermore, different time zones and economies may make it difficult for implementation of crucial policies such as flexible working hours.
In this paper, I want to find out the various cultural and ethical issues that may in one way or another have effect on the cultural diversity training course I sought to create. I seek to identify the legal challenges that may arise and how the demographic diversity of employees across the globe will affect the policies formulated. I will also focus on which ethical implications are to be considered. On the issue regarding training, I will try to find out if one standardized program can be used by a company with worldwide presence. This will also involve determining the media best for training such a program.
Legal implications that may arise.
To begin, there will be some legal implications that may arise in the process of creation of the course. The first legal problem that may be faced is the challenge of discrimination (Thompson, 2016).most if not all programs give power to local managers to determine whether requests of flexible hours by employees is in line with the business goals. In some cases, employees may sometimes want to work with hours where they will bring minimal benefits to the organization (Galea et al 2014).This may cause the manager to refuse granting the employee his wishes.
When implementing a cultural diversified program, there is usually a huge possibility that they will be favouritism. According to Ayub & Jehn (2014), the favouritism claims may be actual or even perceived. For example if flexible working hours are given to mostly Muslims, people from other religions working in the organization may claim that there is discrimination taking place. This may not actually be the case. Muslims have different praying programs from other religions such as Christians.it is thus that they may granted leave to go attend to their religious practices such as the Friday afternoon prayer or afternoon prayers. For Christians they may not require such breaks since the program used in many organizations and countries is usually based on the Christian calendar.
Another instance is granting flexible working hours to mainly the young generation or people of certain race let’s say Asians. This is an actual case of discrimination regardless of whether it’s serving to meet business goals or not. This may subject the management of the organization to legal proceedings for discriminatory policies. Making of inconsistent decisions regarding requests by employees may also result in being charged with discrimination (Eldakak & Al-Hadithy 2017). Decisions should be consistent and should not be made in favor of any employee rather set business rules should be followed.
Another legal implication that may be faced is violation of the family and medical leave act. The family and medical leave act require that employers who are covered by the act to allow job-protected and unpaid leaves to employers who are eligible (Faberet al. 2017).For an employee to eligible, he should have specified family commitments or have a valid medical reason. Employers and managers are required to grant requests of employees such as flexibility.
In the event that an employee requests for a flexible working arrangement due to family or health commitments, and the employer rejects because of lack of knowledge of the said commitments, the employers will still be eligible to be charged in a court of law. The law requires that all employers should consider work requests for arrangements protected by the finance and medical leave act (Jorgensen & Appelbaum 2014).
Another legal problem would be violation of right of people with disabilities. There are numerous acts that protect people with disabilities. The acts outlaw any form of discrimination against employees with disabilities that are defined and recognized (Fleischer et al 2012). The acts also require employees to provide suitable and reasonable accommodations when requested by employees with disabilities with exception of cases where granting such requests will result in undue hardship of the management or employer.
The employers should also be careful that their actions will not necessarily result in cases where there is mistreatment of people with disabilities.it is thus important to consider the laws that protect people with disabilities when coming up with such programs.
How demographic diversity affects cultural diversity
The second issue that this paper seeks to address is demographic diversity affects cultural diversity policies being created. Demographic diversity refers to level at which employees are heterogeneous in respect to demographic attributes (Kim et al 2013). This involves visible characteristics such as age gender and ethnic background. Demographic diversity is influenced by the various demographic changes. These demographic changes in one way or another usually affect aspects in the working world.
Some of the demographic changes that may affect the creation of a cultural diversity program are as follows. The first one is the changing family composition and structures. Single parent families are becoming more and more common as time goes by. This has resulted in the said parents having to juggle between parenting responsibilities, work as well as other domestic responsibilities (Barak, 2016).Programs have to consider such cases so that it may not put stress on employees in such scenarios.
In developed countries most of the working population is aging at considerably fast rate (MacManus, 2018).This puts pressure on the management to come up with working programs that suit them. Most ageing people may requests for flexible working programs that minimizes the amount of work they do and is also considerate of their health demands and needs (Loretto & Vickerstaff 2015).in the united states, most elderly workers may also have limited reliability. flexible working hours allows the employer to call in someone at any time. Old and aging people may not be physically and mentally to responds to calls in odd hour. It is thus necessary to consider age in cultural diversity programs.
Labor force diversity is also in the process of changing. There is a growing number of calls by the society to increase women participation in labor (Boserup et al, 2013). Women in most cases are also pegged with numerous domestic responsibilities. Hiring them will demand that the company will grant them flexible working conditions. There also calls to make sure that the labor force of organizations accommodates ethnic and religious diversities.
People with disabilities and other medical conditions should also be considered. In some countries, there are laws which require companies to have a certain percentage of their employees to be people with disabilities (Asch, 2017).This will force the company to come with policies and programs to accommodate such people. They are usually tough to operate with since they require special treatment from the rest of the workforce. So when discussing on how to come up with a cultural diverse program, these trends in demography should be considered.
Ethical implications that should be considered when creating a cultural diversity program.
In the process of coming up with a culturally diverse program, one may encounter some ethical implications. Some of the ethical implications that one may encounter are; Religious differences, gender issues, business culture and practices as well as some hiring decisions.
Religious difference. In any given culturally diversified workforce, there are individuals with many different beliefs (Ferrari, & Pastorelli 2016). In some cases, beliefs of the employees may clash with the certain diversity policies that touch on diversity. For example, a culturally diversified organization employees regardless of their beliefs and their sexual orientation. Most religions do not recognize the newly accepted sexual orientations such as same sex marriage and instead still subscribe to old traditional sexual beliefs that sex must only occur between a man and a woman (NeJaime, 2012).in such a scenario, employees will be at longer head with the organization whereby they may not want to work with people with different sex orientation. This usually provides a manager with a hard time coordinating activities in the organization. For a cultural diversity program to be effective, the program should tackle such a problem directly and make employees respect other people’s religious beliefs and practices.
There is also the gender issue which is always a problem in any given organization.in some countries such Saudi Arabia and other Muslim countries, women are legally subordinate to men. This limits the chances of men getting promoted in their places of work with the first priority been given to men. The men may also have problems adjusting to new working environments in case they are transferred from one branch to another. For example, in this new work station, the man may be forced to work with women at the same level or even report to a woman. The man may find this wrong due to the beliefs he was taught in his home country (Abramovitz, 2017).
Some other religions also limit interaction between men and women. For example in Islam and Arabic countries, it is wrong for men and women to interact socially and professionally unless they share some sort of family relation (Adamczyk& Hayes 2012). It is thus the responsibility of any management to come up with a culturally diversified program that addresses the diversity of different cultures as well as not going against gender and discrimination laws.
Another ethical issue is execution of business practices. Some business practices may go against cultural practices of the employees as well as the society (Fernando, 2012). This is common in businesses that are spreading to previous uncased areas of the world for example in African and Caribbean countries.in some countries government employees expect an organization to pay a bribe so that they can clear them for operation. Despite such practices been outlawed, the company may still be forced by the government agents to pay them bribes.
In the event the company officials are caught offering bribes, the company may be doomed as it may be subjected to heavy fines or even worse be banned from operating in the area (Cheung, et al. (2012).it is thus necessary for any culturally diversified program to train employees against giving bribes. It should teach employees on what to do when faced with such situations.
The fourth and last ethical implication that should be considered is decisions to be made when hiring. For any business that aims to have a diverse workforce, it must hire its employees from a pool of candidates with diverse characteristics. There are various ways in which a company may hire a diverse workforce. These ways involve advertising job positions in avenues that support employees’ diversity such as employee diversity networks or groups. The advertising panel should also avoid overreliance on traditional methods of job advertisement. Traditional methods in most countries may not be supportive of gender diversity which will put to waste any efforts that the management has put in place.
Despite putting much emphasis of hiring an employee on the basis of gender diversity, the hiring panel should also make sure that the employee meets the minimum qualifications set (Hoevemeyer, 2017).This should be regardless of gender, race, nationality or even age. It is common for multinationals to hire people who are less qualified simply because of the racial superiority norm they have. For example there have reported cases of Chinese companies in Africa having a preference for Chinese expatriates who are less qualified than the native people (Zhao, 2014). The natives employed have also been complaining of receiving harassment from their Chinese superiors.
can training be standardized for all locations?
From comparison and analysis, it is my observation that training can be standardized for all locations in an organization with global presence. This can only be made possible if the company hires long-term employees since this is a process that requires time. Such a programs can be taught using various channels. First, the organization may provide training using online technologies for all of its employees. With internet literally everywhere and being used by over half of all people on earth, it is easy to create a platform through which employees can receive the same type of training (Lynch, 2017). In the event the company is not able to come up with such type of software, the company may use social media to provide uniform training.
Another method that may be used is by rotating employees to various work stations of the company. This allows for employees to adapt to new environments making them seem to have a levelled ground when they begin training.an example of how this can yield success is by taking a look at the Boeing aircraft company. All the employees are given a chance to work at the company headquarters in the United States. The employees from twenty eight different countries work for eighteen months in the united states.in their duration of working, the employees have seminars which trained in various skills. They also hold seminars twice a year for all the employees.
Seminars are also an important avenue of training the employees.by putting all the employees in one room and allowing them to mingle freely with each other, the employees learn to accommodate each other (Uysal, 2013). They also gives employees an avenue for networking which is crucial in the development of their career.
Recommendations for implementing the training course.
For the training course to be effective, the following recommendations should be considered. First train the management to be aware and be involved in cultural diversity issues. This will involve making them to report to the top management on their level of progress. Both the top and middle management should be trained so as to have knowledge of cultural diverse issues. By doing so, they should be able to determine the various business risks associated with implementation of the course as well as the legal implications that it may have (McFarland, & Wehbe-Alamah, 2014).
Secondly it is important for the organization to monitor the various employee trends in the company. A database should be created where the trends of issues such as hiring, equity pay and job promotions are kept. This is very important in determining whether implementation of the course is on the right track or not. Thirdly the company should also set goals for implementing the program. The goas should be realistic and those that actually achieve them should be rewarded handsomely (Nederveen Pieterse et al, 2013). The organization can also benchmark from other organization that are implementing the same type of course. For example, the management should consider benchmarking in organizations in the fortune magazine’ fifty best companies for minorities.
Fourthly, the organization should ensure they are hiring employees who know of the organizations objectives and also have passion for the work they are to be given (Ho, & Astakhova, 2018). Lastly, the top management should come up with a procedure to be used by employees to file their complaints. The channels should be transparent and ensure there is no compromising of employees’ complaints.
In conclusion, I can say that I have established some of the ethical and cultural issues that affect the creation of a cultural training and diversity course. I have also found out the legal issues that may arise not forgetting the impact of demographic diversity affects creation and implementation of such a course. If these matters are kept in mind when coming up with the course training program, then I can guarantee that the program will be effective and produce great results. I have also given out some recommendations for implementing such a program.
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