Unit 1: Business Culture and Responsibilities
Learning Outcome: 02
Task 2.1 Explain what is meant by ‘diversity in the business context
There is a need for refreshed enthusiasm to fuel effective diversity management and inclusion in global organizations. This report responds to this challenge and presents ways in which organizations can build the business case for speeding up progress towards diversity and inclusion. There is no quick fix for this. Instead, organizations should develop customized business cases that engage their stakeholders (Özbilgin, 2017).
ASDA needs to develop a sound understanding of the business case for diversity, including the economic necessity for widening its talent pool, tackling inequality and no meritocratic practices, and establishing inclusive workplaces. Return on investment measures may be particularly useful for involving line managers. An effective business case needs to account for shareholder value, stakeholder value, legal context, and global value chain, capturing the organizational, sectoral, institutional, social, and environmental impact. Business case arguments should advocate not only diversity but also a culture of inclusion. The business case should move beyond a narrow concept of short-term returns because the benefits of diversity are often accrued in the medium and longer terms (Rivas, 2016).
ASDA needs to engage in data gathering, monitoring, and analyzing activities in a systematic way to demonstrate the business case for diversity management in their specific circumstances. Organizations should identify their available data and their new data needs. Building the evidence base requires a creative flair in relating the strategic priorities of the organization to the possible and actual contributions of diversity. Collecting qualitative and quantitative evidence is essential for building a robust business case for an effective diversity management plan. Organizational diversity approaches should be sensitive to local contexts while meeting national challenges and drawing on transnational and cross-national learning, which may be garnered through corporate communication strategies that target the sharing of good practice (Rivas, 2016).
The business case should be systemic rather than ‘bolted on’ so that diversity management becomes ‘business as usual’. This requires a focus on long-term gains rather than quick-fix solutions. The business case arguments should engage with the existing projects in the organization and stretch the imagination and understanding of the project managers. The business case for diversity should be promoted through engagement (Rivas, 2016). A complex set of internal and external stakeholders drive organizations to build business case arguments. In developing a business case, it is important to focus on the multiple stakeholders, the business environment, and the stage of development of the diversity program. If the conditions in the external business environment are supportive, stakeholders are vocal with their diverse demands and the diversity program is mature, the organization can move towards developing more sophisticated business case arguments.
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Diversity management should be seen as everyone’s responsibility. Hence the finance function, alongside all other functions, should play a role in the design and implementation of diversity management policies. The finance function needs to play a proactive and central role in managing diversity processes, including data collection, analysis, and reporting. Finance professionals’ expertise may offer an invaluable resource for the diversity office in developing tools for measuring the phenomena that will support the business case. Organizations often have a wealth of employee data. The finance function can offer its expertise in mining the existing workforce data so as to link diversity and performance. The diversity function and the finance function can together explore what the current data reveal about diversity and identify future data needs (Seierstad, 2018).
Task 2.2 Recognise the benefits of having a diverse workforce
Businesses are recognizing the need and importance of investing in diversity and inclusion as part of their overall talent management practices and to continually challenge their organizations to make the connection between those principles and their corporate performance. Diversity is especially crucial in today’s global marketplace, as companies interact with different cultures and clients (Stahl, 2017). The payoffs touch every area of the business by potentially resulting in increased creativity, increased productivity, new attitudes, new language skills, global understanding, new processes, and new solutions to difficult problems. Greater agility, better market insight, stronger customer and community loyalty, innovation, and improved employee recruitment and retention. The businesses that fail to see the importance of Diversity and inclusion might find them unable to attract and retain the kinds of customers, employees, and business partners that constitute the changing world in 5 to 10 years (Stahl, 2017).
In a recently identified and highlighted companies with what they called “two-dimensional diversity.” The leaders of these businesses had at least three inherent diversity traits and three acquired ones. “Working in another country can help you appreciate cultural differences, for example, while selling to female consumers can give you gender smarts,” the authors wrote. By correlating diversity in leadership with market outcomes as reported by respondents, ASDA learned that companies with 2-D diversity out-innovate and out-perform others (Syed, 2016)…………..