Workplace diversity has been seen as a growing need in the modern business world. Many businesses around the world and especially in the United States now try to have a diverse team working together so as to get the best results. This has been in line with new legislation that has been cracking down on discriminatory practices in the case of employment which has heralded increased stress on workplace diversity.Dixon Motor Company has been one which hasn’t followed the growing trends. The company has an abundance of white male workers in its workforce from the bottom to the top with women and minorities being represented very little.
As it stands, the company finds itself in a bad patch. The economic downturn has led to a fall in demand for cars in the country which has subsequently led to a decline in the company’s sales. Fluctuating gas prices have also been a nuisance in terms of costs, not allowing the company to post steady earnings.
In such a time of hardship, the initiation of a broader workplace diversity program could be of significant use to the company.If Dixon Motor Company can successfully diversify its workforce, it will be a unique case in the automobile industry. Many observers have already pointed out the lack of diversity in the industry, and by taking this step; the company may be able to win plaudits from various support groups which may provide positive publicity and possibly diminish the decline in sales of the company’s products as more customers rush to buy its cars, seeing it as more responsible than others. There is also less chance of being indicted for employment discrimination in the face of increasingly tough legislation which would be financially very disturbing for the company if it did happen. Encouraging workplace diversity can also lead to a radical change in the culture of the company.
Once employees are ready to open up to new surroundings and environment with new people, the team will also become open to new and innovating opinion. This could herald the birth of new ideas and better, cost saving techniques for the company that could help sustain it through financial turbulence and perhaps provide cost advantage over its competitors (Bassett-Jones 169-175). Thus, the development of workplace diversity could be a source of competitive advantage for the company.One step the company could take in this regard is to appoint a so called diversity champion.
This is one dynamic individual in the organization who tries to take an in-depth look at the practices in the industries where workplace diversity has been achieved and identifies the best practices employed there. These are then reported to the senior management as possible ways of improving workplace diversity. This is effective as it does not require hiring expensive new hires, especially in the current times. The appointed individual would be from within the organization, making it easier to talk to him, especially since the person would know the culture and environment of the company.A second option could be to sign up for a membership scheme of one of the many diversity organizations.
This could be a good source of improvement for the company. It could get help in terms of support for the program and valuable input as to how to increase workplace diversity. The membership will not cost the company much and would allow it to enjoy experience from other organizations that have successfully incorporated workplace diversity programs which could also be a source of valuable, but low cost input. It will further allow the best practices in the industries to seep into the organization, having a marked impact on its environment and future innovation (Lee and Park 195-213).
Another step that could be taken by the Dixon Motor Company could be to make sure the change in policy regarding increased inclusiveness in communicated well to all levels of the organization (Bolen 1996). This has to be augmented by the establishment of a system for handling complaints regarding discrimination if any in the company. It would help tackle the adversities that minority and women workers face at the lower levels of the company which is why it is not able to sustain them. Much improvement could be made in this regard by training managers and staff about the benefits of workplace diversity. Any sort of complaints should be dealt with swiftly so that diverse employees don’t have grievances and the clear involvement of senior management should be shown.
This would convince majority of the workforce to get involved in the program and bring about the change that is needed in the ethos of the company (Bolen 1996). Such kind of training and involvement also wouldn’t strain Dixon Motor’s budget by much.One more avenue that the organization could explore would be to alter its recruitment process a bit (Lindenberger). The company has an abundance of white males and a few minorities as well, which is mainly due to hiring from minority oriented job fairs.
This could point to the existence of elements in the interview process or other areas which allow white males to perform better, addressing their strengths, and not allowing people from different cultures and backgrounds as well as older individuals in illustrating their strengths. This could be at the root of the problem of why everything and everyone is the same at Dixon Motors as the recruitment process looks for a specific brand of people. For example, older individuals don’t tend to perform well in behavioral interviews (Lindenberger). Non-Caucasian people may tend to focus more on who they know rather than what they know during an interview process. It is only by accepting the diverse strengths of multiple cultures and people that the company can incorporate them successfully in the organization and benefit from innovation and new development as well as getting access to a wider talent pool (Bassett-Jones 169-175). Shifting recruitment dynamics will not cost the company much either.
The company will need to evaluate the effects of these changes it brings about. This could be done in a variety of ways. One could be to compare the ratio of males to females and Caucasian to non-Caucasian workers in the company some time down the line so as to measure if there has been any increase in the diversity of the company. This should be supplemented by qualitatively analyzing where the new and varying elements of the workforce stand in terms of position and growth prospects so that they are not just concentrated at the lower levels. The workplace diversity program should have a pervasive effect throughout the organization.
Furthermore, the complaint channels that the company opens need to be monitored for the number of complaints regarding discrimination that come up. The number can be expected to be high in the beginning if the company is to be sure that the channel is working as looking at the composition of the organization, it may not be as inclusive in the beginning. These numbers should then slowly trickle down, to measure the success of the program with regards to changing the environment and the thinking. Finally, when the ratios of diversity have gone up, sales and improvements in terms of new ideas could be plotted in a time line with the establishment of the workplace diversity program to see if it has been a source of competitive advantage for the organization, translated into growth in sales or innovation.These steps may help the Dixon Motor Company emerge into the modern era of change in business environment.
In the long run, this would help access a broader talent pool and the company may see less number of lawsuits against it. This would undoubtedly be beneficial for the company through the years, especially in an industry not known for such practices.