There are significant “demographic changes taking place in organizations today and such changes will persist into the future” (Lerman and Schmidt 1). The emerging trends are due to changes in the population growth and globalization. The workforce will continue to change as workers from other parts of the world account for “a sizable population of the workforce in an organization” (Lerman and Schmidt 1).
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Recent changes in the labor market have also affected the workplace environment. Employers recruit a diverse workforce in terms of ethnicity or race, gender, skills, age and other emerging members of the society, such as gays, lesbians, bisexual and transgender (GLBT) groups (IBM 2010).
Such diversities require broad assessments in terms of their effects on organizations. Most employers strive to implement policies that can assist in sustaining such diversities among workers. At the same time, organizations also strive to create understanding among employees with regard to such changes in demographic trends.
This essays looks at effects of demographic changes in organizations and how organizations can cope with such trends. Thus, we look at age, gender, ethnicity, and GBLT with specific cases from some organizations.
According to Lerman and Schmidt, notable demographic changes shall occur in the labor market over the next 10 to 15 years (Lerman and Schmidt 3). These scholars note that such changes occur due to growth in populations and immigration people from other countries.
In her study, Helene David identified four main demographic trends in the workforce. These included the educated young workforce, the aging workforce, changing roles of female and narrowing age gap among employees. She concluded that these were changes affecting all organizations across the globe (David 22).
The emergence of the ageing workforce now affects both developed and developing countries. The number of older workforce is growing steadily. Changes in the population growth affect this trend. The post-war baby boomers of 1960s have aged. The new generation Y has emerged to take their places.
Thus, such changes have impacted the labor market and organizations have turned to young employees to replace baby boomers. David notes that the ageing workforce has also affected social issues in organizations through rising costs of welfare programs. Though some these employees have retired, a substantial number continues to work with young employees. This has created a generational mix in organizations.
The generational mix between the aged and young employees occurs due to participation of different age groups in organizations. Policies and some government directives influence organizational decisions on hiring. As a result, most organizations have both generations as workforce. The retirement age differs across countries. This affects the proportion of the older generation in organizations.
On the other hand, organizations also have low rates of hiring young workers. Consequently, the generational mix persists in organizations. As a result, most organizations have both generations as workforce.
The introduction of retirement age differs across countries. This affects the proportion of the older generation in organizations. On the other hand, organizations also have low rates of hiring young workers. Consequently, the generational mix persists in organizations.
Young employees have higher levels of education than their older counterparts. The younger workforce takes time pursuing education in specialized areas. This tendency has created the idea of knowledge workers that organizations strive to keep and maintain. The trend has become significant in the new information economy due to rapid technological developments.
Helene argues that education, training, and knowledge levels of workers influence characteristic of today’s workforce, particularly the younger generation (David 24). Organizations have turned for flexibility and qualification when recruiting workers. At the same time, they also need higher levels of experience among aged employees. This condition has created conflict, inter-generation tension, and exclusion in organizations.
Activity rates of female workers in organizations have changed significantly. Sexual division that characterized the past workforce in organizations is on the decline as women continue to play key management roles that require high standards of competence. Organizations such as IBM, HP, Kraft Foods, and Xerox among others have women as senior executives.
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This shows how such organizations value diversity in the workforce and changing roles of women in the knowledge economy. Organizations also try to accommodate diverse needs of women through balancing work and family life. As a result, some women have flexible work schedules than their male counterparts.
Globalization has also created movements among people. Therefore, workforce no longer consists of a single race, but rather a mixture of races. This has led to cases of racial tensions. On the same note, there are also cases of GLBT among employees. This is an emerging trend across the globe and organizations must find ways of handling such diversities.
Effects of Demographic changes in organizations (IBM and Google)
Race and Ethnicity
Organizational management policies must account for diverse ethnic and racial differences that dominate today’s workforce. This is necessary for long-term benefits and exploitation of human resources. For instance, IBM and Google have to handle cases of racial tensions that exist among employees from diverse ethnic backgrounds. These are also companies with globe presence.
Consequently, these organizations can post some of their employees to their subsidiaries across the globe. These organizations have enacted policies that promote equal opportunities and fair participation for all their employees.
Google and IBM have business activities that enhance multiracial interaction. These organizations have included training as the key to successful management of racial tensions among their employees (Google 2012; IBM 2010).
Training programs have been effective in promoting interaction among workers from different ethnic backgrounds. This approach reduces tension, promotes cultural exchanges, and frequent interactions among employees for benefits of their organizations. As a result, we can notice benefits of a diverse workforce in Google and IBM.
These organizations view changing trends in demographic compositions of their workforce as opportunities that can propel their globe strategies. This explains why IBM and Google strive for inclusion policies and equal opportunities for all. Inclusion of demographic differences aid organizations in conflict resolution. This is how IBM and Google manage their employees that consist of different races from all over the world.
This is a major source of conflicts among employees in every organization. For instance, in Google and IBM, most of their old workers grew in these companies and accumulated vast experience.
However, this category of workforce worries about job security and replacement by young and dynamic workforce. Conversely, young workers main concerns are vast and range from hefty rewards, changes of status quo to the desire to rise to executive levels.
The problem also arises from executing orders from their superiors. This workforce also has vast knowledge in technology. The knowledge gap, age gap, and differences in experience may result into tension among these categories of workers.
Organizational policies should harmonize such diversity for strategic benefits of employees and organizations. Google and IBM have been able to exploit both experience of old workers and technology knowledge of young workers.
IBM and Google encourage their management teams to identify potential opportunities and challenges that may result from differences in age among their employees. IBM and Google have established policies that promote effectiveness management across departments so that all employees actively contribute for success.
These companies create teamwork and encourage multigenerational employees to work together for knowledge exchange and experience gains. Therefore, teamwork and involvement are better approaches that can reduce multigenerational differences in an organization.
Most organizations experience gender-related issues across the globe, such as pay, working hours, family issues and roles among others. However, IBM and Google have created opportunities for women employees to pursue their careers through leadership programs. In addition, these companies also encourage women to apply for available job openings.
The past trends whereby roles of women, pay, and career growths were narrow have changed as organizations become flexible. Consequently, the number of female workers has increased alongside their pay and activities.
Despite such developments in working environments, women still face challenges related to their family responsibilities. In fact, there are cases where women have agreed to pay cuts so as to spend much time with their families. The old workforce also faces challenges of health, disabilities and other conditions. These conditions affect their outputs.
Organizational strategies of managing demographic changes and their effects
These strategies involve effective approaches that aim at building and maintaining diverse, productive, and high quality employees that deliver organizational objectives. Such strategies aim at attracting, recruiting, hiring, developing, managing, rewarding, and retaining diverse and a high quality workforce (IBM 1).
IBM and Google have global diversity strategies that manage their diverse workforce and encourage inclusions. As such, they focus on cultural differences and formulation of inclusion programs that can attract, recruit, and retain skillful employees.
Google and IBM rely on diversity as a means of promoting cultures of creativity and innovation in organizations. These organizations believe that diversity programs should not only account for the normal spheres of sexual, gender, race, age, and religion, but also include differences across the globe.
These organizations look at diversity in terms of global strategies that can promote business growth. Consequently, these companies can appeal to their diverse workforce and markets they serve.
IBM and Google have also enacted an approach of Equal Opportunity Policy. This policy promotes equal opportunities among all employees. IBM and Google do not hire workers based on their color, race or creed. This enhances reputations of these organizations across the globe.
Both companies have realized the value of equal opportunities for all and its effects in terms of building a high quality workforce. Equal opportunity policy also ensures that only best candidates get jobs irrespective of their diverse backgrounds or disabilities.
IBM and Google also use inclusion programs worldwide in recruiting and hiring employees. These organizations rely on their executives for supporting implementation of workforce diversity in their subsidiaries worldwide. This also applies to employees who receive trainings on the concept of an inclusive working environment in an organization.
IBM and Google have recognized demographic changes in the labor market. As a result, these organizations strive to change their human resource policies to reflect such changes in the labor market.
IBM and Google have realized the relevance of effective diversity programs in recruiting employees from a diverse and competitive labor market. Google and IBM have used diversity programs as a strategy in the global labor to attract and retain talented employees.
As leaders in workforce diversity, Google and IBM have several programs that focus on recognizing demographic changes in the labor market. These companies aim at instilling changes among their employees and markets they serve.
IBM and Google have noticed important roles women play in modern organizations. Consequently, these organizations encourage women to take leadership positions. This is a shift from the past where leadership opportunities were mainly available to male workers. These companies have also been hiring female workers in specialized areas of their operation such as IT.
Consequently, such approaches have increased populations of female workers in corporate fields. IBM has a program known as Women in Technology specifically for female in IT. This program aims to support the “growth, achievement, advancement, recognition and promotion women in the organization” (IBM 2010).
IBM and Google aims at representing people with disabilities at every department of their operation. These organizations have ongoing commitments to support employees with disabilities through relying on strategies that ensure inclusion of such workers. These companies also create a friendly environment for workforce with disabilities to ensure that they work in supportive environments.
IBM and Google have opportunities that encourage interactions among different age groups in their workforce. Thus, these organizations strive to create flexible and dynamic workplaces that can meet diverse needs of today’s workforce.
As a result, employees can work without age-related barriers, tight working hours. In addition, they also a variety of work style options, lifestyle choices, continued learning and job satisfaction, and an ongoing connection to their communities through Meet the Googlers and IBM’s Global Diversity Workforce program among others (Google 2012).
Google and IBM also account for their controversial employees that consist of GLBT. At the same time, these companies must also comply with regulations of various countries regarding GLBT.
Google and IBM have created working environments where GLBT can experience positive working environments. This creates opportunities where GLBT can make positive contributions in terms of skills, experiences, and outputs for their organizations (Thomas 98).
As employers of workers with diverse demographic characteristics, Google and IBM have made significant steps for fair treatment and inclusion of all workers. However, these companies still need to enhance their efforts. Google and IBM have best chances of demonstrating their commitment to promote diverse demographic characteristics in organizations and still maintain high quality workforce.
These companies demonstrate some of the best strategies which other organizations can apply to manage demographic changes among the workforce. These are innovative strategies that can build and maintain a high quality workforce that is capable of positive results.
This is true in cases of IBM and Google business performances. Thus, it is necessary that organizations conduct demographic audit and provide solutions that ensure equal opportunities, participation, and inclusion of all employees for positive results.
Therefore, other organizations can learn from Google and IBM, and share their experiences in order to build and maintain a positive working environment amidst changing demographic trends in their workforce.
In fact, IBM and Google programs on minorities and GLBT are formal mentorship programs that can enhance inclusions across the globe. These companies have also noticed that their competitive strategies depend on their diversity agendas in approaching new markets and making substantial business returns.
David, Helene. Recent Changes in the World of Work. Quebec: University of Montreal, 2001. Print.
Google. Diversity in our workforce. 2012. Web. <https://diversity.google/>.
IBM. “Global Workforce Diversity.” Executive Corner 3 (2010): 1-7. Print.
Lerman, Robert and Stefanie Schmidt. Trends and Challenges for Work in the 21st Century: An overview of economic, social, and demographic trends affecting the US labor market. Washington, D.C.: The Urban Institute, 1999. Print.
Thomas, David. “Diversity as strategy.” Harvard Business Review 82.9 (2004): 98–108. Print.