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Summary of the Policy
Majid Al Futtaim organization based in Dubai is focused on retail and entertainment. Its overall performance is rather good but the problem of having the majority of employees at senior management being Western males cannot be denied. Diversity policy is proposed for this company to reach achievement and streamline the process of meeting goals. The change is likely to enhance economic performance and innovation, as having diverse personnel Majid Al Futtaim organization will be able to meet the needs of different customers from local communities (Davidson & Fielden, 2003).
Thus, it will be advantageous for the company to consider hiring and promoting people of different ethnicities and gender so that they work together and consider all issues from several perspectives. Moreover, diversity can change the way people perceive the world and those who are around (Rao & Donaldson, 2015). The implementation of this policy is likely to reduce the number of issues among the personnel, as it can make colleagues treat each other with dignity and respect even opposite ideas. So it is critical to provide equal opportunities if the company wishes to enhance its performance.
Diversity in the workplace is critical for the organization, as it allows avoiding a range of possible issues among the personnel and biased views on the cases and clients. It is seen as a range of differences between the employees that are to be accepted and respected by each of them. In other words, it encompasses the understanding of the fact that people are not the same and that their uniqueness should be recognized. It can deal with physical abilities, experience, and other dimensions but the issues faced by Majid Al Futtaim organization are connected with ethnicity and gender.
Ethnicity defines individuals’ social and cultural experiences, which means that it is one of the things that determine the way employees react to the situations and people (Enchautegui-de-Jesús, Hughes, Johnston, & Oh, 2006). As a result, professional relationships depend on the ethnicity of each worker, and they can be worsened or improved with the alterations in the staff demographics. Ethnic diversity is sure to bring benefit to the Majid Al Futtaim organization, as it has a problem connected with senior leadership.
Western managers tend to base all their decisions on the experience they received in their native country, which may make the interaction with other workers rather complex and confusing from time to time. The company is located in Dubai, which presupposes that the majority of clients are the citizens and its tourists. Western worldview is rather limited in this perspective, and the organization should consider working with the representatives of the other ones. Using the information achieved from different backgrounds, the leaders will be likely to learn how to find a common language with various people and be innovative.
Gender diversity started to attract people’s attention long ago. Numerous scientists conducted research projects to see how the organization and its employees are affected by the gender composition of the working team. Van Knippenberg, de Dreu, & Homan (2004) stated that the environments, in which the number of males and females is almost equal, are the most stable. The employees can successfully avoid conflicts, which allows them to work together successfully and achieve mutual goals (van Knippenberg et al., 2004).
As Majid Al Futtaim’s organization is mainly led by males, they may have personal problems while interacting such as reluctance to listen to each other and come to a compromise that would make everybody satisfied. The promotion of female workers and hiring new ones is likely to make the situation less tense. In the improved internal environment, the person will develop their skills and make advantageous for the organization’s decisions based on shared knowledge and best practices.
Thus, even though diversity may have a negative influence on the firm, it is more likely to improve the overall performance of Majid Al Futtaim. The policy that tends to implement ethnicity and gender diversity will enhance the relations among the staff members and give them a chance to cooperate effectively.
Overview of Policy Content
The diversity policy proposed for the Majid Al Futtaim organization is focused on ethnicity and gender because the information gathered about the company proved that the majority of employees at senior management are Western males. Such a situation is seen as a problem because it limits the view of the organization and affects its success. Homogeneity may spoil relations with numerous clients and slow down the firm’s development, as the exchange of contrasting ideas and views will be reduced.
The majority of scientists underline that diversity at the workplace streamlines the working process, making various actions more efficient. For example, Levine et al. (2014) state that it enhances innovation greatly, which leads to improved customer satisfaction, an extension of the market and economic growth. Even though these professionals admit that ethnic diversity may cause conflicts, they tend to believe that its benefits are more valuable and possible problems can be predicted and avoided.
When implementing diversity policy at the workplace, the company should consider the role of flexibility and equity because they deal with the mechanisms that make the employees perform to their full potential. Alterations in demographics at the company also require a high level of flexibility. Rather often issues among the co-workers occur because they are having similar qualities that do not allow them to listen to each other’s words. As a result, they tend to claim that one is something wrong. Diversity is likely to reduce the number of such problems making the workers listen to the ideas of others and treat them with respect (Hall & Parker, 1993).
Hodson, Dovidio, and Gaertner (2002) claim that homogeneity often leads to biases in decision-making. This view is supported by Hagendoorn and Kleinpenning (1991). Galinsky et al. (2015) claim that diversity can enhance the procedures in this sphere and the economic one. They are sure that it is possible to minimize the pains of diversity so that it benefits overweight. Taking into consideration the problems faced by the Majid Al Futtaim organization, the concept of multiculturalism seems to be critical.
The information gained from the experimental studies prove that people “who read statements endorsing a multicultural approach to diversity are more accurate in their perceptions of other groups, display less racial bias, and engage in smoother interracial interactions than do individuals who read statements endorsing a colorblind approach where differences are explicitly ignored” (Galinsky et al., 2015, p. 744).
If the organization alters its operations in this way, its performance is also likely to enhance. Still, the policy may face resistance from the personnel. It must be supported by the majority of the employees to make multiculturalism its function. Galinsky et al. (2015) state that mentoring programs can be used within the organization to reduce people’s unwillingness to implement changes as it does not divide the employees based on ethnicity and gender, and everyone takes part. Perspective-taking is to be considered in this framework, as it allows to see the world or particular situation as it is perceived by another person. The workers with different cultural backgrounds and of the opposite gender will share their visions of the situation while cooperating (McDonald, Keys, & Balcazar, 2007).
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The more diverse population meets at the workplace, the more ways out are considered and evaluated. In this way, the Majid Al Futtaim organization will receive a chance to improve its practices. The climate in the organization will change greatly and will affect the employees. They are likely to become more interested in cooperation and innovation. Such climate makes people improve information processing and exchange, which will be seen as the utilization of the best practices when producing decisions. In this way, working groups also become more creative, which is valued by the stakeholders.
Procedures Required for the Policy
This diversity policy should be proactive so that the employees do not feel exploited and uninspired. The change is needed because, employing only men from the West, Majid Al Futtaim organization is likely to face critical problems related to the shortage of labor and skills, failure to meet shareholders’ needs and reduction of profits. Its HR department should consider the issue, as it deals with the employees. HR managers are expected to identify why such a situation occurred and how it can be improved. They should develop training programs, recruitment and appraisal procedures. It is also critical to consider the financial aspect of the issue and control payments for new employees at senior management as well as spending for training. Cohort analysis and employee attitude surveys may also be needed.
According to Davidson and Fielden (2003), the implementation of the ethnicity and gender diversity policy will require such things as:
- Appreciation of equal opportunities policies. Majid Al Futtaim should extend existing policies instead of developing new ones to streamline this process and make the change less crucial for the employees. In this way, it turns out to be clear that the policy is to follow equality legislation.
- Focus on recruitment and promotion. As the company does not have many vacancies right now, downsizing may be approached to hire more women and people of various ethnicities then. Still, the company can also promote such employees from the lower levels of the organization.
- Mainstreaming. It is vital to make diversity treated by the personnel not as the alteration that causes problems but as a valuable characteristic that should be achieved. Of course, there is also an opportunity to add new initiatives and achieve results in no time, but this would be just an accomplishment of a task without understanding and accepting it. For example, the Majid Al Futtaim organization may create a new initiative targeted at the increase of women’s and non-Western under-representation in senior management. However, it will be seen by the workers as a task they should accomplish.
- Managerial accountability. High-level employees should not be the only individuals for whom the policy is beneficial. The response to job-share requests may be taken into consideration.
- Consultation with stakeholders. Customers, employees and other units who are interested in the company’s operations should provide feedback, based on which the changes will be defined and implemented.
- Long-term gain. Short-term gains tightly connected with measurement and evaluation are likely to bring profit for the company in no time. Still, the personnel’s way of thinking will not alter in this way. Experience, of the Littlewoods Organization, proved that it is critical to consider the quality of work and connection between functions and goals.
- Monitoring. The changes should be monitored to be sure that the company is on the right way.
To implement the policy into practice, the Majid Al Futtaim organization can refer to training and development. Such programs are generally used to share the goals of the new policy, make the personnel aware of the current issue with homogeneity and their duties in this process. Except for that, diversity is likely to increase in other areas (skills, etc.). The practice shows that the success of training programs depends on the organization and the problem that occurred.
Still, the fact that rewarding contributions to diversity can help to reach the desired aim is commonly accepted. Davidson and Fielden (2003) suggest organizations using the performance appraisal system for such purposes. Special programs can be developed of people of non-Western ethnicity and for women who are not currently occupying managerial positions but are willing to try. They should receive knowledge of how to act in the current organizational environment.
To make sure that the ethnicity and gender diversity policy works, measurable objectives should be established. In this way, it will be beneficial to consider diversity in leadership, alterations in work practices, support of the policy, and relations among the employees.
Davidson, M. J., & Fielden, S. L. (2003). Individual diversity and psychology in organizations. Chichester, UK: John Wiley & Sons Ltd.
Enchautegui-de-Jesús, N., Hughes, D., Johnston, K., & Oh, H. (2006). Well-being in the context of workplace ethnic diversity. Journal of Community Psychology, 34(2), 211–223.
Galinsky, A., Phillips, K., Sasaki, Todd, A., Homan, A., Apfelbaum, E., &… Maddux, W. (2015). Maximizing the gains and minimizing the pains of diversity: A policy perspective. Perspectives on Psychological Science, 10(6), 742-748.
Hagendoorn, L., & Kleinpenning, G. (1991). The contribution of domain-specific stereotypes to ethnic social distance. British Journal of Social Psychology, 30(1), 63-78.
Hall, D., & Parker, V. (1993). The role of workplace flexibility in managing diversity. Organizational Dynamics, 22(1), 5-18.
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