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Microsoft’s and AT&T’s Diversity Management Essay


Introduction

Diversity entails the application of different ideas and perspectives in running an organization. It is based on the management of people from different races and cultural backgrounds. Diversity management is the acknowledgment of individual differences. As a concept, it is traced back to the mid-1980s. A diverse organization is identified by the profile of its employees and the just treatment of the labor force (Tchibozo & UNESCO, 2013).

There are many diverse companies in the world today. However, the author of this paper will focus on Microsoft Corporation and AT&T as examples of firms that have adopted diversity in terms of knowledge and perspective to shape their operations and strategies. The author will analyze the strengths and weaknesses of diversity policies in these entities. Diversity initiatives and outcomes, leadership commitment to the policy, as well as the incorporation of the framework into the main operations of the firms, will also be reviewed. In section two of this paper, a comparison will be made between Microsoft and AT&T, on the one hand, and Sinclair Group on the other as far as diversity is concerned.

Diversity Policies at Microsoft

The management at Microsoft acknowledges that diversity occurs in different forms. It is not limited to gender, age, or ethnicity. A diverse business organization is aware of the benefits of this policy. Such benefits include, among others, improved financial performance.

According to Syed and Ozbilgin state (2010), in Microsoft, a number of principles reinforce the firm’s tactical approach to diversity. For example, barriers that may impede the implementation of these policies have been removed. A number of development programs have also been established. The programs ensure that the appropriate level of diversity is achieved. In addition, the company recruits develops and retains talent to sustain a motivated workforce.

The board establishes the diversity principles after laying out the objectives. It also reviews the different mechanisms used in assessing the effectiveness of the policies. Development and implementation of diversity plans and participation of female employees in leadership positions are some of the duties carried out by this organ. In addition, the board reviews recruitment procedures to ensure diversity is upheld (Syed & Ozbilgin, 2010).

Diversity Policies at AT&T

AT&T has a history of innovation brought about by people from different walks of life. A major policy governing the firm entails the provision of equal opportunities. The management intends to create an environment that will encourage everyone to make use of their skills. Job applicants have equal chances of being employed regardless of their ethnicity or gender (Martin, 2005).

The company has put in place programs to ensure diversity is achieved at all levels. One is the training and career development program. AT&T invests in employee training to improve their careers and maximize outputs. Another approach entails talent development programs. Workers are encouraged to develop their talents and use their skills to achieve success. The organization believes that ‘the people are the company’ (Martin, 2005).

Diversity Recruitment, Initiatives, Outcomes, and Leadership Commitment at Microsoft

The success of Microsoft is dependent on the skills and experience that employees bring to the company. A diverse workforce is based on the nature of enrolment procedures. At Microsoft, recruitment of talent is conducted from a variety of backgrounds (Syed & Ozbilgin, 2010). The multicultural workforce is made up of highly qualified employees serving a wide range of customers. A number of programs help the firm to retain talent. Minorities are able to raise their opinions through such channels as DAC (Diversity Advisory Council). The group mentors employees and creates cultural awareness in the firm.

Gender equality is observed too. The company intends to recruit more women in the future through its recruitment and selection policy. Workers can choose their preferred workplace based on their life patterns. They are free to work either from home or from the office. The outcomes of these policies are evident in the success of Microsoft. Leaders are committed to making sure that diversity is attained at all levels. To this end, diversity and inclusion are viewed as long term business strategies that will retain Microsoft’s leadership position in the industry (Syed & Ozbilgin, 2010). The objective is made clear in the company’s vision and mission statements.

Through diversity management, Microsoft has enhanced its success. A number of programs and effective leadership have played major roles in this effect. Not all firms that employ diversity management prosper in business. What this means is that Microsoft’s approach is unique and clear (Martin, 2005).

Diversity Recruitment, Initiatives, Outcomes, and Leadership Commitment at AT&T

Just like Microsoft, AT&T believes in the recruitment and retention of a diverse workforce. For example, the company provides career opportunities for students with disabilities (Martin, 2005). In addition, people from different backgrounds have equal chances of being employed based on their qualifications. In terms of workforce inclusion, the firm is fully committed to its employees. By acknowledging that a diverse labor force is crucial to its success, AT&T does its best to give everyone a chance to grow.

Diversity initiatives determine the actions taken by managers to create a positive working environment. Workers are provided with the necessary tools and resources to enhance their success. The success of the company proves that the outcomes of the initiative are positive. AT&T’s communication policy respects and protects the customers’ freedom of expression (Martin, 2005). In addition, underage users are protected from inappropriate content.

Effective leadership translates to working relationships with workers. The management is committed to improving diversity at AT&T. A development program has been designed to improve leadership. In a recent recruitment program, 56% of successful graduates were colored, while 53% were women (Syed & Ozbilgin, 2010). To this end, it is apparent that diversity management should be implemented correctly to enhance success.

An Organizational Diversity Plan for Sinclair Broadcast Group (Television Station)

Sinclair Broadcasting Group’s Current Diversity Plan: A Critique

Sinclair Broadcasting Group (SBG) is one of the most successful companies in the telecommunications industry. A critical analysis of this film reveals that it has adopted a number of diversity policies. The company may not rank at the top with regards to diversity when compared with other similar firms. However, it is obvious that these programs are observed and promoted in the organization (Sinclair, 1997). In Sinclair, diversity is defined as the social differences existing among the various individuals working for the firm. The concept is based on inclusiveness and mutual respect for everyone in the firm (Tchibozo & UNESCO, 2013).

Any functional plan is based on a set of clear goals and objectives. Diversity policies are no different. Diversity at the workplace acknowledges the fact that people have different skills and qualifications, experience, and attitudes. For these plans to flourish, a number of principles must be put in place. One of the most important policies entails treating each other with respect and dignity. Providing a safe and healthy working environment is another principle (Myrtle, 2012). Decision making should be based on equity and justice (Harvey & Allard, 2014). Finally, actions to eliminate discrimination should be put in place. The diverse nature of the workforce must be valued for the firm to succeed.

Sinclair Broadcasting Group plans to be one of the best telecommunication networks in the world. Diversification of the company is one of the plans formulated to achieve this growth objective. The wide range of employees provides the company with a variety of ideas. Together, the diverse opinions of the workforce improve the production and delivery of services in the firm (Tchibozo & UNESCO, 2013).

A number of organizations have tried to implement diversity management policies. However, in most cases, these frameworks lead to confusion and chaos. It takes time and energy to succeed in diversity. The experience of Microsoft and AT&T attests to this. The management team at SBG is still exploring strategies that can be used to make sure that diversity increases the success of the firm (Harvey & Allard, 2014). More needs to be done to realize the full potential of this policy at SBG.

One of the benefits of diversity can be realized by increasing the number of women. According to Dobbin (2009), increasing the number of female employees has the potential of improving the financial performance of a firm. By exploiting the unique attributes of its employees, Sinclair has been able to produce a diverse range of services for the customers.

Expanding, Implementing, Training, and Auditing Diversity within Sinclair Group

Overview

Based on the company’s mission and vision statements, it is possible to establish the goals and objectives of diversity. Such a move will help to develop a solid plan for the firm. To start with, the management should ensure that everyone is given a fair chance during recruitment. The process should go beyond age and experience. After this is done, training opportunities should be provided to all employees. Once nurtured, the talent should be retained in the company. A good way to retain employees is to treat them fairly, which SBG already does. In addition, their opinions should be sought and taken into consideration when making decisions. Leaders should take part in development programs to enhance their capabilities in promoting diversity. With a talented and diverse workforce, SBG will be able to achieve its goals (Dobbin, 2009). A diversity website is also a good idea. It will help in educating and promoting diversity among the entire community.

Auditing Sinclair’s diversity program

The management should develop reasonable diversity goals. A varied board of administration means the availability of different perspectives and ideas during policy development. To enhance diversity, SBG should balance its existing panel of governors in terms of gender and ethnicity (Syed & Ozbilgin, 2010). The leaders should set an example for the employees. They have to be committed to knowing what is best for the organization.

At Sinclair, leadership has yielded results with regard to diversity. However, with improved plans, the company can achieve more. Defining a target market is crucial before laying out a plan. To this end, SBG has been able to offer high-quality services to clients. Around 40% of American homes subscribe to services from this company. Diversity in service delivery has played a major role in this. The chief executive officer makes the overall decisions. However, it is the work of the board to advise them accordingly. All the different approaches used in achieving a diverse community have been successful. Creating a multicultural center has played a significant role in this end (Dobbin, 2009). The creation of a task force specializing in the definition of mission and vision statements will promote diversity.

Other strategies can be employed to achieve these objectives at Sinclair. One of them includes hiring a Chief Diversity Officer. The work of this officer will be to oversee the formulation and implementation of all initiatives aimed at enhancing diversity. In addition, they will be responsible for the attainment of the firm’s various objectives.

A major limitation of SBG’s existing diversity plan is gender balance (Syed & Ozbilgin, 2010). A plan to increase the number of women in the workforce is necessary. The plan will entail special recruitment programs for female candidates. Retaining them will also be made a priority. In addition, efforts should be made to treat them like other members of the workforce.

The Benefits of the Proposed Diversity Program for Sinclair Group

The proposed plan offers a stronger diversity policy compared to the existing framework. For example, under the new arrangement, any work associated with diversity is overseen by one chief officer. Work will be simplified into smaller tasks handled by specialized personnel. In addition, increasing the number of women will improve the performance of the organization. The issue of sex will be adequately addressed using the proposed diversity website. Regardless of whether one is gay or transsexual, all employees will be treated equally since everyone has their strong areas (Dobbin, 2009)

Specific Courses of Action

Embarking on the plans outlined above and improving on the current policies will improve organizational diversity at Sinclair. One specific course of action will entail reviewing the company’s recruitment and retention strategies on an annual basis. According to Myrtle (2012), such a move helps in making sure that the diversity plan in a given entity is up to date. Another approach involves setting up a diverse management board. The board will be responsible for decision making. According to Harvey and Allard (2014), diverse ideas provide a wide range of options as far as operating a firm is concerned. As such, the plans outlined in this paper are appropriate.

Conclusion

Diversity management entails the acknowledgment of individual skills and uniqueness in a workforce. Based on the experience evidenced in Microsoft and AT&T, it is apparent that diversity is a necessity in every business organization. However, the implementation of these policies should be carried out in an informed manner. The reason is that diversity strategies may lead to chaos and disorganization in a firm. According to Martin (2005), a competent management team is needed to implement these plans. First, the team determines the goals and objectives of the undertaking and then comes up with policies that can benefit the entire firm. The developed rules may touch on recruitment and communication policies. Sinclair Broadcasting Group is a diverse entity. However, gender is one of the limiting factors with regard to diversity at Sinclair. By employing the plans recommended in this paper, the company will establish a multicultural workforce that will help it to achieve its objectives.

References

Dobbin, F. (2009). Inventing equal opportunity. Princeton, N.J: Princeton University Press.

Harvey, C., & Allard, J. (2014). Understanding and managing diversity (6th ed.). Hoboken: Prentice Hall.

Martin, D. (2005). Tough calls: AT&T and the hard lessons learned from the telecom wars. New York: AMACOM.

Myrtle, P. (2012). Diversity in organizations (2nd ed.). New York: South-Western Cengage Learning.

Sinclair, J. (1997). The business of international broadcasting: Cultural bridges and barriers. Asian Journal of Communication, 7(1), 137-155.

Syed, J., & Ozbilgin, M. (2010). Managing cultural diversity in Asia: A research companion. Cheltenham: Edward Elgar.

Tchibozo, G., & UNESCO. (2013). Cultural and social diversity and the transition from education to work. Dordrecht: Springer.

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