The employees of the organization also receive cultural awareness training. While the employees are taught on how to best treat each other with respect and dignity, the leaders of the organization learn how they can best develop and manage a workforce made up of individuals from diverse backgrounds. Given that there are various facets of diversity, there are several different classes, each with its own aim and target group (Walgreen Co, 2010). For example, according to the firm’s website, specialists working in the company’s Human Resource department are targeted with disability awareness class.
Employees working in non-managerial positions within the firm are targeted with classes that aim to impart them with skills on how they can detect and avert employee harassment (Walgreen Co, 2010). Other classes include: those tailored towards improving the managerial skills in a highly diverse organization like Walgreens, those aimed at forestalling discrimination, skills for selling the company’s products to customers who are different from the seller (for example, those of a different gender, race, ethnicity, religion, and so on), and those aimed at helping the organizational members to work together (Walgreen Co, 2010).
Apart from the formal classroom sessions, Walgreen’s mentorship and coaching programs are also aimed at helping the company foster diversity. They are helped to develop their interpersonal communication skills, which is critical in getting along without offending anyone’s sensibilities in an inclusive workplace. For example, the employees are trained on the use of the appropriate tone and message delivery, as well as on techniques they can use to manage perceptions (Walgreen Co, 2010). Another way through which the Walgreen Company tries to foster diversity within the organization is through the use of employee business groups.
According to Ollapally and Bhatnagar (2009), there are three levels within any organization where diversity activities can be undertaken. These include at the individual, team, and organizational level. At the organizational level, the mission statement of Walgreen also makes a positive pitch for effective diversity management. It roots for respect and dignity for all employees, as well as for employees of as many diverse backgrounds as possible to be given an opportunity to build a career at the firm.
Still at the organizational level, Walgreen also has put in place an executive diversity council, which is headed by no less a person than the company’s President and CEO, Gregory Wasson. In furtherance of its stated objective of achieving effective diversity management, Walgreens has also put in place an explicit equal employment opportunity policy. This policy commits the organization to recruit, select, train, develop, promote, compensate, discipline, or terminate the services of employees strictly on merit and without any regard to race, color, gender, religion, national origin, sexual orientation, ethnicity, age or disability.
The policy has been formulated to conform to various equal employment opportunity laws including but not limited to: the Immigration Reform and Control Act, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), the Age in Discrimination Act (ADEA), title VII of the Civil Rights Act, among many others (Walgreen Co, 2010a). According to the firm’s website, Walgreen does not brook the violation of any of the provisions of its equal employment opportunity policy. Any organizational member found to violate this policy or any of its diversity policies faces strict disciplinary action, including dismissal from the organization (Walgreen Co, 2010a).