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Improving human capacity

The senior management team has requested you provide them with a proposed plan for training the current and future employees about cross-cultural diversity. They want to know the major topic areas and why those are important. They have requested that you identify how the training will be provided to current employees, new employees, or as refresher training. The senior managers will need to know the time required per class, the method that will be used, and reference materials that will be included.

Cross-cultural diversity refers to an important concept that has penetrated the current industrial terrain with a view to improving human capacity for productions by appreciating differences and working within the limits of these differences in culture and background to achieve the intended vision and mission statement of the company. For multinational companies, it is an inevitable tool to permeate cultures with their products, and also maintain their socio-economic status.

However, for local companies within limited variety of humans, it is a leaping tool to launch their agenda to a larger group of people, gain wider customer patronage and investor loyalty. In this age and time, the wide is running a phenomenon of globalization. This is closely linked to cross-cultural diversity.

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In a global village, there would be interactions on personal and industrial matters. It is sufficiently certain that these people would be people of different cultural affiliations and it would be necessary to work hand-in-hand with them to achieve any postulated aim for this company.

Besides, cross cultural diversity covers more than language as is usually thought. It also includes cultural values, religion, gender [male or female], skills, experiences, and knowledge diversity. WHAT WORKPLACE DIVERSITY DOES? It is important to realize that the importance of cross-cultural diversity can not be overemphasized: it improves human and material contribution to increased productivity in the company. It creates a platform for rewarding and promoting staff that have shown higher productivity without regard for the ‘diversity factors’.

When the larger population is represented in the work force of this company, I have no doubt that this will contribute immensely to the corporate responsibility image of this company and so generate more investment funds through investor loyalty and continued patronage. Although it constitutes challenge for management and leadership, these can be adequately managed and the advantages become pellucid. In an environment where each person is paid as they contribute and there is no marginalization because of cultural background or other factors, the output would be positively shocking!

WHAT IS THE PROPOSED PLAN FOR TRAINING THE CURRENT AND FUTURE EMPLOYEES ABOUT CROSS-CULTURAL DIVERSITY? This proposed plan is aimed at integrating the concept of cross-cultural diversity into the company policy and then into activities of management and staff. Review company policy: this is the beginning of the proposed plan. It evaluates in detail the company policy with a view to identifying and analyzing the current status of the company with respect to cultural diversity. This exercise would form the basis for revision of the policy, and introduction of the concept into mainstream company agenda.

Review management and staff awareness of cross-cultural diversity: the next line of action is a review of the management and staff awareness of cross-cultural diversity. First, every member of staff would be informed of the plan through a general meeting. With surveys and questionnaires, we would then access the quantity and quality of knowledge staff have on the issue. This would identify among other things areas of relative and absolute deficiencies. These reviews show the status quo on cross-cultural diversity. This is where the journey begins.

Design course scheme: planning and designing the course scheme depends on the outcome of the reviews. Having known areas of relative and absolute deficiencies, the course scheme would be delineated into the following sections • Introduction: this gives preamble of the whole course content • Detail: here, the details are taught. • Discussion: this is the final phase of the training; it includes room for discussions/feedbacks, questions and answers on course content. • Practical applications are aimed at bringing the gap between knowledge acquisition and practical application into real-life situations.

Pattern of placement: the staff would be organized into these sections based on the knowledge of the concept. How would this be done? Tests would determine which level you belong. For those who have background knowledge, they can proceed to the next section having duly completed the tests. In essence there would be retraining for knowledgeable staff and training for apparently ignoble staff. Training tool: staff would be trained through lecture series on the selected topics [see below]. It would include seminars, and presentations. Assignments, coursework and projects are included.

Discussion groups would also be incorporated into the training for people with diverse factors to engage in first-hand practice of the lessons. The course materials would also have study guides to highlight areas of important in the training. Instructors: there are a number of cross-cultural diversity training companies. We would select one or two and engage their services in the program. Organization and time: the training may be carried out during the day or on weekends; the target here is to get people’s consent so that they can actively participate.

And we don’t want a situation where the program would alter production capacity. These are the factors that need be considered before deciding the time and schedule for the training. The instructors also need to contribute. Information dissemination: the success of the program is hinged on the acceptance by the staff. It therefore becomes pertinent to inform them about the process. It is not even enough to do; they can also participate in designing appropriate work-place-friendly schemes which they can cope with. Staff and managers would be engaged at every stage of the program through acceptable means.

Assess awareness: the awareness would be assessed through the tests and practical exercises. Besides, there would also be need to engage in regular reviews. Besides, staffs who distinguish themselves in any section would be acknowledge and adequately rewarded. This is a step towards fast-tracking the implementation without cutting corners. Incorporate into company’s main policy: cross-cultural diversity is closed linked to affirmative action that emerged sequel to the Civil Rights Act of 1968. It emphasizes the need to incorporate the minority and women in companies’ recruitment, production, management board and even distribution.

This was largely criticized then but leaders of large corporations now realize the superfluous impact it has on productivity. In this vein, the affirmative action becomes included in existing company policy to expand the national and international horizon of the company among contemporaries. There would then be need to meet the needs of the growing market targets though ethnic marketing, Acknowledge and reward diversity among employees and also encourage viable Minority and women business enterprise programs.

Recruitment: adopting cross-cultural diversity promotes excellence above differences and seeks to improve service delivery without barriers. In this vein, recruitment of staff is tailored along these lines so that everyone with the basic requirements is employed. The new employees would be trained through the four sections as part of their orientation program into the company. Diversity Unit: to continuously promote this concept among staff and managers, it is necessary to establish a diversity Unit concerned with • Identifying areas of diversity

• Providing materials and persons for diversity discussions • Training and retraining • Working with other units of the company to implement the program • Assessment and evaluation of diversity programs • Identification and reward of diversity-complaint staff • Central liaison with diversity support groups outside the company TOPIC AREAS Introductory concepts in cultural diversity This is important for the introductory section of the proposed plan lecture schedule. This section seeks to introduce participants about the meaning of cultural diversity.

Besides, there is also need to talk about the historical perspective of the concept, its progression over the years in industrial matters and the current status in the field of multinational and intercultural organizations. The advantages and disadvantages of cross-cultural diversity would also be included in this section with specific emphasis on its input for the company. It would also give succinct information on the major concepts of cross-cultural diversity including communication, advertising, planning, production and policies. This would form the basis for the remaining part of the course. Cross-cultural communication

Communication is an inevitable tool for all forms of interactions. Language may be a major barrier in cross-cultural diversity. As a result, this concept forms the foremost topic of training and discourse during the program. It would include local and international communication skills, use of symbols and signs in intra-company interactions and developing personal codes for effective interactions with others. The goal is to inform staff about the concept, and teach how they can understand others without barriers though formulating personal methods which are compatible with existing communication guidelines.

Cultural management It is a different ball game to lead the production plan of a specific group and now switch to a larger group including people of different cultural backgrounds, varied knowledge base and bias. The experience may be frustrating for a manager who can not adjust easily. Therefore to achieve a holistic training program, managers would also be trained in light of this new development. Updating the needed managerial skills to implement, sustain and promote cross-cultural diversity is crucial to the success of the plan when it is adopted fully by the management.

Cross-cultural advertising Most companies that adopt cross-cultural diversity usually have a large market with diverse kinds of consumers. This mad the concept of ethnic marketing popular in the 1990s; this uses culturally-acceptable materials and methods to appeal to the target consumers/ethnic group. The mechanisms of designing appropriate marketing plans which are culturally acceptable, technologically sound and would involve active participation of the group is the focus of this topic. Cross-cultural production

The aim of this is to educate staff on the productions plan that can be adopted when diversity is ingrained in the fabrics of a company’s policy. It would be difficult or out rightly frustrating to maintain same production plan for a different set of informed workers. As a result, it therefore becomes important to alter the existing production plan to fit into the diversity policy of the company. It is different from communication in the sense that it designs diversity-compatible production plan with the concomitant environment to fulfill the desired plan.

This would also include preparations for storage and distribution for increased output anticipated during the implementation of the diversity into mainstream company plan. Emotional intelligence This is an important concept in human relations within and outside the workplace. Emerging from earlier works before Daniel Goleman’s classic ‘Emotional Intelligence’, emotional intelligence also called emotional quotient has permeated the vocabulary of management boards even to staff discussions. An emotional intelligent person has the capacity to effectively interact with others irrespective of their background.

This topic would cover the five domains of EQ as stated by Goleman. These include: • Knowing your emotions. • Managing your own emotions. • Motivating yourself. • Recognizing and understanding other people’s emotions. • Managing relationships, ie. managing the emotions of others. It would evaluate current trends and approach to emotional intelligence within the industry. The importance of this particular topic is that it forms the basis for effective human interactions. And effective cross-cultural diversity can best be implemented when we can relate well with other members of staff and customers.

An individual who understands himself is likely going to understand others, work well with them for the intended aim. This concept forms discussion in many board meetings and its importance is pellucid! Other topics include the economics of cross-cultural diversity, Leadership beyond gender, Affirmative action: the past, present and the future, Labor laws and diversity in the workplace. Conclusion This is the proposed plan for training current and new employees on the concept of cross-cultural diversity. REFERENCE • Corporate diversity and ethic groups http://www. ethnicmajority.

com/corporate_diversity. htm • Cultural Diversity in Management, Firm Performance, and the Moderating Role of Entrepreneurial Orientation Dimensions, Academy of Management Journal, Apr2004 • Diversity as Strategy, Harvard Business Review, Sept 2004 • Finding Value in Diversity: Verification of Personal and Social Self-Views in Diverse Groups, Academy of Management Review, Jan2004 • Roy Childs. Emotional Intelligence and Leadership. 2004 http://www. unh. edu/emotional_intelligence/ • Strategies for diversity. http://www. diversestrategies. com/Diversity_strategic_planning. htm

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