The organization of the future
The organization of the future will be completely refined from the organization of today. Future organizations will focus more on three key aspects. These aspects include diversity, people (Human Resources), and technology. We all know that in order to manage it requires people. Man power is the key resource to any organization past, present or future. In order to understand the human resource of man power, we must first analyze the concept of diversity, and why it is so important. Though my research paper I emphasize how people, technology, and globalization are they key to business success. The main concept that I will stress is that above aspects all work together in the world of business.
Why is organizational diversity important? Historically, diversity in the workplace has been recognized as an employment equity issue. Now, however, diversity in the workplace is being recognized as a benefit that will contribute to an organization’s bottom line. Increased employee and customer satisfaction end up as increased productivity, all of which are measurable outcomes (Bennis, 1997). Diversity goes beyond employment equity to nurturing an environment that values the differences and maximizes the potential of all employees, one that stimulates employee creativity and innovativeness (U.S. Merit Systems Protection Board (U.S. MSPB), 1993). To create an organizational culture that supports workforce diversity involves several important elements. These elements include a needs analysis, administrative and management support and commitment, education and training, culture and management systems changes and continuous follow-up and evaluation.
Management is, by definition, getting things done through people. If managers are to increase productivity, reduce costs, and improve their organization's competitive advantage, they must focus on how to properly manage personnel. Creating effective motivation and leadership, recruiting and retaining the right personnel, rewarding and treating employees fairly, establishing an environment that supports the people and benefits the organization, the Resource Manager looks towards a future with exciting challenges and opportunities for managing an organization's most valuable resource - its people.
Managing diversity in the workplace is a subject that has gained increased attention among managers during the last two decades. After all, the impact of affirmative action and equal employment opportunity programs on the nation's work force is undeniable. Women and minorities were the first to dramatically alter the face of the economic mainstream, while gays, persons with disabilities and senior citizens followed not far behind. The result is a diverse American labor force representing a microcosm of our society - yet one that continues to struggle with its identity.
Future organizations must recognize the different strengths of individuals and groups so that they cay utilize their skills more effectively. There is a need to develop training programs to deal with these issues and to create an environment where there is opportunity for learning and skill acquisition. Mentoring and on-the-job training of less skilled workers through courses, assistant programs, and continuing education programs may even the gap between different employees. However, it is important to recognize potential and use the skills already at hand to create a more efficient team environment where each member’s contribution carries some value and contributes to the organizational goals. Economic status is as important an issue as is education. Various employees come from different economic background. Their views and manner may differ, along with their expectations and motivations in daily routine and overall purpose. Nevertheless, they have to work together. There are!
potential problems and differences of conduct, motivation, and initiative. Managers have to get to know their people and develop ways of using their differences for the benefit of the organization. The focus should be on the positive aspects of individuals, and on merging the best qualities people have to form effective teams. Managing conflict is also very important. One thing managers should recognize is that there will always be a potential for conflict and their job is to intervene and resolve diversity issues early and quickly. However, even if you live or do business in a relatively homogeneous community, you can be sure not everyone is alike. "Small businesses, like any others, have to look at diversity from an internal and external perspective," asserts Anita Rowe, diversity consultant and co-author of Managing Diversity: A Complete Desk Reference and Planning Guide. "Internal because you have staff and chances are good that people will differ from each other in some!
way, such as educational level, age, parental status or physical attributes. "If people don't feel included and that their concerns are germane," Rowe warns, "the cost to your company can be high - in terms of commitment, satisfaction and high turnover (it's costly to recruit and train)." (Rowe 79).
Communication is an essential part of managing diversity. People often don't realize how their actions or words will be taken, It usually takes a specific incident to bring this home. Creating an open atmosphere in which people feel free to raise issues without fear of reprisal is an important first step, and it doesn't cost anything. As diversity is becoming more and more complex, diversity training will continue to be an essential element of the overall diversity strategy. Author, Kanu Kogod, in a book titled, The Workshop for Managing Diversity, identifies main sources of potential diversity problems in the workplace and offers suggestions about turning diversity into a positive asset that enhances productivity and effectiveness. Kanu Kogod’s ideas are intended for managers and supervisors looking for managing diversity in the workplace. The author strives to improve the readers’ abilities in understanding and describing the challenges of managing diversity in the workplace!
and recognizing the benefits of multiple perspectives in support of diversity. He focuses on evaluating behavior and understanding what it takes to retain, motivate, and promote culturally and socially diverse employees. Furthermore, the author suggests ways of identifying and working through personal stereotypes and responding effectively in encounters with individuals.
I feel a needs analysis should be prepared first to provide information to senior management in sequestering their support as well as to adequately determine workforce and organizational needs for creating a diverse workplace. First, find out what employees are concerned about. Most often used for this are focus groups and surveys. The needs and expectations of a diverse workforce can vary by organizational and functional levels, location, ethnicity, and gender (HRM, 2001). Second, determine the needs of the organization. By asking certain questions, an organization can determine its needs based on its culture and resources (HRM, 2001). Does the organization have trouble retaining employees who would add to its diversity? In an organization with diversity, which, if any, areas of the workforce are being treated inappropriately? Has the organization impressed upon its leaders and managers the benefits that come from managing diversity appropriately? By using a survey that focu!
ses on these questions you can ascertain where administration and management feel the organization presently is regarding diversity.
Administrative and management support is critical for diversity change efforts. An important role for senior management is to provide leadership through development of a vision and goals for a diverse workplace (HRM, 2001). To gain support from administration you need to directly link diversity to the business. Be specific as to where the diversity issues lie. Are they employee or customer issues? Or both? Provide data regarding the diversity opportunities in the marketplace, workforce and organization Benchmarking best practices related to diversity from other organizations, demographic data, briefings regarding complaints, potential lawsuits, and hiring and retention problems are all relevant sources of data.
The organizations experiencing the greatest success with diversity training are more likely to view diversity as a business issue rather than a social issue. Link diversity to other organizational initiatives, such as quality management or career development (HRM,2001 ). Discuss both your initial assessment of what will be required for implementation and institutionalization of diversity management and the known elements in the organization that will promote and/or hinder the successful achievement of diversity management Finally, administrative support and commitment is essential also for the means to provide the programs and resources necessary for diversity education and training. You’ll never survive the first round of budget cuts without the support of administration.
Education and Training
Today's workforce becoming increasingly diverse and organizations doing more to maximize the benefits of the differences in employees. In future organizations, Human Resource managers will evolve from the "old school" sideline player to the front-line fighters. Organizations are relying on more managers to get the people who get the job done, and of course, make the company money. People have always been central to organizations, but their strategic importance is growing in today's knowledge-based business world like never before. An organization's success increasingly depends on the knowledge, skills, and abilities of its employees, particularly as they help establish a set of core competencies which distinguish one organization from its competitors.
When employees' talents are valuable, rare, difficult to imitate and organize, an organization can achieve a sustained competitive advantage. In order to "compete through people", an organization has to be able to do a good job of managing their human capital: the knowledge, skills, and capabilities that add value to the organizations. Managers must develop strategies for identifying, recruiting, and hiring the best talent available. Develop these individuals in ways that are specific to the needs of their individual firms, encourage them to generate new ideas while familiarizing them with the company strategies, invite information sharing, and rewarding collaboration and team work. The basis on which compensation payments are determined, and the way they are administered, can significantly affect employee productivity and the achievement of organizational goals. Establishing compensation programs require both large and small organizations to consider specific goals. Employee !
retention, compensation distribution and adherence to the budget must be carefully weighted against the overall organizational goals and expectations. Compensation must reward employees for past performance while serving as a motivation tool for future performances. Internal and external equity of the pay program will affect employees' concepts of fairness. Organizations must balance each of the concerns while still remaining competitive.
Largely the success of an organization depends on the performance of its human resources. To determine the contributions of each individual, it is necessary to have a formal appraisal program with clearly stated objectives. Carefully designed performance standards that are reliable, strategically relevant, and free from either criterion deficiencies or contamination are essential foundations for evaluation.
Today organizational operations cover broad areas and require continuous training for effective job performance, evolutions in product areas, and corporate growth. In order to have effective training programs organizations can utilize a systems approach. Key areas of this approach include needs assessment, program design, and evaluation. Needs assessment begins with organizational analysis. Managers must establish a context for training by deciding where training is needed, how it connects with strategic goals, and how organizational resources can best be used. In designing a training program, managers must utilize principles of learning in order to create an environment that is conducive to learning. The evaluation of a training program should focus on several criteria: participant reactions, learning, behavior changes on the job, and bottom line results. Human Resource Management's front-line fight is to get the organization in order.
Training involves activities designed to build usable skills. Training targets in on specific issues to develop the skills necessary to effectively and sensitively deal with an issue. For example, training might teach managers how to conduct performance appraisals with employees from a different culture. By using the information gathered during the needs analysis, an organization can target in on the specific diversity issues they need to address with training.
Diversity training needs to be effective. There is a substantial foundation of knowledge and expertise associated with understanding the effects of diversity in organizations. The trainer needs to be proficient in the subject matter and possess good facilitation skills in order to provide high quality training (Fritz R, 1994). Diversity needs to be a way of life, not just an organizational buzzword. Fritz (1994), states that articulated values and team structures are important but not sufficient to support diversity in an organization. This element should include an assessment of the organizational culture and human resource management systems of the organization. Effective organizational diversity management needs to go beyond programs, processes and activities to develop a culture that recognizes and rewards those who value, promote and facilitate workplace diversity (Straus, D. 1990). The formation of a diversity team, consisting of predominantly non-management members from!
all areas of the organization with the leader of this group a person trained in diversity, is crucial. Management has to then create avenues that allow this group to make the changes they identify as necessary (Straus, 1990).
An organization should take stock of all training and development provided and then assess diversity’s link to the content and process of the training. Consider how diversity concepts such as cultural differences, stereotypes, and assumptions relate to the training’s topic; also, think about how differences in background, styles and culture influence participant receptivity and comfort.
Policies and practices need to be systematically reviewed to see how they can incorporate diverse needs and preferences and then, if necessary, changed to move diversity beyond the personal awareness level and integrate it into the company culture (Straus, 1990).
Managers need to know what their role is in supporting diversity. Many organizations provide continuous education and training regarding diversity principles and diversity skill development for all managers. These principles and skills include recruitment and retention, diversity conflict resolution, diversity performance coaching, and career development. Most importantly, though, is that management must "walk the talk". Managers and supervisors must transform their attitudes into actual behavioral changes, and the organization must promote and accommodate new attitudes and behavior.
Many of the successful organizations practice some type of long-term follow-up and monitoring to maintain the positive effects of training efforts. These efforts include: establishing a committee and/or developing a newsletter to track progress, highlight various cultures, etc.; periodically administering a survey to gauge results; and meeting regularly with managers and administrators to review these efforts (HRM, 2001). Other organizations have established employee development and mentoring programs, to help a broader range of employees move up in the organization (HRM, 2001).
Management in the 21st century should also be concerned with information technology.
It is generally accepted that information is a vital commodity for the successful operation of today’s organizations. Modern business organizations are using computerized information systems in order to obtain such information. However as the technology advances rapidly the main issue is how can an organization should effectively use such an information system - which its management sometimes can be unpredictable - in order to effectively help the whole organization structure to improve and take the most out of it.
Future organizations will focus more on the intranet to help employees to collaborate on business processes, such as product development or order fulfillment, which create value for a company and its customers. Successful intranets will allow employees from a variety of departments to contribute the different skills necessary to carry out a particular process. Intranets should be organized primarily around the business processes they help employees carry out, rather than the organization chart of the company. Just as physical work spaces rely on architectural plans to optimize efficiency, an intranet needs to be carefully designed to help employees access information and collaborate effectively.
Intranets should group together all the tasks that make up a business process. Processes can be relatively discrete, such as tracking deliveries, or getting approval for documents, or they can be more complex, such as developing or selling products. The most important processes in a company are those that create value for a customer. These are the central processes which every intranet should help employees accomplish.
Intranets can break through departmental walls to help accomplish business processes more efficiently. By creating spaces for cross-departmental collaboration, the intranet can help employees collaborate to efficiently carry out the central processes of the company, and cut costs by avoiding in-person conferences and employee reallocations.
Intranets should bring together employees who are geographically dispersed to work on common problems. By doing this travel costs are eliminated and employees can increase their productivity by sharing knowledge. Examples can be; a pharmaceutical company is using its intranet to allow scientists all over the world to collaborate on research; a franchise retailer is using bulletin boards on its intranet to coordinate major marketing projects. Less common examples can be, complex transactions with lawyers and multiple parties, which rely on access to key documents.
What are the key characteristics of successful leaders of the future? How will a leader of the future differ from the leader of today? What is leadership? First, leadership is influence that initiates change. The leader of the future will be able to influence others, build momentum, initiate change, and produce results that impact others. We are entering a business world of partnerships, alliances, and joint ventures. The leaders of the 21st century will be expected to rally the organization around a set vision, and create companies and management who think more alike, despite the differences in their cultural backgrounds. The leaders of the future will differentiate themselves by inspiring their workers to move forward towards accomplishments. Leaders of the future have a common dream, instill hope, and will never be satisfied with status quo.
In conclusion, business in the future will be a diverse world in which success will be determined upon the leaders of the organization.
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