DIVERSITY THEORY AS EMPLOYED BY DIY
Diversity Theory as Employed by DIY
Richard Block and David Quayle established B&Q in 1969. B&Q is a name derived from the two initials of their surnames, Block and Quayle. The company was the first national DIY (Do it yourself) store in UK, having been in business in a span of more than thirty five years. The aims and vision of founder were to bring value, broaden product range, and serve the customers with long operational hours. Their first store was in Southampton named, Block and Quayle (later was shortened and became, B&Q). In the broadening of its operations, B&Q managed to purchase the Scottish DIY chain Dodge City, therefore, developed as part of the Kingfisher Group. Having established itself internationally, today in Ireland and UK alone, the company boasts of over 36,000 employees serving in 320 UK stores. The stores are operated in two categories: the larger B&Q Warehouses, which cater for keen DIY trade and people, and smaller B&Q Supercenters, which are convenient for daily shoppers.
Despite harsh economic conditions that affected house market, the organization has managed to achieve its annual profits of 20% increase between the year 2011, and 2012. This can be attributed to the fact that the company sees a strong emphasis on its people as a mean to achieve a projected result. In 1980’s, B&Q management saw the need to review their workforce by integration of the older workers and, the younger staffs so that they do not suffer from a labor shortage. They employed diversity as a way of conducting business and satisfying customer and staff needs. The management formulated policies that would see the fulfillment of diversity in all levels of operation of this organization.
The theory of diversity incorporates respect and reception. It means being appreciative to the fact that each discrete individual is exceptional, and recognizing our distinction. These can be in relation to individual race, gender, ethnicity, sexual orientation, age, socio-economic status, physical abilities, political beliefs, religious beliefs or other ideologies. It is the assessment of these variances in an innocuous, nurturing and positive environment. This encompasses understanding one another and moving far beyond simple forbearance to celebrating and embracing the rich proportions of diversity that exist in everyone. This enables individuals to perform at their best level to fulfill organizational goals regardless of age, gender, race, abilities or disabilities, culture, religious affiliation, or political and any other ideology that makes the individual unique from the rest.
For a full potential to be realized in and organization, the organization should realize the three dimensions that govern workers ability to achieve. These dimensions are self-concept or rather individual core self, secondary dimensions and tertiary dimensions of diversity.
The core dimension include the unseen attributes , but are unchangeable in that; that is what defines them and they have no any other way to look at it. They form the foundation on which individuals make instantaneous conclusions about different parties, often through the stereotyping process. They include race, age, sexual orientation, gender, caste or class, ethnicity, etcetera.
Secondary dimension is the facets of a person’s identity that are paramount in the definition of that persons self. Though important to self, they are not fundamental in proportions to primary dimensions. This diversity includes recreational habits, education background, personal habits, income, marital status, parental status, appearance, geographical location, work experience, among many other factors. Tertiary dimensions define an individual’s learning style, professional orientation, and personality.
Organizations need to employ these theories to reach their maximum potential. It requires employing the three dimension of diversity because they contribute to the development of an individual’s unique life, perspectives, experiences, and skill sets. An operative business organization can learn to appreciate, recognize, understand, utilize, and respect, these manifold aspects of an individual in the quest of its undertaking and objectives.
The Contribution of Diversity to Organizational Change of B&Q
If an organization would integrate diversity and organizational change, then success would be inevitable to such a firm. B&Q recognizes the need of mitigating projected shortage of the young workforce and impeded competition that was to be realized. It reviewed their employment practices. This was critical to this firm because such shortages would have had a negative impact on the overall expansion strategy of the company. This was the organizational cultural shift. Organizational culture shift was necessary because of the complexity of the matter that was surrounding the future of the company. Therefore, it was relevant to B&Q to review the organization workforce. The organization discovered it had dominant young workers between the ages of 16 to 26 years. After evaluation on the feedback from customers, the firm was able to recourse on employing age diverse workforce.
Major organizational change will always have a cultural change. These changes make an organization to be redesigned. In that process, it will require a company to come up with a new strategy to market itself. B&Q was now becoming an international company. In 1996, for example, it opened a store in Taiwan, and in 1998, it merged with France’s leading DIY retailer thus becoming the leading and largest DIY retailer in Europe. Nevertheless, it opened another store in Shanghai in 1999. In 2001, the company discovered it had more than 1000 of its workers as bilingual.
Therefore, it forced the organization to redesign. Usually, when a business organization is restructured, particulars of its subsystems may realize that they have to handle a new arrangement of “business” with the new, unaccustomed “partners.” This was the case of B&Q. Naturally, the business would assumes that their conventional styles of conducting business, priorities, their traditional practices, their conventional methods and value, will be effortlessly acceptable, and perfectly functional.
This was not the case for B&Q. Instead, the company’s realization of its workforce diversity and the market encouraged the use of other languages other than English, so that the staff can understand and respond to customers need. The staff were to wear language badges so that whoever that would need assistance will automatically identify the correct staff to deal with according to the language preference. The company came up with cultural diversity information pack for use in stores, together with calendars that showed religious and cultural festivals so that the staffs would understand customers’ needs and assist the management to come up with work schedules.
Many organizations have failed in marketing. They are surprised when this supposition turned out to be unacceptable for manufacturing. However, one important aspect B&Q placed into perspective was that it uses its diversity policies to all its advertisements to build a brand in the eye of the public. This is so important because the customer can relate with the company and therefore become loyal to it.
Team effectiveness has even clearer diversity connections. For a group of workers to develop and be effective, its associates must find prolific ways to mutually elicit and manage each workers difference. B&Q created an avenue where its diversity managers reported directly to the company chief executive and the board was now to take active interest in the diversity strategy. In any group progression model, there is continuously some form of a “storming” phase early in a group’s process of development.
The workforce must circumnavigate this taxing phase efficaciously to be able to advance towards a more productive phases of progression. Successful navigation cannot transpire if differences are buried or conformity is involuntary pressed upon diverse members of the workforce. Therefore, B&Q’s introduction to answering directly to the company’s chief executives was a major milestone to the fulfillment to ensure that issues that affect the staff is taken care of effectively while diversifying.
The Tool used for Effective Diversity
To come up with ways of employing workforce, it was important for them carry up a study so that they can ascertain the advantage and disadvantages of employing older workforce. This the carried in conjunction with Warwick university, who carried aided in carrying out the study to bench mark Macclesfield store performance against the selection of four similar store. Macclesfield was the store that had older workforce. By the findings, the company was able to reach a resolution of integral workforce of age-diverse workforce. Almost 25% of the workforce is now above 50 years of age. Another tool they used was the inclusion of national policy of disability. The twin goal was to remove the barriers that would make shopping and working for the staff at B&Q to be difficult.
From the analysis, it was evident that the company’s success is tied with the diversity of culture, age, and disability. These are the primary dimension. The organization kept in mind the issue of conflict resolution during the process of diversifying by making sure the management is answerable directly to the company’s chief executive officers. The organization used the success of diversification and is building a brand on it. This was brilliant because the company would ensure there are loyal customers who can identify with the brand.
Using the correct tools the company can come up with correct way of diversifying, which is why B&Q used the Warwick University to come up with finding about the old workforce and therefore settled for age-diverse workforce.
It is recommended for the company to include secondary dimension and tertiary to the diversification. This is because, some of the workforces would prefer to be identified with accomplishment and achievement, such as educational background, status, location, and therefore will increase their market base.
Another aspect that the company should see is the fact that when diversifying, they should also take care of the customers who are rigid. For example, there are customers who do not will to be served with disabled persons, not because of evil intent but compassion. Therefore, they would avoid being served by them. The company should see to it that such cases are mitigated and the staffs are stationed at the rightful place to serve the right people. That also applies to the old age.
Juran, J. M., & Godfrey, A. B. 2009. Quality handbook (8th ed.). New York: McGraw Hill.