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The London Organising Committee of the Olympic Games and Paralympic Games Ltd (LOCOG) is a unique private sector organisation with a £2 billion budget raised from the private sector. It came into existence in 2005, after London won the bid to host the Games. It will exist until the Games have taken place so the challenge is for this temporary organisation to deliver the most challenging international project to the standards required by the International Olympic Committee, in a short space of time. At LOCOG talent and diversity are not diametrically opposed; they are one and the same thing. The organisation has to live up to the worldwide expectations associated with the global brand of the Olympics and we need to make sure the country’s reputation as the host is highly regarded. Managing diversity is really important to LOCOG.
‘Our aim is to create the most brilliant, inclusive Games we can. Our mission is to use the power of the Games to inspire lasting change. We have to do this to the immovable deadline of 27 July 2012. The challenge is enormous, but so is the enthusiasm and commitment of the people directly involved. We have many people wanting to volunteer their efforts and contribute to the Games because the brand is so precious. People at LOCOG know that we are not just putting on another show – we are putting on the Olympic Games and Paralympic Games.’ (Stephen Frost, Head of Diversity and Inclusion)
As the HR Manager of LOCOG, present a case to management on the importance of workforce diversity and how HR can contribute towards LOCOG’s broader objective of diversity.
The London Organizing Committee of the Olympic Games and Paralympics Games Ltd (LOCOG) is going through the same constraints which the world is facing in times of increased global competitiveness i.e. managing workforce diversity. In order to manage with the workforce diversity of race, gender, ethnicity, colour or social background what is most important is to develop a new business model which could support the managing diversity approach. Any change is difficult to attain but in order to succeed by managing diversity issue it is very imperative to change the earlier pattern of business modeling and transform it as per demand of the global world. [Lien, 2004] The mission statement says that they are fighting towards achievement of most brilliant inclusive games and for that they require to meet global demands and that may require high diversity and newly introduced business model.
First thing to practice is a heterogeneous attitude which can generate more creative solutions because as Hoffman says that heterogeneous groups can outperform homogenous groups by means of diverse ideas and plans. Another method is that team level variables must be established which will increase the actualization of diversity on ground level reality and may bring together different ideas of implementation in one team.[ Mannix and Neale] we often argue that there are ways to manage and capitalize on diversity in teams one of the most effective ways is to link diversity and group processes rather than directly linking diversity and performance. Demographic, geographical, social factors are merely those factors on which people in a team may differ and concentration of one type in organization can be minimized by using the above mentioned technique that is by working on team or group diversity and not on performance based selection and its linkage with managing diversity. For any business model to succeed on larger front it is very important that the organization is successfully following that principle on smaller front as well. Another change in human resource strategic implementation can be through bringing change in organizational homogenous nature by shifting some employees as per minority majority balance to be achieved this will decrease the chances of similarity in attitude factor because similar people behave in similar manner in ideal situations, this may hamper the productivity of the firm by concentration of power in hands of group based team rather than work efficiency based team. In earlier times many organizations believed that diversity management is not crucial from their organization’s point of view but soon as the dramatic shift in demographics of US census came, it was realized by LOCOG also that diversity management is important for core business advantage and long term survival in competitive world. Another business based transformation which could be considered is by improving bottom line of the business. HR professional should focus on recruitment from managing diversity point of view and for that they can leave their primitive method of recruitment of local people from local sources and take help of third party outsourcing and recruit in balance in order to manage the diversity issue. Another bottom line approach is to improve corporate culture by increasing transparency, training older employees for global completion, preparing HR policies which are easily commutable and acceptable by junior level employees as well.
In case of LOCOG it can be attained by increasing relationship with external environment, decreasing complaints and managing with time most importantly as it is a world level game which has huge recognition in the world and is most challenging internationals project for that firm. Another method is to recruit and retain people of different backgrounds who can work towards achievement of a common goal. More than ninety percent of human resource professional agrees that in order to manage with diversity, one must improve recruitment strategy and human resource management policies and practices so that workforce culture and competitiveness could be increased. Apart from that higher retention of employees through employee engagement programmes, management games, motivational lectures and developmental programmes can also help to increasingly manage with the workforce diversity because the work doesn’t end with recruiting more and more diverse people on the job nor with merging different groups together and increase diversity but to manage and tackle with that change and also work towards profit and achieve common goal i.e. company success which in case of LOCOG is perfectly accurate delivery of enthusiasm and commitment to Us as well as global world watching the games. Diversity in gender, age, community should not become a hurdle in process of performance and superior business performance is the ultimate goal which must be attained. [McCuiston and Wooldridge, 2003] For that what is important to achieve is motivation while on work because any employee in an organization is less sensitive to change, people avoid changes in organization, they like working under similar conditions so that their uniformity and integrity is not lost in the firm. Apart from this organizations must recognize good work and team effort even if one or two members in team are non performing organization must promote overall team effort and proper counseling of non performing employees can add to success of the whole team.
Thus it can be said that LOCOG can implement above mentioned alternatives in order to manage with the diversity which it is planning to increase in the firm. Its vision is very accurate and apt because in order to manage with international standards of games which is seen worldwide it is important to bring organizational change as per the internationally accepted human resource strategies and planning. Although with effective and strategic recruitment, team spirit, heterogeneity in group behavior, merged team with minority and majority group of people and with retention strategies organization can improve diversity and also achieve superior business performance. The advantages of workforce diversity to LOCOG can be better service delivery, maximization of brand identity as it is a growing company, increase productivity and timely delivery of services because employees are highly motivated and efficient, positive market relation and competitive advantage.
- Marsha lien, 2004, managing diversity, viewed on 7th april, 2012, < http://www.bls.gov/opub/ooq/2004/summer/art02.pdf>
- Elizabeth Mannix and Margarette Neale, What differences make a difference? Vol-6, no.2, pg-34
- Velma E. McCuiston and Barbara Ross Wooldridge, 2003, leading the diverse workforce, Vol.25, no.1, pg-73-92
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