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A Report on Leading Organisational Equality and Diversity

A Report on Leading Organisational Equality and Diversity

Executive Summary

In today’s competitive world, business needs the best people from different backgrounds to perform extraordinarily. The strategic business decisions are taken and executed by those people having different perspectives. So, there should be a balance in the diverse workforce, and they should all be treated equally to enhance the productivity of an organisation. The report presents the practical imbalance that exists in our society. Tesco Plc UK is chosen to represent the analysis of equality and managing the diverse workforce properly. The retail industry is questioned about equality. Women are a minority group with low pay or not getting promoted though they possess equal skills and capabilities. The report describes how it manages the dynamics and what legal requirements should be in place to promote equal opportunity. Flexible workplaces in the retail industry need some code of conduct, and these are also analysed. The various stakeholders are identified, and their expectation regarding equality is appropriately mentioned. The possible ways to communicate the policies are identified and used to reach a diverse group of stakeholders. At last, the review process and effectiveness in monitoring is emphasised to get desired output. It is found that Tesco Plc is very concerned about promoting equality. Their report on women on boards also shows that gender biases are reducing. Workplace policies are emphasised. From 2007, female directors increased by 42%. Women in top management are around 29% of the group. Thus, how it can be used to gain reputation, enhance productivity and create good employee relations are analysed throughout the report.

 

1. Introduction

In today’s competitive era, organisations empower people from diverse backgrounds. They are treated regardless of their gender, culture, age, race, religion and colour. In order to serve worldwide customers, such composition is appreciated. But treating everyone equally and with dignity has become a vital question. A legal framework is created and followed by organisations to address the issues. Equal employment opportunity, performance appraisal can be ensured by following the policies. Tesco Plc is a company operating in the UK’s retail industry. It has operations worldwide. So, managing workforce diversity and ensuring equality has become an essential issue for the company. Throughout the report, these topics will be discussed, like how it can promote equality, communicate the policies and monitor the problem correctly.

 

2. Tesco Plc

Managers take the challenge of managing human resources and promoting equality and workforce diversity in the business firm. Tesco Plc is selected to see the dynamics of managing and leading the workforce toward equality and diversity.

Tesco Plc is a retail store operating globally in 12 markets of the world. Currently, it has employed more than 530000 people in its business. Retail services and online shopping facilities are provided to millions of customers (Tesco annual report, 2013).

The customers are the middle point of all their operations. Tesco is a growing company. To enhance its growth, it pools employees from different walks of life. So, diversity is encouraged and used positively to increase the value of the company.

 

3. Task 01
3.1  Legal Requirements of Equality in Tesco and Its Relationship with Others

Every company should have a policy that defines the law regarding equality and diversity of the workforce, and discrimination should also be addressed. Procedures regarding how they will be implemented should be in place to promote equality and diversity (Cornelius, 2002). The employees should be provided with some options to complain about the ground. This is formally known as a grievance report. There should also be an informal grievance procedure before an employee approaches a formal complaint. The designs must contain outside bodies’ policies that deal with such problems as inequality in the workplace based on gender, race discrimination, and disability discrimination (Colgan and Ledwith, 2002).

Tesco Plc believes there should not be a set of rules but a complete framework of core values regarding the workplace to promote flexible working conditions. Tesco Plc has a good relationship with its employees. The code of conduct expresses those actions and valued decisions clearly. It also has put customers at the centre of their activities. Everyone is welcome at Tesco Plc. In April 2013, three women were present in the Board of Directors that is 30% of the whole (Tesco annual report, 2013). So, as a retail industry player, it is ensuring equality in the workforce. 

3.2  Guidance and Codes of Practice of Equality and Diversity in the Retail Industry

Guidance and code of practices consist of three parts (Butlin, 2011). The protected characteristics, conduct standard and secured ways to attain aims.

  1. Features that need to be protected:
  • Adult status
  • Ethnicity
  • Disability
  • Belief towards worship
  • Classification corresponding to the sex

Discrimination on the above characteristics is prohibited from reducing harassment and ensuring equality of all people.

2. Forbidden conduct: Conduct in the workplace should be such that it creates value and ensures job satisfaction. The relation between employer and employees should be such that it makes a flexible working condition. So, some sort of behaviour is unexpected. These are

  • Indirect discrimination
  • Direct discrimination
  • Failure to adjust behaviour to accommodate the disability of people
  • Victimisation
  • Discrimination arising from disability
  • Harassment

There are some rules regarding these accepted courses of conduct in the retail industry. And to promote equality, Tesco Plc must follow these rules and codes (Equality Act, 2010).

3. Protected way to achieve the aim of interest: In different circumstances, reality becomes crucial than prescribed rules. In that case, a person may have to follow some practical principle to achieve the goal. For example, an employee (working mother) feels the importance of changing his working shift to better his child. In that case, the law has some provision for that employee to select his job schedule if the organisation can afford it (Act, 2010).

3.3  Promoting equality and diversity in Tesco Plc

The retail industry has a composition of workforce. Tesco Plc is the second-largest retailer. It has to imply equality to enhance the productivity of people. Thus job satisfaction is also affected. The implication of equality is needed for the following reasons:

  • Enhance the productivity of employees: By treating all the employees equally, satisfaction can be created. It makes employees loyal, and their productive attitude positively affects their performance (Kirton and Greene, 2010).
  • Identify and address any inequality: The management committee must identify whether there is any discrimination in the workplace or not. Because no one can be treated better in the equivalent post (Kuhlmann and Bourgeault, 2008)
  • Gaining reputation: By such initiatives, Tesco Plc can gain a reputation in the retail industry, word-of-mouth advertising for the customers. 
  • Originate awareness: Organization is committed to promoting equality. It makes everyone conscious. Everyone becomes aware. 
  • Give training in case necessary: The equivalent person may lack skills for any reason; those persons should be appropriately trained to bring equality.
  • Risk avoidance: By implementing equality, Tesco Plc can avoid the risk of negative publicity. It can also prevent lawsuits. 
  • Hire and sustain with the best: The company’s policy should be to hire skilled persons and attain success with those persons (Letts, 2006).
3.4  Policies and Procedures for Promoting Equality and Diversity

The specified policies and procedures must be communicated with all the company staff to get the desired result. Otherwise, the initiative will go in vain. 

  • There should not exist any glass ceiling: Ceiling can be termed as any particular group cannot enter into the senior position of an organisation. However, they are capable of seeing the top posts.
  • Pay gap should be removed: Based on gender, race, and age, there may exist a pay gap. That sort of discrimination should be removed (Olgiati, Shapiro and others, 2002).
  • Women in management should be encouraged: Many organisations dominate an industry but do not support women’s employment in the management committee. These attitudes create inequality. That should be removed.
  • Person-focused approach: Some companies may focus on biological characteristics as a vital element for accomplishing a task. But women and men differ biologically. But women do not lack the motivation, skills and other attributes needed to achieve success. So, this sort of approach should be forbidden (Özbilgin, 2009).
  • Organisational Hierarchy: The organisational structure should not create any barrier for any person to get a higher post. Many people who belong to the elite classes help others rather than the skilled ones. That approach should not be in place.
  • Procedures regarding promotion: There should be clear procedures regarding promotion, and the structure needs to be questioned to show whether there exist any biases or not. Women and men may possess the same skills, but they may not be treated equally. That approach should be forbidden. 
  • Social beliefs and system: Organization should correct the impression that society possesses. Like organisation always includes that men are superior to women. But in the job field, it is proven so many times that both are similar. So, these beliefs should be communicated.
3.5  Stakeholders Expectations Regarding Policies for Promoting Equality and Diversity

The stakeholders are employees, customers, shareholders, suppliers and other groups of people. They all are benefitted when the value of the company enhances. By fostering equality, all the stakeholders are satisfied. So, they expect the proper implication of equality and diversity.

They feel the need for an equality policy. It shows that the organisation is committed to equality. They expect the organisation would have a written document having all the procedures required to promote equality. The areas are recruiting, training, promotion and payment of those employees (Powell, 2004).

When the stakeholders are intended to do something for the organisation, they will prefer those organisations that treat their employees equally and help to foster the advantages of a diverse workforce. They would try to collect information on equality.

The stakeholders expect the following policies to be in place:

  1. The selection process would be fair to all
  2. Training, coaching, promotions and development opportunities should be open for all within the organisation.
  3. The entry of employees should be fair and inclusive.
  4. The employees with a disability must have access to all works
  5. Sensitive responses are expected from the management in case of religious needs of employees
  6. Complaints can be placed without fear
  7. All the complaints need to be judged without biases
  8. Grievances should be disputed
  9. Data about progress and performance should be judged
  10. Performance appraisal should be proper
  11. Judging whether the existing policy is suitable or need any amendment

 

4. Task 02
4.1  Equality and diversity issues in Tesco Plc

Equality and diversity are addressed in Tesco Plc to develop legislative laws so that every person has access to employment and training. It is the proactive approach that gives value to differences among employee forces. Tesco believes that by addressing equality following benefits can be achieved:

  1. There would be compliance with regulatory laws and policies.
  2. Social justice would be ensured.
  3. The business will benefit from the positive attitude of stakeholders.

The company’s management also addresses the fact with importance because it has opportunities for improving good working conditions. Improved relations can be created among employees. Fewer disputes will occur. Employees can be attracted and retained for a long time. Employee turnover is a bad sign for a company. Employee morale can be improved, and an overall good working environment can be achieved (Sandell and Nightingale, 2012).

As it is a retail store, better customer service can be provided by pooling a group of talents. Based on customers’ purchase behaviour, good services can be provided by a group of diverse employees.

4.2  Ways for Gain Commitment to Equality and Diversity in Tesco Plc

To ensure that people are committed to the policies, Tesco Plc can take some measures. They are given in the following.

  • The very top of the organisation of Tesco Plc must be committed to the laws
  • The opinion of all the staffs of Tesco should be taken in agreement form to promote sincerity
  • Policies would be drafted by discussing with all sort of stakeholders of Tesco
  • The guidelines should be circulated among different stakeholders like within the organisation or outside stakeholders like suppliers, investors of Tesco
  • All the policies would be communicated to the employees, and they would be asked about their realisation
  • The business strategy of the organisation must possess the laws regarding equality and diversity of the workforce
  • There would be explicit action mentioned in the policy for any non-compliance 
  • Other related policies would be attached to the equality policy to be in practice
  • There must be an action plan that should be reviewed periodically to find out the level of compliance
  • All employees need to be encouraged to be skilled and develop own career and not to be unequally treated
  • Line managers of Tesco Plc are responsible for compliance with the equality law. 
  • The Line managers need to be clear about the contents of the policies, and they should act to create awareness among all the employees.
  • The areas where decision making is distorted and people are treated unequally should be focused on.
  • All the managers should be liable for the compliance of the policy, and they should be charged.
  • The employee should act following all the policies prescribed to them.
  • Employees, clients and all other groups should discuss bringing any amendment in the policies or actions.

Thus commitment of staff in Tesco can be gained by following the steps mentioned above.

4.3  Communicating Commitment, Policies and Procedures of Tesco’s Stakeholders

The stakeholders of Tesco should be identified first. An equality profile can help in this regard. The key issues can be easily understood then. The numbers of protected characteristics can be:

  • People working at a variety of levels
  • People having various occupational roles
  • Working as a full time or part-time employee
  • Employees who are hired, trained and leaved
  • Trained peoples
  • People who reported any complaint of harassment or something else
  • The peoples who were previously on maternity leave

The following stakeholders must be communicated with the policies. 

  1. The staffs of the organisation
  2. The top-level management of Tesco Plc
  3. Line managers of Tesco Plc
  4. The supportive groups for staffs
  5. Various Trade Unions
  6. Communication Specialists who work internally in Tesco Plc
  7. Other groups of people who can be termed as a stakeholder of the company

All the stakeholders must ensure that they are committed by following the present code of conducts and laws. They should tend to promote equality and be the benchmark organisation in the retail industry. All should have a proper understanding of the procedures and treat everyone equally, especially the protected ones. The services provided by the company should be consistent and should express equality views (Smith, 2008). The fostering of diversity and ensuring equal opportunity is vital to the core strategy of human resource management. For proper communication, all the senior level management should be trained on the issue. An effective equality and diversity management group is required. All employees need to have access to information. The expectations from a diverse group of people should be identified. The group liable for implementing policies should be adequately monitored.

4.4  Reaching different groups of stakeholders

For successful implementation, different stakeholder groups should be reached. Tesco Plc is operating in many countries. So, it has built a wide range of workforce. So, diversity is celebrated here. Where there is diversity, equality is questioned. 

  1. The various stakeholder’s group can be reached by ensuring delivery of services which is discrimination-free. All the relevant parties are treated with respect, and professionalism is present properly.
  2. The business-critical activities should be adequately monitored to circulate the policies to the stakeholders of the company.
  3. All communities can have access to information.
  4. Diverse community get priorities while getting services
  5. The outsiders can be communicated with the policies by sharing a copy of the policy
  6. They should have accessible communication
  7. They can charge the factors that whether employment is fair or not 
  8. An environment should be created where everyone is encouraged to reach the top of their potential
  9. HRM policies should be consistent with all the standard to ensure that employees are treated with dignity
  10. Different stakeholders can be reached by providing that Tesco Plc is an organisation where the environment is so encouraging and free from the threat of discrimination. Both direct and indirect discrimination is prohibited.
4.5  Methods of Monitoring and Reviewing Equality and Diversity

The initiative of reviewing and monitoring gets successful if supported by all the staff, including many majority groups. Protected staff are the percentage of the total population. Support from stakeholders is needed. Expectations of different agencies or groups should be communicated in the review process. The staff must believe that the review process stands for motivating all to implement equality.

So monitoring information should be communicated widely. Joint communication gives better output. Mail has been provided personally by top management, senior management’s communication pages, communication through intranets, briefing after a team accomplishes a task, launching different motivating events, newsletters all are channels through which communication can be done effectively (Travis, 2003).

Monitoring should be based on criteria. To be the benchmark in the retail industry is the criteria. Now, the monitoring process can proceed. The review process should take place annually, and the report should be public to ensure equality. Client monitoring and employee monitoring can help the organisation to promote equality. Quality data should be recorded and reported. Any barrier due to organisational structure should be removed to see the proper scenario. Ensuring a monitoring system that is secured can help to identify the obstacles. 

The review process can help to identify whether procedures are done according to the policies or not. Any disproportion can be easily identified. So, it would facilitate improved decision making. Possible lawsuits and harms can be mitigated by ensuring an efficient monitoring system and review process. Monitoring can be done in different segments like employee hiring, training, promotion, performance appraisal, grievances and disputes. All sorts of information are collected in this regard. Then trend toward past results and analysis is reviewed. The probable results for differences are identified, and proper action is taken. 

At first, data is collected for monitoring; equality information is collected to compare the data with the benchmark.

 

5. Conclusion

The age of globalisation demands a workforce composition that has different backgrounds to support a wide array of customers. Tesco Plc is an organisation that employs staff from diverse backgrounds regardless of colour, gender, race, age, etc. So, there needs to be a clear framework to treat everyone fairly. The company follows a code of conduct to sustain itself in the retail industry and build a reputation. The changes in demographic patterns also force Tesco Plc to adjust its policies. Tesco Plc is committed to the equality act and celebrates diversity. It has prescribed rules and laws which are communicated to all the stakeholders in proper ways. The review and monitoring process also helps to generate more data regarding compliance with such laws.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

References

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Butlin, S. (2011). The UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities: Does the Equality Act 2010 Measure up to UK International Commitments?. Industrial Law Journal, 40(4), pp.428–438.

Colgan, F. and Ledwith, S. (2002). Gender, diversity, and trade unions. 1st ed. London: Routledge.

Cornelius, N. (2002). Building workplace equality. 1st ed. London: Thomson.

Feeney, S. (2007). Book Review: Effective Philanthropy: Organizational Success Through Deep Diversity and Gender Equality, by Mary Ellen S. Capek and Molly Mead. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 2006. 387 pp., $34.00 (hardcover). Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Quarterly, 36(3), pp.532–534.

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Kirton, G. and Greene, A. (2010). What does diversity management mean for the gender equality project in the United Kingdom? Views and experiences of organizational “actors”. Canadian Journal of Administrative Sciences/Revue Canadienne des Sciences de l’Administration, 27(3), pp.249–262.

Kuhlmann, E. and Bourgeault, I. (2008). Reinventing Gender and the Professions. 1st ed. Emerald Group Publishing.

Letts, C. (2006). Review of Effective Philanthropy: Organizational Success through Deep Diversity and Gender Equality. The Teachers College Record.

Olgiati, E., Shapiro, G. and others, (2002). Promoting gender equality in the workplace. Office for Official Publications of the European Communities.

O¨zbilgin, M. (2009). Equality, diversity and inclusion at work. 1st ed. Cheltenham: Edward Elgar.

Powell, G. (2004). Managing a diverse workforce. 1st ed. Thousand Oaks, Calif.: Sage Publications.

Sandell, R. and Nightingale, E. (2012). Museums, equality, and social justice. 1st ed. Abingdon, Oxon: Routledge.

Smith, R. (2008). Race, labor & civil rights. 1st ed. Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press.

Travis, M. (2003). Equality in the virtual workplace. Berkeley J. Emp. & Lab. L., 24, p.283.

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