In today’s very competitive business world, organizations are routinely facing challenges in regard to the way they conduct business. Many United States organizations are finding the concept of globalization very appealing. The organizations that decide to go global understand that the incorporation of a diversified working environment is imperative to retaining and attracting key employees. In this paper I analyze Verizon Communication’s standard operational procedure for addressing many of the issues associated with acquiring a diverse workforce.
Many organizations are direct mirrors of the community they serve. That organization consists of cultural differences and backgrounds. In order for organizations to remain competitive, managers must effectively encourage people from diverse backgrounds to work together. Headquartered in New York, Verizon Communications Incorporated is leading the communications industry in delivering broadband and other wireless communications services to nearly 93 million customers here in the United States (Verizon, 2010).
Verizon prides itself in employing a diverse workforce of 217,000 employees from all walks of life. Class and Work Values According to the text, classifications help us to make sense of human variety and to manage social relations in a rapidly changing, complex world (Kottak & Kozaitis, 2003, p. 166). Most Americans typically are members of four classes; upper – class, middle – class, working – class, and lower – class. Before taking a closer look at the different class structures, it is equally important to link the connection to stratification and segmentation.
Stratification and segmentation is defined as the division of society into discrete groups (Kottak & Kozaitis, 2003, p. 47). In America, like most other societies, members of the same backgrounds and cultures typically pursue similar lifestyles. Americans have adopted an open class system in which they believe that by hard work and determination, one can change his particular classification. People born into the lower – class can actually transform into the middle or upper class via the wealth and prestige that he accumulates. People from some other countries have little chance of changing his classification.
Verizon Communications embraces all forms of diversity including age, race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation and more. Verizon understands the importance employing a workforce representative of the customers it serves. Verizon understands that diversity enables innovation and encourages creative thinking by all members of the organization, “Our commitment to diversity begins at the top of our company, and we measure our progress like any other business objective; executives are accountable for promoting diversity within their organizations” (Verizon, 2010, p. ).
Verizon Communications realizes that diversity includes everyone. Verizon’s working environment consists of encouraging all employees to maximize his talents thus creating a feeling of respect and appreciation, “We’ll attract and retain talented men and women from all backgrounds and every race, national origin, sexual orientation and generation” (Verizon, 2010, p. 1).
Verizon’s workforce percentages are as follows: American Indian – 1. 0, Asian – 4. 0, African American – 20. 0, Hispanic – 10. 0, White – 63. 0, and other 2. 0. At Verizon, the commitment to diversity is expressed in a variety of ways. Talented employees are recruited from all backgrounds. Verizon spends more than $3 billion a year on diverse suppliers who represent the community in which they do business. Verizon realizes that “diversity leads to innovative success. And this belief is communicated through our entire organization, starting at the very top” (Verizon, 2010, p. 1).
Mobile Society In today’s society, Americans are finding more reasons to relocate to different environments. Some of the more common factors associated with the mobility of Americans consists of cultural background, historical experience, economic necessity, and media reinforcement (Kottak & Kozaitis, 2003). As Americans grow older, they often desire to separate from those that raised them. An important aspect of American history is the need for some Americans to break away from family and class backgrounds. Some of the pros associated with breaking away include better opportunities for social integration, a safer environment, or a more pleasant climate. Some of the cons of breaking away are lost of kin support and of contact with friends, and disruption of children’s schooling (Kottak & Kozaitis, 2003).
Geographically societies create challenges for organizations as well. One of the biggest challenges is to attract and retain good workers. According to Kottack and Kozaitis, the primary reason to migrate is to increase earnings, “A flexible and unregulated North American labor market with substantial geographic mobility results in lower unemployment and higher labor force participation” (Kottak & Kozaitis, 2003, p. 235).
In 2010, Fortune Magazine has ranked Verizon Communications number one in the telecommunications sector for the World’s Most Admired Companies. Attributes that Fortune magazine look for are innovation, people management, use of corporate assets, quality of management, long-term investment and quality of products and services (Verizon, 2010). One of Verizon’s driving core values is to motivate, challenge and encourage their employees to be their very best, every day (Verizon, 2010). Verizon is routinely included on “best of” list yearly, which is a clear testament of what the company is all about.
Verizon understands that innovation and providing top notched customer service is not an option. Regional Variations Affect Management Planning Regional differences are sometimes associated with regional stereotypes. Like ethnic stereotypes, regional stereotypes are often negative and discriminative. Unfortunately, regional differences still exist in the United States. Most people attribute regional differences to speech, but other variances include religion, race, and ethnicity (Kottak & Kozaitis, 2003). It is the manager’s responsibility to create a safe and professional working environment.
Managers are encouraged to work effectively with a diverse workforce. Besides the obvious stereotypes associated with different countries, managers also have to deal with stereotypes here in the United States. Many southern communities are ridiculed and discriminated for the way they speak. Oftentimes, when they migrate outside of the south, they typically modify their speech to fit national norms or meet new local standards (Kottak & Kozaitis, 2003). Verizon Communications has a very diverse leadership team that recognizes the importance of treating all employees fairly regardless of their social or economic class.
Managers at Verizon are as diverse as the customers who it serves. The diversified leadership team allows Verizon to effectively service the needs and wants of its customers. Verizon has implemented several developmental programs to help the next generation of managers to effectively manage a diversified workforce. The Financial Talent Acquisition Program is aimed at various finance projects. Candidates will also learn how to manage the various groups at Verizon. The Marketing Development Program designed for future marketing managers. The role of the program is to focus on Verizon’s business customer parameters.
Finally, LEAD – Leadership Excellence and Development Program. This program prepares candidates for it Network Service Group (NSG). This program is strictly for developing and building leadership skills (Verizon, 2010). The Changing Definition of Family has affected the Functions of Management In today’s society, the family structure is not what it used to be. Today’s families could be biological or non-biological parties, “In our society individuals form strong attachments, loyalties, and interdependencies, with persons to whom they are not ‘blood related,” but “spirit related” (Kottak & Kozaitis, 2003, p. 66).
According to (Kottak & Kozaitis, 2003), some North Americans have created fictive kinship ties, which are merely reciprocal provisions of goods and services, including affection, companionship, and shared values between nonbiologically, but socially related individuals. Many North American marriages simply end in divorce nowadays. More people are deciding to live together without the lawful or moral bond of marriage. Marriage has taken a backseat to the more convenient “domestic partner” or roommate.
Some people even consider their coworkers family. Family, whether blood or not, is important, and necessary for all individuals. People have a natural desire to bond and belong to other people. Verizon understands that the world is changing. The family structure of the past is not necessarily the way society views family today. Therefore, Verizon has adopted many programs and benefits available for the present family structure, “At Verizon, we know that our strength is the sum of the strength of our people.
That’s why we are committed to their health, prosperity and happiness in and out of work” (Verizon, 2010, p. 1). Verizon understands that in order to attract and retain key employees, the company has to offer a very competitive salary; along with the competitive salary, attractive incentives, and a very good 401(k). The company also offers corporate discounts on travel and other gifts. Verizon Communication also has one of the best health and well-being programs in the industry, which includes medical, dental, and vision.
The company offers health and dependent care spending accounts as well as disability, long-term care assistance and fitness centers Verizon, 2010). Additionally, the company offers paid vacations, personal days, flexible scheduling, and commuter spending accounts. For the family, Verizon offers employee assistance, adoption assistance, and home and, auto insurance (Verizon, 2010). Finally, for those employees interested in furthering their education, Verizon offers tuition assistance, on-the-job training, online development tools, and training curricula.
Conclusion Today’s organizations are faced with many socio-geographical factors. In order for organizations to remain competitive and a driving force in its industry, it is imperative that managers effectively work with the various differences within its diverse workforce. It is important for managers to treat all employees equally and with respect. The United States is a culturally diverse country and organizations that decide to do business here must accept all socio-geographical differences.
This paper evaluated Verizon Communications policies and procedures regarding diversity within the organization. Society is made up of many class structures and ethnic groups. Organizations that indeed embrace the concept of diversity within the workplace will surely reap the rewards.