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Diversity and Inclusion

            With the age of those entering the job
market becoming increasingly younger, it is important that one knows how to
effectively manage a diverse generational workforce. For the first time in
history, five generations will soon be working side by side (Knight, 2014, p.

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2). This may cause a problem for some organizations due to their lack of
knowledge and experience managing such a large diverse group. Also, some may
find it difficult to look past the generational stereotypes, such as the Boomer
mystified by Facebook; the Millennial who wears flip flops in the office; the
Traditionalist (born prior to 1946) who seemingly won’t ever retire; the
cynical Gen Xer who’s only out for himself; and the Gen 2020er – born after
1997 – who appears surgically attached to her smartphone (Knight, 2014, p. 2). To
effectively manage a generationally diverse workforce, HR professionals must
instill appropriate strategies that will decrease potential difficulties. The most
important strategy, in my opinion, would be to ensure that one does not dwell
on the differences. There is no evidence that 35-year-old managers today are
any different from 35-year-old managers a generation ago, so it is important to
get to know each person individually (Knight, 2014, p. 3). More possible
strategies would be to build collaborative relationships and create opportunities
for cross-generational mentoring. For example, at one of the photography
studios I worked for, these two strategies were used together. The manager was
around the age of 24, while one of the employees was near 55. The older
employee was able to mentor the manager on photography techniques, while the manager
was able to build his relationship with her by showing her how to use the
computer sales program.

Risk
Management

             It is
important for HR professionals to create appropriate policies for mitigating
risk and reducing potential harm to its organization and employees. Risk management
is the identification, assessment and prioritization of risks, and the
application of resources to minimize, monitor and control the probability and
impact of those risks accordingly (SHRM, 2016). For example, if an organization
has seen an increase in sexual harassment complaints, it would be wise to
create an appropriate sexual harassment prevention policy. Sexual harassment is
defined by the EEOC Guidelines as unwelcome sexual advances, requests for
sexual favors and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature (Sexual
Harassment Policy and Complaint/Investigation Procedure, 2016, p. 1). By creating
a prevention policy, the organization as a whole will be able to learn how to
one: prevent sexual harassment in the workplace and two: appropriately handle
complaints that involve sexual harassment. It would also be beneficial to
create drug and alcohol abuse policies. This is one approach to assist in a
drug-free workplace. HR professionals can ensure these policies are understood
and utilized by implementing discussions during annual trainings, bulletin
board postings, and more.

Corporate
Social Responsibility

            To properly create a culture of social
responsibility and sustainability, one must first know what sustainability
entails. Sustainability has been defined as the ability to meet the needs of
the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet
their needs (Cohen, Taylor, & Muller-Camen, 2017, p. 1). HR professionals
play a major role in creating this culture by creating an environment that’s
goal is to achieve the triple bottom line. Examples of ways HR professionals
can create a socially responsible culture are 1) encouraging employees, through
training and compensation, 2) assisting employees in identifying ways to
recycle products, 3) designing a company’s HRM system to reflect equity,
development and well-being, and 4) emphasizing long-term employment security to
avoid disruption for employees, their families, and communities (Cohen et al.,
2017, p. 2). These examples also illustrate how HR professionals are able to
incorporate their corporate social activities into its business goals and
operations.

HR in the Global Context

            Over the last few years, organizations have
seen a large increase in business moving overseas. With more and more employees
accepting expatriate assignments, it is critical that HR professionals create
strategies that properly prepare employees for accepting positions across the
globe. HR in the Global Context focuses on the role of the HR professional in
managing global workforces to achieve organizational objectives (SHRM, 2016). This
topic is extremely important because organizations are still liable for their employees’
actions despite their presence in another country. Before offering expatriate
assignments, organizations must take into consideration the four major factors
that affect HRM in global markets: culture, education, economic system, and the
political/legal system. The most important factor influencing HRM, in my
opinion, is the cultural differences that may be present. Culture often
determines the effectiveness of various HRM practices because those found to be
effective in America may not be effective in a culture that has different
beliefs and values (Noe, Hollenbeck, Gerhart, & Wright, 2016, p. 634). One strategy
to prepare employees for an expatriate assignment in a location with a
predominately different culture would be to educate the employee on the culture
and beliefs of that area, through multiple training sessions. Secondly,
expatriates must learn to communicate accurately in the new culture (Noe et
al., 2016, p. 649). This includes both verbal and non-verbal communication. For
example, something as small as eye contact is seen as a sign of respect when
talking with someone; however, in a different cultural environment, it may be
seen as a sign of disrespect. Another strategy to prepare for an expatriate
assignment would be to ensure the employee understands his or her compensation
package. For a compensation package for an expatriate to be effective and
ensure ongoing engagement, it must align incentives with expatriation
objectives, tailor benefits to the expatriate’s needs, and focus on equality of
opportunities, not cash (Noe et al., 2016, p. 654). The last significant
strategy in preparing for an expatriate assignment would be to ensure the
organization has a proper reacculturation policy in place. This is also very
important because the expatriates may have a hard time readjusting back to
their home country. Some also found that when they return, they are placed in
lower-level positions with limited responsibilities, which may lead some to
leave the organization. One strategy to resolve this issue would be to secure
opportunities for the returning expatriates to use their knowledge and skills learned
while on their international assignments (Noe et al., 2016, p. 654). This example
also ensures ongoing engagement because the expatriates will be able to share
what they’ve learned from working in a globally diverse environment.

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