Dutch society is distinguished by its cultural and social diversity.
There is an increase in ageing, ethnic variation, internationalization, and individualization. Because of this, organizations experience more diversity internally, in the labor market and also with regard to clients.
It is important to know how best your organization can take advantage of this increased diversity.
KPMG and David Pinto have recently joined forces to address this vital challenge that organizations are currently facing.
A kaleidoscope of people who all want to work, buy, learn, cure, etcetera...
Mostly in the major cities a substantial diversity can be seen. An ever increasing part of the younger generation has a non-Dutch background. It is also expected that the migration of labor from the new EU member states will increase further.
Organizations increasingly operate on international levels, schools are attracting foreign students, companies are outsourcing activities to ‘low income countries’ and expansion leads to business opportunities opening up in foreign countries. In addition, companies’ customers are also becoming more diverse. In other words, diversity in our society is a reality.
Diversity in Practice
Keeping (new) employees and (new) customers satisfied requires an insight into the variety of wants and needs. (Cultural) Differences often lead to difficulties in communication. To avoid tensions, organizations generally employ people who most suitably fit the required profile within their organization.
However, by taking a serious look at diversity, there will be more ‘opportunities’ than ‘threats’ to an organization. Investing in diversity after all, also helps towards solving problem areas such as absenteeism, resignations and dismissals as well as unacceptable conduct.
Furthermore, diversity can contribute to an improved competitive edge on both the labor market and the trade market. The question that arises is how do you want to treat diversity – as an obstacle or as a strategic choice?
Diversity as a strategic choice
To take advantage of the opportunities brought on by diversity, it is important for your organization to be clear on what it is and what culture it is striving for: What do you represent? The desired culture could be defined in a code of conduct.
When agreement has been reached on this code, the next step will be to communicate, internalize and uphold it. This finalized code will serve as a point of reference regarding every internal discussion pertaining to the culture of the organization.
The establishment, communication and adherence to a code of conduct does have a number of important benefits:
Members of the organization know what is expected of them and have the opportunity to conform.
Co-workers can be corrected more expeditiously for transgressions of the code or conduct.
internal cultural dialogue will have clearly defined mutually shared parameters.
The code is a transparent directive for the implementation of a human resource management policy.
During the recruitment of new members, the organization’s mission should be made clear. People select themselves in this way.
You have ownership of a communication tool to your clients and to other organizations.
We help you develop, communicate and establish your own code.
KPMG and David Pinto have developed a program that enables you to establish a tried and trusted company code. The focus being on practical experience.
The program consists of the following steps:
A First-hand experience David Pinto’s tried and tested simulation game creates first hand experience of the limitations of one’s own mindset and the causes of clashes between cultures. One also learns the importance of explicitly defining one’s own culture.
Reflection The participants reflect on their experiences and will try to explicitly define their own culture. They learn which values and norms guide their own behavior at work. Based on this, they formulate a first draft of a conceptual business code that defines their current business culture.
Abstraction By means of the so-called ‘dilemma game’ developed by KPMG this first draft is tested and adjusted. In this dilemma game the consequences of certain choices and the desirability thereof are determined. The choices are noted for the purpose of drafting a second conceptual business code at the end of this step.
Testing Consequently, this second draft is then piloted in a part of your organization. Managers and co-workers are trained in communicating and maintaining this business code. Needless to say such a pilot should preferably be undertaken in a department or area where cultural differences are clearly seen and felt. After final adjustments and agreements, the code of conduct is ready to be ratified.
Quality Assurance Processes involving change of culture meet with resistance. To maintain quality assurance of the desired changes, it is crucial that ownership will have to rest with HRM (together with recruitment, staff selection and competence based management, training and coaching). The contents of the code are exceptionally well suited as a guideline for the development of HRM policy. The involvement of mangers is the essential ingredient to ensure success.