In today’s world, virtually every business has some level of diversity present. For various reasons, companies have expanded into other countries and have a global presence as is the case in my place of employment. Diversity is so prevalent that there are multiple organizations within the company to address the subject and, in fact, the company has received numerous awards due to diversity and inclusion. Innovation is key to the success of the company and as a multitude of teams made up of many different cultures have provided input, this success has grown and continues to grow.
Due to the size of the company, the demographic environment is extremely diverse in age, gender, ethnicity, education, service, salary, and marital status (Dupree, 2018). With over 67,000 employees the demographic is impressive. The ages of employees cover generations; from straight out of high school to mid-seventies with years of service, for some, upwards of 30 years. With a global presence in over 80 countries, the ethnic demographic is quite substantial. The educational demographic ranges from a high school diploma to those with a PhD in various subjects. Working in the corporate environment of this company allows the presentation of this information although it is also available on the internet as well (“Raytheon”, 2020).
Diversity in the company enhances the communication of the organization. Having all three methods of communication available from downward, upward, and horizontal, allows communication to flow freely (Pearson, Nelson, Titsworth, & Hosek, 2017, Chapter 9). The company offers a wide variety of organizations such as LGBTQ, Hispanic, American Indian, Asian, Black employees, Veteran, Women’s network, and Young Employee Networks (“Raytheon”, 2020), which makes the intercultural communication avenue encouraged. With innovation strongly encouraged, team projects are found throughout the company and receives strong support from leadership. This opens up communication between such a wide array of employees of many different cultures, and allows for much greater creativity, which, in turn, results in greater successes.
Challenges always arise when there is a wide range of different types of people. Stereotyping, due to a person’s upbringing, seems to happen naturally and it takes a concerted effort to break away from this. It can also stem from a personal experience with a certain individual or group, be it positive or negative. Prejudgment is the same and typically occurs because of the same situations as stereotyping, upbringing and/or personal experiences (Pearson, Nelson, Titsworth, & Hosek, 2017, Chapter 7). Having both of these present can cause conflict and companies should have strategies in place to help resolve them. One key component is knowledge and providing others with it can provide tools and information for avoiding or resolving issues that can occur. Resources such as required learning, training sessions and internal organizations are a good tool to offer employees as they provide needed knowledge and give suggestions to diminish these characteristics which can prove harmful to the organizational culture.
Communication plays an important part of an organization’s climate and managers have a fundamental role in creating and maintaining an environment of open communication. Leading by example is a good way for managers to demonstrate effective communication. Ensuring that personal bias is put away, being open-minded, empathetic, supportive, and of course avoiding prejudgment and stereotyping will encourage subordinates to also put these traits into practice (Pearson, Nelson, Titsworth, & Hosek, 2017, Chapter 7). Managers with a diverse group of employees have the challenge of many different cultures at play and should strive to treat everyone with respect and fairness and this may mean sometimes adjusting for some employees’ cultures. At the same time, managers must strive to provide consistent treatment across the board to show employees they are valued and accepted. By doing so, strong relationships can be built among managers and subordinates as well as among co-workers which will result in a stronger company (Hynes & Veltsos, 2019, Chapter 12).
In the ever-changing environment of business today, the responsibility lies with effective management to lead a company to achieve strong diversity and intercultural communication. Many businesses today include organizations within the company for employees to become a participate in which foster feelings of acceptance and inclusion. The type of organizations varies from ethnic groups to gender oriented to sexual orientation. More and more businesses also have whole divisions specifically designated for ethics, such as an ethics council available for employees to voice issues and concerns they may have. These departments typically align with the mission and vision of the organization and are focused on maintaining the integrity and reputation of the company both inside and out. Diversity and communication are among some of the most important aspects of especially large organizations that they also have departments dedicated to obtaining and maintaining a well-rounded company. Having these dedicated divisions affords companies the ability to achieve remarkable success and a greater competitive edge for both customers and employees.