How Can Managers at BMW Group Achieve Workforce Diversity Assignment

How Can Managers at BMW Group Achieve Workforce Diversity Assignment Words: 3009

The purpose of this report is to determine how BMW Group managers can achieve workforce diversity in their organisation using the managerial tools available in the planning and controlling functions. The BMW Group is an automotive company that employs 356 staff, 100 of whom in customer service, comprising Caucasian males of the same demographic and cultural background. Company statistics indicate a decline in the number of contracts issued and a decrease in customer approval with many complaining of poor representation and customer service.

The Group has identified the lack of workforce diversity as a major problem and recognises the importance of a shift toward a more diverse workforce as a means to better achieving company goals. Interviews were conducted with the customer service team leader and the Human Resources manager. Key business process reference publications including; organisational charts, training manuals and the company bible known as the ‘values handbook’ were consulted. An updated values handbook including workforce diversity guidelines has the potential to increase the groups’ customer service levels.

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Through effectively shaped goals, the group can also ensure that the organisation is working together towards achieving a common goal. Once all goals have been determined plans can be drawn by senior management to explain how they intend to achieve the goals. By controlling the implementation of the organisation’s new goals and values the company can measure and assess whether the goals are achieving what they were intended or if they require managerial intervention to correct deviations.

In summary the management function of planning and controlling can effectively and positively contribute to enhance workforce diversity within the group. It is recommended that; workforce diversity is added to the organisational values handbook; formal plans are drawn outlining goals; goals are implemented correctly; quarterly reviews and KPI’s are set to measure productivity, and recruitment agencies are educated on updated values and how to search for a more diverse workforce when interviewing potential employees. Introduction Aim

The purpose of this report was to explain how managers within the BMW group could apply special managerial theories and concepts into their organisation to achieve workforce diversity. Scope This report specifically relates to the customer service and sales division within the group. Methodology The information used in this report was collected by consulting the organisational chart, training manuals and values handbook. Interviews were conducted with the customer service team leader, the customer service manager and also the HR manager.

Assumptions It has been assumed that all interviews conducted and literature consulted was accurate. Limitations This report is limited to two of the key functions of management i. e, planning and controlling. While organising and leadership play an imperative role in achieving workforce diversity, these functions were not included. Background The BMW group is an automotive sales/service company. It employs around one hundred customer service staff the majority of whom are middle aged Caucasian males.

The group has a goal of obtaining 211,000 finance contracts by 2010 and offering a world renowned customer service experience. After a noticeable recent decline in new finance contracts and a vast increase in customer complaints the Group has identified the lack of Workforce Diversity as a major problem and has seen the importance of a highly diverse workforce in achieving company goals. Plan This report will first provide a background of the importance of workforce diversity within the groups organisation prior to discussing the managerial functions of planning and controlling.

Important functions regarding these two topics will be explained and their application to the group will be analysed and evaluated resulting in appropriate recommendations to management to achieve workforce diversity through planning and controlling. Discussion The Importance of Workforce Diversity Within the BMW Group In January 2008 The BMW group initiated a survey which was distributed to all customers over a period of 3 months soliciting their response to specific questions in regards to sales and servicing. The survey indicated that a majority of customers deemed various customer service aspects less than satisfactory.

This included the customer service representative’s knowledge of vehicles, inefficient service provided during client contact times and representatives inability to communicate and identify with the customers. A report was run which indicated that the company was not on target to reach its quota of 211,000 new automotive finance contracts by 2010 goal. An internal analysis found that the majority of the customer service and sales team were middle aged men nearly all of an Anglo descent. Diversity may be defined as the presence of differences among members of a social group or unit (Choy, 2007).

This represented a risk because of the limitations in decision making and objective capacity in dealing with a hugely diverse customer base. As a result it became imperative that the group had to adopt a proactive approach to ensure all issues within its customer service and sales teams are resolved through the application of enhancing its workforce diversity. In this context a diverse workforce would present a greater pool of knowledge and broader capacity to deal with issues presented to the teams in the course of their work. A more diverse workforce improves business performance (Spiers, 2008).

Planning Planning involves defining goals and developing a complete set of plans to integrate and co-ordinate work (Robbins, Bergman, Stagg & Coulter, 2006). In order for the group to plan efficiently and effectively it needs to establish a concise set of values and a clear objective for the organisation. Values handbook 0. 1. 1Definition Robbins et al. (2006) Defines values as basic convictions about what is right and wrong. The BMW group pride themselves on values based management, which is an overall approach to managing in which the organisation establishes and upholds shared values. Robbins et al. , 2006). 0. 1. 2 Uses of values based management When implemented and used correctly organisational values provide behavioural guidelines for all employees, enhance the focus on common goals, improve public image and fosters a shared value system. 0. 1. 3 Application The BMW Group In a review of the shared values handbook it was identified that Workforce diversity was not adequately reflected despite having been updated in June 2008. Having a relevant up to date values handbook would clearly define what the group expect of its employees including the value of workplace diversity.

Managers need to show a constant commitment to diversity (Miller, 2008). Selection is the process of screening job applicants to ensure that the most appropriate candidate is hired (Robbins et al. , 2006) . The Human Resources department could integrate the workforce diversity values in their selection process. People hire someone they know, so we really push the exploratory meeting. (Miller, 2008). The Human Resource department need to ensure that recruitment companies are looking outside the square when searching for candidates.

A selection of diverse employees with vastly different cultural backgrounds, values and knowledge will help increase the number of customers who can identify with the company. This may lead to an increase in finance packages and overall improvement in customer satisfaction which will enhance the customer service targets and goals. Workforce diversity can be addressed through thoroughly planning and initiating an up to date values handbook and implementing a values training session for all employees. Goal Setting 0. 1. 4 Definition Goals are desired outcomes for individuals, groups or entire organisations. Robbins et al. , 2006). Goals within organisations present employees and managers alike a common purpose to strive towards. 0. 1. 5The value of setting goals Goals are defined as the foundation of planning (Robbins et al. , 2006). Properly applied goal setting is an effective means of elevating performance. Goal setting programs designed to enhance performance or personal growth are quite popular today. As part of these programs individuals are sometimes instructed to set SMART goals (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant and Time based) or perhaps DUMB goals (Doable, Understandable, Manageable and Beneficial). Dobson, Donovan & Wilson, 2009). Stated goals are goals which organisations would have their stakeholders believe but may not be accurately reflected by actions. Real goals however are goals in which are confirmed by the actions of the employees. Herniman & Lycette (2008) suggest that focusing alone on the pure business side of goal setting can lead to disappointing behaviours and results. It is an attainable goal for the group to enhance workforce diversity over a relatively long term of four years whereas stating the goal could be achieved in a matter of months would be unrealistic. It has also been noted hat striving for difficult goals leads individuals to experience higher levels of anticipated satisfaction in comparison to when striving for easy or unspecific goals. (Herniman & Lycette, 2008) 0. 1. 6 Application to the BMW group The groups’ management needs to set goals to ensure that workforce diversity is established in line with the updated values handbook, values training sessions, broader employee selection process and the overall customer service experience is rectified within the next four years. The goals are results based, clearly anticipating the customer service experience will be rectified.

The goal is time orientated giving the organisation a suitable time frame of four years. The goal clearly identifies what the organisation needs to achieve within the timeframe therefore it is specific. The goals needs to be conceived and structured by management and filtered down throughout the relevant departments for additional information or suggestions. Managers would then need to discuss the information with the team leaders, particularly on how to establish these goals and suitable ways in which to measure individual performance such as team results to quota and monthly team meetings.

Team leaders would discuss the ideas with teams ensuring all suggestions and new ideas which top management may not have included in the basic goal structure are implemented. Once the set goals have been defined they will need to be formally written down and plans are formulated to accompany the goals and explain how the organisation proposes to achieve them. Formulation of Plans A plan is a document outlining how goals are going to be met. They typically describe allocations, schedules and other necessary actions to accomplish goals. . 1. 7 Strategic plans Strategic planning deals with decisions of longer run consequences (Cangelosi, 1966). The Groups managers could formulate strategic plans to identify and outline how to achieve desired results. Strategic plans apply to the entire organisation, they estimate the organisations overall goals and seek to position the organisation in terms of its environment. Strategic plans are single use plans that tend to cover a longer period of time, usually beyond three years (Robbins et al. , 2006).

Planning process is a powerful tool in the hands of management, active participation in the process can contribute to middle managers awareness of key principles, issues and goals. The way a company approaches strategic planning has major implications on the development of strategy (Vila & Ignacio, 2008). It is essential that top managers filter plans throughout the organisation in order to develop a clear strategy. 0. 1. 8 Operational plans Operational plans are plans that specify the details of how the overall goals are to be achieved. They cover shorter period of times anywhere between monthly, weekly or day to day (Robbins et al. 2006). The customer service team leader needs to formulate operational plans to provide guidance for work that is performed repeatedly and covers a period of one year or less. Operational planning, by definition results in action plans for day to day work. Operational planning includes five key elements: A definition of services provided, initiatives that supports the “end game vision”, an examination of available synergy, a commitment of timing, sequence of major steps and an agreement to measurement criteria and targets (Johnson, 2008).

It is therefore important that the team leader explains the goals at hand and how they will execute set plans, anticipates the final result, examine and understand individuals willingness to achieve the goals and receive a commitment from the team that they will monitor their own key performance indicators as well as having monthly reviews to discuss the progress. Controlling After strategies are set and plans are made management’s primary task is to take steps to ensure that these plans are carried out, or if conditions warrant that plans are modified (Merchant & Sloan, 1982).

This section of the report focuses on controlling each aspect of the new organisational goals. There are three main approaches to designing control systems; marker control, bureaucratic control and clan control. The clan control approach best relates to the BMW group as this approach focuses on employee behaviours by regulating shared values, norms, traditions, rituals and beliefs. The purpose of designing an appropriate control system is to ensure the organisations activities are completed in ways that lead to goal accomplishment and measuring actual performance. 0. 1. 9 Definition

Controlling is the process of monitoring activities to ensure that they are being accomplished as planned and of correcting any significant deviations (Robbins et al. , 2006). Controlling is a critical function of management and since management involves directing the activities of others a major part of the control function is making sure other people do what should be done (Merchant & Sloan, 1982). Measuring Actual Performance 0. 1. 10 Definition To determine what the actual performance is a manager must acquire information about it. The first step in control is measuring (Robbins et al. , 2006). 0. 1. 11Application to the BMW Group

The Group will be using KPI’s, monthly meetings, oral reports, statistical reports and customer satisfaction surveys as efficient ways of measuring the customer service levels. If managers did not control they would have no way of knowing whether their goals and plans were on target and what future actions to take (Robbins et al. , 2006). Management needs to decide whether to impose external controls i. e. a report system set up by IT to specifically record statistics such as the number of calls answered per day and the number of finance packages settled during the week or to allow employees to control their own actions i. . entering useful information on a stats whiteboard daily for the entire team to view. If all personnel always did what was best for the organisation, control and even management would not be needed (Merchant & Sloan, 1982). Management needs to decide on what specific criteria should be emphasised in employee evaluations. People do not always understand what is expected of them, nor how they can best perform their jobs. Even if employees are properly equipped to perform a job well some chose not to do so because individual goals and organisational goals do not coincide perfectly (Merchant & Sloan, 1982).

It is therefore in the best interests of the company if the team leaders set specific criteria to include in evaluations so the employee and employer both understand exactly what is expected of each party. Comparing Actual Performance Against the Standard 0. 1. 12 Definition The comparing step determines the degree in variation between actual performance and the standard (Robbins et al. , 2006). 0. 1. 13 Application to the BMW Group It is critical that managers within the group determine an acceptable range of variation.

A range of variation according to Robbins et al. , (2006) is the acceptable parameters of variance between actual performance and the standard. Once a range of variation is established the managers within the organisation can compare the standard measurements of performance against the actual measurements of performance. For example the group can set an achievable daily KPI standard of 100 inbound calls per individual and compare this against the statistic the individual is actually achieving. Taking Managerial Action to Correct Deviations or Inadequate Standards

This section of the report will explain how managers can take action to correct deviations or inadequate standards. This is the third and final step in the control process. 0. 1. 14 Application to the BMW Group Managers can choose between three possible courses of action: They can do nothing, they can correct the actual performance; or they can revise the standards. (Robbins et al. , 2006). If the groups management found they were unhappy with further customer satisfaction surveys they could take immediate corrective action or basic corrective action depending on time constraints.

Immediate corrective action corrects problems at once to get performance back on track, however basic corrective action looks at how and why performance has deviated and then proceeds to correct the source of the deviation according to Robbins et al. , (2006). Some variances are due to initial standards being unrealistic. Management would need to analyse if this was the case and focus on correcting the standard instead of focusing on performance. In summary planning and controlling play an imperative role in enhancing workforce diversity through the promotion of new organisational goals and values.

Establishing these goals and values, and filtering them from top management through to low level management and also through to customer service representatives are ways in which planning can assist with the workforce diversity issue. Controlling via key performance indicators, reviews, improving standards in the Human Resources department, selection and process can positively contribute to a diverse workforce. Recommendations Add workforce diversity to the organisational values handbook and ensure all current and prospective employees understand the importance of this issue to the BMW Group.

Draw up concise formal plans outlining the set goals at strategic, operational and team levels. Implement goals as an effective means of elevating performance. Establish quarterly reviews with all team members and effective KPI standards to increase and measure productivity. Promote hiring “outside of the square” to recruitment companies via the Human Resources department and implement updated selection, training and recruitment skills. References Cangelosi, V. E. (1966). Strategic-planning -Vital Function of Management. Industrial Management, 8(7), 2.

Choy, W. K. W. (2007). Globalisation and Workforce Diversity: HRM Implications for Multinational Corporations in Singapore. Singapore Management Review, 29(2), 1-19. Johnson, R. (2008). Operational Planning – A Factor of Five. Supply House, 51(5), 138-141. Lycette, B. & Herniman, J. (2008). New goal-setting theory. Industrial Management. 50(5), 25-30. Merchant. K. & Sloan. A. (1982). The Control Function of Management. A Management Review, 23(4), 43-55. Miller, S. (2008). Workforce Diversity. Broadcasting & Cable, 138(36), 19-20.

Robbins, S. , Bergman, R. , Stagg, I. & Coulter, M. (2006). Management. (4th ed). Frenchs Forest, NSW: Pearson Education Australia. Spiers, C. (2008). The business benefits of diversity. Management Service, 52(2), 26-30. Vila, J. & Ignacio. C. J. (2008). Can Strategic Planning Make Strategy More Relevant and Build Commitment Over Time? The Case of RACC. Planning, 41(3), 273-290. Wilson, S. B. , Dobson, M. S. & Donovan, J. (2008). Goal setting: How to Create an Action Plan and Achieve Your Goals. Personnel Psychology, 61(4), 931-933.

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