Kellogg Company's Approach to Incorporating Diversity | Free Essay Example

Kellogg Company’s Approach to Incorporating Diversity

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Topic: Business & Economics
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Abstract

Diversity in the workforce is discussed as a necessary condition for multinational companies that are oriented to preserve their leading positions in the world and to address the globalization trends. To succeed in developing the multinational company with the productive workforce and efficient organizational culture, the principles of which can be applied in the company’s offices all over the world, it is necessary to pay much attention to fostering diversity and inclusiveness in the organization. The Kellogg Company can be discussed as one of the companies that have a perfect reputation in promoting diversity in the organization from a global perspective. Addressing the fact that facilities of the company are located in different countries and that the diverse workforce is also typical for the US offices, the Kellogg Company has developed an effective diversity and inclusiveness strategy that influences the organization’s structure, the employment practices, and outreach programs.

Kellogg’s Approach to Incorporating Diversity: Research Paper

Diversity in the workforce is discussed as a necessary condition for multinational companies that are oriented to preserve their leading positions in the world and to address the globalization trends. To succeed in developing the multinational company with the productive workforce and efficient organizational culture, the principles of which can be applied in the company’s offices all over the world, it is necessary to pay much attention to fostering diversity and inclusiveness in the organization (Carr-Ruffino, 2012, p. 240; Harvey & Allard, 2015). The Kellogg Company can be discussed as one of the companies that have a perfect reputation in promoting diversity in the organization from a global perspective.

The Kellogg Company is known as a multinational company specializing in food production that is headquartered in Michigan, the United States of America, but its manufacturing facilities and offices are located in 18 countries (Kellogg: Diversity and inclusion, 2014). Furthermore, the company’s products are distributed in more than 160 countries all over the globe. The Kellogg Company was founded by Will Keith Kellogg in 1906, and today the company is one of the leading manufacturers of different kinds of cereals, crackers, and cookies in the world (Diversity and inclusion, 2015). Addressing the fact that facilities of the company are located in different countries and that the diverse workforce is also typical for the US offices, the Kellogg Company has developed an effective diversity and inclusiveness strategy that influences the organization’s structure, the employment practices, and the outreach programs.

How Diversity is Reflected in Kellogg’s Organization and Practices

Diversity and Kellogg’s Mission Statement

The focus on diversity is an important practice for the company because of Kellogg’s approach to addressing both customers and employees. This approach is also reflected in the Kellogg Company’s mission and vision statement (Kellogg: Diversity and inclusion, 2014). Mission statements are often discussed as declarations of the company’s focus and strategic orientation, but they can also reflect the companies’ values and principles, such as diversity, integrity, accountability, and transparency (Carr-Ruffino, 2012).

According to the mission statement of the company, Kellogg is a “global company committed to building long-term growth in volume and profit and to enhancing its worldwide leadership position by providing nutritious food products of superior value”, and it is a company that develops a specific management philosophy according to which people are valued higher than outcomes and profits (Waters, 2012, p. 50). From this point, the mission of the company reflects Kellogg’s focus on valuing people and providing them with opportunities for growth through effective diversity management practices and techniques.

The mission statement helps to demonstrate that Kellogg is among those companies which discuss the workforce and customers from different perspectives and that enhance diversity not only to increase the competitive advantage but also to support people and their interests. In Kellogg, employees are treated equally as the staff of the constantly growing leading company with high performance and supportive culture (Kellogg: Diversity and inclusion, 2014). In addition to the mission statement related to both customers and employees, diversity as a priority is also reflected in the company’s vision and values according to which the Kellogg Company orients to attracting the diverse talents with different cultural and educational backgrounds and experiences (Kellogg: Diversity and inclusion, 2014).

The reason for associating diversity and the company’s mission is in the fact that successful multicultural companies usually focus on benefits from promoting diversity because of possibilities to increase the competitive advantage (Podsiadlowski, Groschke, Kogler, Springer, & Zee, 2013, p. 160). From this perspective, Kellogg encourages diverse employees because of the necessity to address the specific conditions of working environments in multicultural countries.

Diversity and Inclusiveness

It is important to state that diversity and inclusion are correlated notions in the business world. In companies, diversity is perceived as valuing the individuals’ differences regarding their age, race, and gender (Kunze, Boehm, & Bruch, 2011, p. 265). Inclusiveness should be discussed as the readiness of the company’s managers to recruit and retain the representatives of different gender and age groups as well as of various racial and cultural backgrounds (Triana, Garcia, & Colella, 2010, p. 818). From this point, to facilitate diversity in the multinational company, it is important to increase inclusion (Stone & Tetrick, 2013, p. 726).

Even though Kellogg was founded in 1906, Will Keith Kellogg, the company’s founder chose to promote diversity since the company’s first days. Thus, the Kellogg Company was “a pioneer in employing women in the workplace and reaching across cultural boundaries” (Diversity and inclusion, 2015, para. 1). Thus, women became regularly invited to take the leading positions in Kellogg, and the company belongs to Top 50 Companies for Executive Women (Kellogg annual report 2013-2014, 2015, p. 4; Kellogg U.S. specialty channels promotes women into leadership roles, 2015). From this point, diversity and inclusion were proclaimed as the principles of the organizational culture by the company’s founder, and today the company is one of the world leaders in incorporating diversity in the business structure with the focus on the idea of inclusiveness.

Diversity and inclusiveness in the Kellogg Company take different forms. It is noted by the company leaders, that the Kellogg Company is committed to “creating an environment where all employees are included, are treated with dignity and respect” (Diversity and inclusion, 2015, para. 4). As a result, managers propose innovative approaches for the further inclusion of “women, people of color, lesbians, gays, bisexuals, transgender individuals, people with disabilities, veterans and other demographic groups” (Diversity and inclusion, 2015, para. 8).

These diverse groups of employees can be discussed as contributing to the company’s progress and growth because they add to the group work in the company, to the decision-making processes, to the project development, to the improvement of customer relations, and to overcoming prejudice and discrimination experiences (Ilmakunnas & Ilmakunnas, 2011, p. 2). Leaders of the Kellogg Company realize that while promoting diversity and following the strategy of inclusion, they can become more attractive for both talents and customers because of developing the image of the company valuing diversity.

It is important to state that inclusiveness is promoted in the Kellogg Company in contrast to discrimination practices. The managers of the company formulate new principles of workplace diversity and inclusiveness each year, and they develop new strategies to oppose discrimination at every stage of employees and partners’ management, including relations with suppliers and customers (Kellogg annual report 2013-2014, 2015, p. 6). As a result, diversity programs based on the principle of inclusiveness include such criteria as cooperation with people of different age and gender, work with representatives of different cultures, races, and ethnicities, cooperation with disabled individuals, and the work with veterans as suppliers, partners, and employees (Kellogg annual report 2013-2014, 2015, p. 6-7; Triana et al., 2010, p. 818). Diversity and inclusiveness are also important criteria for employee engagement according to equality management strategies.

Diversity in the Company’s Structure

To state how successfully the Kellogg Company can manage diversity to achieve success in the industry, it is important to concentrate on how the factor of diversity is addressed and represented in the company’s specific structure and organizational framework. The Kellogg Company is not only a multinational but also a multicultural business, and this fact is reflected in the company’s structure. There are more than 30,000 employees all over the world, and managers pay attention to the demographic characteristics of their employees (Diversity and inclusion, 2015; Kellogg annual report 2013-2014, 2015, p. 2).

The focus on diversity begins with the structure of the Board of Directors in the United States. Kellogg’s leaders are seven males and five females with Caucasian, Hispanic, and African American ethnical backgrounds (Kellogg annual report 2013-2014, 2015, p. 3). Leaders in local officers are also representatives of different gender, age, and cultural groups. From this point, it is possible to conclude that managers avoid discrimination according to gender, age, and race, and while implementing anti-discrimination practices, they promote diversity in the workforce.

The Kellogg Company’s Office of Diversity and Inclusion was founded in 2005 as a project to support the promotion of diversity in all areas of employee relations within the organization, including its departments all over the world (Diversity and inclusion, 2015). In the United States, the interests of the diverse workforce are protected by Employee Resource Groups representing African Americans, women, aged people, and other categories (Kellogg: Diversity and inclusion, 2014). Employee Resource Groups are organizational elements supported by the Kellogg Company’s human resource management that work to address the interests of diverse groups in the company’s departments. Similar Employee Resource Groups are organized not only in the United States but also in 18 countries over the globe, where the Kellogg Company has its manufacturing facilities (Kellogg annual report 2013-2014, 2015, p. 6; Triana et al., 2010). Employee Resource Groups are responsible for guaranteeing the fair recruitment of employees, their promotion, for proving the equal and objective compensation, and for the retention of diverse employees in each office or facility of the company.

The structure of the company should reflect its priorities and values. If the Kellogg Company chooses to promote diversity in the community while addressing the needs of all employees, its structure needs to reflect these standards (Ilmakunnas & Ilmakunnas, 2011, p. 4). Thus, women, aged people, and representatives of different cultures are promoted to different positions in the company, depending on their educational background, professional experience, and developed skills (Kellogg U.S. specialty channels promote women into leadership roles, 2015).

Human resource managers of the company work to balance the workforce regarding the issue of gender; therefore, currently, 65% of employees in the United States and globally are males, and 35% are females (Kellogg annual report 2013-2014, 2015, p. 3). The relationship of holders of leading positions in the company is even more important to be discussed because the global leaders are represented by twelve males and nine females (Kellogg annual report 2013-2014, 2015, p. 3). As a result, the organization’s structure does not limit the managers from fostering diversity in the company and employees from being treated equally regardless of their status, race, age, and gender.

Diversity in Employment Practices

Those practices that are regularly used by managers in the field of employment in Kellogg are based on the principle of diversity as the key factor. Having more than 30,000 diverse employees all over the world, Kellogg’s managers need to implement the most effective employment practices that are focused on promoting diverse talents (Diversity and inclusion, 2015). The first step is the use of fair selection and recruitment strategies (Stone & Tetrick, 2013, p. 726). Much attention is paid to avoiding discrimination during the hiring process. Thus, employees are hired only with the focus on their professional skills, competencies, and talents. The second step is training offered for a diverse workforce. Training for the employees is provided by the professionals of the Kellogg Company’s Office of Diversity and Inclusion (Kellogg: Diversity and inclusion, 2014). This training is oriented to improving the communication between coworkers to use the benefits of the diverse workforce for the teamwork, decision-making, and problem-solving.

The third step is the provision of equal promotion opportunities for all employees who work in the US offices and local offices in the other 18 countries. It is accentuated at the company’s website that “all employees are inspired to share their passion, talents, and ideas”, “all employees go through a consistent process and have equal opportunity for success”, and they can be promoted depending on their competencies and skills (Diversity and inclusion, 2015; Kellogg: Diversity and inclusion, 2014). Therefore, the employees are promoted with the focus on the assessment of their professional skills and achievements at their current positions. Focusing on such a promotion strategy, the company’s human resource managers can avoid the influence of biases on their decisions and contribute to the creation of a diverse workforce.

To guarantee that the implemented employment strategies and practices are effective to support diversity in the organization, the Kellogg Company conducts the regular assessment of success in the realization of diversity programs (Diversity and inclusion, 2015). The goal of such assessment is to detect possible weaknesses in the strategies that cause the hidden discrimination, uncomfortable working atmosphere and conditions, as well as to determine the areas that need improvement to provide employees with equal opportunities and the fair distribution of benefits (Kunze et al., 2011, p. 267). The problem is in the fact that focusing on promoting all individuals, despite their backgrounds and differences, the Kellogg Company’s managers need to pay more attention to the work of Employee Resource Groups in which activities are directed toward protecting the human resources’ rights.

How Diversity Practices Are Communicated in Kellogg’s Company

Diversity Practices and Media

Such companies as Kellogg often refer to the development of the diversity strategy as the component of the corporate social responsibility strategy. Therefore, those diversity practices that are promoted and followed in the company are usually communicated with the help of the media. To have the opportunity to monitor the diversity strategy and practices and to address the principle of transparency, companies need to communicate their policies and practices within the company’s departments and widely (Carr-Ruffino, 2012).

The main source with the help of which Kellogg communicates its successes in following the principle of diversity in the press releases that can be spread inside the company with the help of e-mails and outside the company with the help of the official website. These media releases provide the information regarding the company’s outcomes in facilitating diversity, regarding the work of the company within the community to promote diversity, and regarding the successes in implementing new approaches to support the inclusiveness strategies. To emphasize the role of diversity worldwide, the Kellogg Company also uses multicultural marketing as a way to communicate its diverse principles and practices (Kellogg annual report 2013-2014, 2015, p. 34). As a result, potential customers and employees become aware of the organization’s position regarding the issue of diversity in society.

The other important channel to communicate the diversity practices is the annual reports on diversity and inclusiveness in the Kellogg Company. Annual reports are typical sources of the inside information about the company’s activities that help to analyze the company’s accomplishments in different areas, including the diversity management (Carr-Ruffino, 2012; Ilmakunnas & Ilmakunnas, 2011). The Kellogg Company annual reports on diversity and inclusiveness are located at the company’s official website, and they present the information on the percentage of employees belonging to minority groups in the United States, on the diverse workforce of the Kellogg’s company globally, on the work of Employee Resource Groups, and the company’s philanthropic activities (Kellogg annual report 2013-2014, 2015). The mentioned channels to communicate diversity practices used in the company are typical to inform the target audience, community, and stakeholders about the activities of the organization in a certain area.

Communicating Diversity through Outreach Programs

Diversity in the workplace is usually a reflection of the diversity within the community or culture. In the United States, diversity is typical for the majority of communities, and to address the needs of oppressed minorities, multicultural companies focus on participating in outreach programs (Harvey & Allard, 2015; Podsiadlowski et al., 2013). As a result, the company receives an opportunity to declare its focus on diversity, to support the diverse population within the community, and to attract more talents while increasing the competitive advantage.

The Kellogg Company works to develop outreach programs through partnerships (Kellogg annual report 2013-2014, 2015, p. 8). The company’s leaders state that to develop a comfortable environment for diverse employees within the organization, it is necessary to concentrate on the changes of the environments outside organizations, while making them friendly for the representatives of minorities and discriminated groups.

Thus, the Kellogg Company develops strong partnership relations with such organizations as Business Women’s Network, Wounded Warrior Project, Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network, National Society of Black Engineers, and Parents, Family & Friends of Lesbians and Gays among others. Cooperating with these organizations, the Kellogg Company participates in these organizations’ outreach programs (Kellogg annual report 2013-2014, 2015, p. 30). Also, much attention is paid to integrating the outreach programs in the US communities that cover such areas as the children’s health, prevention of overweight and obesity, prevention of diabetes, promotion of physical training, and nutrition for poor families (Diversity and inclusion, 2015). Thus, the mission of the Kellogg Company is to promote diversity while trying to address the interests of community members who have various problems and needs.

Diversity and Philanthropy

In addition to participating in a variety of outreach programs, the Kellogg Company also pays much attention to charitable activities or philanthropy. The annual percentage of the Kellogg Company’s donations to the diversity-related programs, non-profit organizations, and projects is more than 85% (Kellogg annual report 2013-2014, 2015, p. 3). To support organizations working to overcome hunger and poverty, to improve living conditions for poor families in the United States and abroad, to improve living conditions of immigrants, to support women, to support ethnical minorities, and to protect the rights of sexual minorities, Kellogg organized the Kellogg Company Fund (Kellogg annual report 2013-2014, 2015). The activities of the Fund are closely associated not only with philanthropy but also with the development of social programs for the children and youth.

Still, the key principle on which the charitable programs of Kellogg are based on the promotion of diversity. As a result, the significant donations and food assistance are provided to the US and global charitable organizations that support diverse categories of population (Kellogg: Diversity and inclusion, 2014). Regular donations are provided to Wounded Warrior Project, Kalamazoo Gay Lesbian Resource Center, National Urban League, and the Asian and Pacific Islander Scholarship Fund among other organizations (Kellogg annual report 2013-2014, 2015, p. 38). The Kellogg Company focuses on philanthropy as a way to communicate the significance of diversity in the world. The leaders of the company accentuate the fact that they choose to cooperate with representatives of different organizations the goal of which is to support diversity in the world. The Kellogg Company works to increase the charitable donations annually to support the development of the US communities and to provide assistance for the global charitable projects.

Conclusion

Diversity is typical for the majority of companies today, especially when companies are multinational ones. The Kellogg Company is one of the leading food producers in the world that has chosen diversity and inclusiveness as the key principles according to which both customers and employees are treated. From this point, it is possible to state that Kellogg is an example of a company that promotes diversity to support the community while gaining benefits from focusing on diversity as the corporate strategy. In Kellogg, the focus on the diversity of employees is both a choice and a need. It is important to state that the company has offices and facilities in multicultural environments, and addressing diversity, it works to improve the managerial strategies, to increase performance, and to raise productivity.

Therefore, to address the needs and interests of the diverse workforce, to promote women, to support aged employees, and to improve the teamwork, the Kellogg Company integrates a variety of employment practices that are effective to make the working conditions advantage for all employees. From this point, the business success of the Kellogg Company can be explained with references to the diverse strategies that are actively followed in the organization. To make the environment more supportive for the workers and partners, the Kellogg Company organized groups to protect the employees’ rights, implemented specific HR practices, focused on developing diverse networks, and organized the charitable activities to support diversity in the community.

References

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Kellogg annual report 2013-2014: Diversity and inclusion. (2015). Web.

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