7CO01 Assignment Example

Unit Code and Title – 7CO01 – Work and working lives in a changing business environment.

Assessment questions

Question 1 (AC1.1)

To what extent do you agree with the view that the trend towards greater globalisation has peaked and that its extent will decline in the next few years? Assess in what major ways a retreat from globalisation would affect employment markets in your country?

Question 2 (AC1.2)

It is commonly argued that developments in the field of information technology will soon create machines with ‘general artificial intelligence’ that are able to do anything the human brain can do, including generating new scientific knowledge. Critically evaluate the ways in which this development will affect employment in your industry or sector? Justify your answer with at least ONE example.

Question 3 (AC1.3)

Explain why the population in most countries is ageing rapidly. Illustrating your answer with examples, evaluate how this trend is creating challenges for people professionals in organisations.

Question 4 (AC1.4)

Over time, across the world, societies are becoming more affluent, but also more unequal. To what extent do you agree with the view that employment practices are the cause of these trends? Justify your answer.

Question 5 (AC2.1)

In what ways are developments in technology currently affecting the management of people within your organisation, or one that is familiar to you, and your own work as a people professional? Illustrating your answer with TWO distinct examples, evaluate the major advantages and disadvantages of these developments.

Question 6 (AC2.2)

In recent years governments have raised the ‘education leaving age’ and have brought in incentives to encourage employers to invest more money in training and development. Assess the purpose of these strategies and evaluate how successful they have been. Justify your answer.

Question 1 (AC1.1)

From the research detailed below, there is evidence to suggest that the trend towards greater globalism has peaked and will decline in the next few years. Brexit formally occurred on 31st January 2020, which brought significant changes to the UK’s trade relationship with the EU and has had implications for global trade dynamics, (International Trade Council 2023) along with a stop to free movement, EU citizens migrating to the UK are now subject to more restrictive immigration rules than they were prior to Brexit (Cuibus, M.V. (2023). Shortly after Brexit commenced, Covid-19 Pandemic followed in the UK from March 2020. Whilst Brexit reintroduced trade barriers, Covid introduced border closures and confinement measures which restricted trade further, (World Health Organisation 2020). With both Brexit and Covid, this forced organisations who rely heavily on overseas trade/imports to refocus due to ongoing disruption to their supply chains (Simola 2021). On 24th February 2022, Russia invaded Ukraine. Since this invasion, this has further raised the prospects of stagflation, and is likely to have a significant impact on the UK economy, with higher commodity prices and trade spill overs, (Patel 2022).

Further evidence that suggests that the trend towards greater globalism has peaked and will decline, from January 2024, changes to the Immigration Policy will take effect, which is a further build on the restrictive immigration rules since Brexit. These changes include Social care workers not being allowed to bring dependants such as their partners and children on their visa (Home Office, 2023). This change is expected to mean approximately 300,000 people who would have been previously eligible to come to the UK, will not be able to once the changes to the Immigration Policy take effect, (Home Office 2023).

These changes to the Immigration Policy will greatly impact the employment markets within the UK. In 2015 statistics show specifically in Greater London, this area is particularly reliant on migrant care workers with nearly 3 in 5 of its adult social care workforce (59%) born abroad, Franklin, B. and Brancati, C. (2015). In addition to this, the health and care industries faced significant staff shortages in 2023, in the year ending March 2023, the UK immigration system admitted an unprecedented number of overseas Health and Care workers, this number made up the greater part of skilled worker entry visas (Sumption and Strain-Fajth, 2023).

It is evident from the research presented that due to the high amount of migrant workers within the care sector, moving forward this could negatively impact on recruitment within the care sector as the change in immigration policy will limit the talent pool, there will be a huge skills gap. Due to this change in talent pool, this could positively impact on employment rates within the UK as this change in policy could force the Government to support skills development schemes within the care sector. A recent example of the Government being forced to support a skills development scheme is within the green sector, investment has been made to address specific skills required within this sector due to a shortage (Gov.uk, 2023). This could then decrease UK unemployment figures if there were more development opportunities for new and for existing staff so that they remain engaged and stay within roles.

The extensive impact of the Covid Pandemic has been shown to have changed both employees and businesses attitudes towards ‘traditional’ ways of working i.e., the 9-5, rush hour commutes or being physically present at an office (Bao, 2022).

The legislative public health and safety measures introduced under the Coronavirus Act, 2020 along with ‘best practice’ guidance in some cases forced businesses to think outside of the box, the Pandemic event had the real potential to permanently reshape future ways of working, brining in the potential for wider accessibility to roles i.e., due to location.

Office of National Statistics (ONS) data show that in February 2022, almost half (47%) of those who worked from home in some capacity reported that it improved well-being, in addition to this more than three-quarters (78%) of those who worked from home in some capacity, said that being able to work from home gave them an improved work-life balance, Mutebi, N. and Hobbs, A. (2022). Improved work-life balance and better well-being can add to increased employee engagement, which impacts on performance and productivity. In addition to this employee engagement has a positive impact on retention, Engage for Success (2021), which positively impacts on employment market within the UK..

Since the pandemic, research shows in 2023, almost two thirds of jobseekers are seeking fully remote roles (Sriganthan, 2023). The pandemic prompted a rapid shift to remote working, and though many have returned to the office, ONS data suggests more than one in five workers now have a hybrid work setup – and many people are seeking such roles, Morrin, S. (2022).

Further research has shown, three quarters (77 per cent) of employees would actively look for a new job or be willing to consider one if their company’s flexible work policies were to be reversed after the covid pandemic, a study has found, (Mayne 2023). This can have a negative impact on the employment market, as there are roles within certain industries that cannot be completed remotely, thus having an impact on recruitment within these (Arunprasad et al 2022).

During Covid Organisations were forced to be more flexible on working location due to the Health and Safety advice in place and limiting people within the workplace at one time, so companies were able to source candidates from a much wider talent pool as they didn’t need to complete a lengthy commute 5 days per week, Jagger, T. (2022). With many organisations pushing for a return to office this will negatively affect the diversity of the workforce within an organisation as it limits the employment market that you can use (Gibson et al 2023).

This evaluation provides support for the argument that the trend towards globalisation has peaked and that its extent will decline in the next few years. Over the past 5 years there have been significant changes in relation to our trade relationship outside of the UK and the impact on UK Supply Chains, from the introduction of Brexit, Covid and from Russia invading Ukraine. With these occurring, it has already made businesses refocus due to ongoing disruption to their supply chains and increases in costs. Furthermore with the amendments of the Immigration Policy from January 2024, this will again push businesses to have a more insular approach when it comes to sourcing their talent as they will be restricted by Policy.

Recent years have witnessed a sliding down of globalisation phenomena as significant events such as the marked initiation of BREXIT processes, the outbreak of COVID-19, and increasingly tense geopolitics came into being, significantly impacting trade activities and immigration policy. This essay is devoted to analysing the extent of job markets due to the retreat from globalisation, taking account of advantages and disadvantages, and whether the trend has peaked and is going to decrease or not.

The emigration over the past ten years and the loss of talent will inevitably affect the education system due to a limited number of admissions. Retreating from globalisation is almost always associated with a harsher immigration policy, as was the case with the Brexit referendum and the aftermath of modifying the UK’s immigration regulations. By prohibiting the social care employees from being accompanied by dependants, such policy is construed as a general closing out of borders to the specific mantra of the ‘insular approach to recruitment.’ This restriction will narrow the accessible employee resources in migrated-workers-dependent divisions like healthcare and social care. Frankling and Brancati (2015) displayed the critical role of migrant workers within the £35 billion UK social care sector for adults, and only 41 % of them are native British citizens. Due to the immigration restriction, the workforce in the will sector will decline because the number of workers may be less than required, and the effectiveness of provided care services will be harmed. This incidence of retreat, which results from the pull-back of globalisation, creates obstacles because it does not support businesses that need diversified talent. Besides, the country will face more challenging immigration policies, which will harm non-skilled visas provided for health and social care workers, as was the case in the period between March 2022 and 2023 (Sumption and Strain-Fajth, 2023) and thus increase staffing shortages in critical areas. This issue may also result in difficulty for business owners in recruiting and training new personnel for these industries. It could lead to disruption in service delivery and escalate the labour market problems.

Another critical impact of retreating globalisation is the chance for the nature of jobs and labour markets to change. During the COVID-19 pandemic, remote work has resulted in new work environments and commuting patterns being crown. Workers noted that they perceived more psychological health and career satisfaction in their remote work setup alone (Mutebi and Hobbs, 2022); therefore, there is a growing need for this work arrangement. Nevertheless, a U-turn of flexible work rules post-corona can trigger unhappiness among employees since research reveals that many staff will unquestionably prefer finding new job opportunities if flexible work methods are denied (Mayne, 2023). This finding implies that the organisations that return to working attitudes and practices they had pre-pandemic could suffer from the erosion of job satisfaction and the rise of employee turnover.

Besides, many job seekers anticipate that the movement to in-office work will curtail workforce diversity since remote work attracts more skilled workers (Hill, 2022). Companies lose the chance to capture and retain the diversity they need to grow if they focus only on the office paths, thus limiting spaces for equal development and innovation.

Moving away from globalisation could result in skills reduction alongside labour niches in particular sectors. Implementing stricter immigration policies and the limitation of labour across borders could decrease the available talent pool, mainly in entities heavily dependent on migrant employees (). This can cause difficulties attracting top talent, impacting service delivery’s efficiency and quality. Nonetheless, retreating from globalisation could symbolise the regeneration of local sectors and the generation of employment opportunities (Hill, 2022). Domestic enterprises could potentially develop their operations and recruit local workers by reducing dependence on foreign labour and supply chains. This could raise economic growth and employment rates since the resources are reallocated for domestic manufacturing capacity enhancement (Peng, 2022). However, individuals should deem it essential to contemplate the possible demerits in this circumstance. High protectionism and an emphasis on the indigenous sectors might lead to high production costs and inefficiencies, adversely affecting global competitiveness and consumer welfare (Hill, 2022). Retreating from globalisation can hamper knowledge sharing and international collaboration, impeding technical progress and innovation in home industries.

Overall, retreating from globalisation means that multiple facets of employment will take a pounding of all sorts. Tighter control of immigration policy also limits the potential of the target community to access a wide variety of competencies, thus identifying a solution to the skills gap in critical sectors. Besides the fact that working patterns transform into the one world programmed by the fear of coronavirus, there is a new trend in organisations that emerges from global events and may influence employee satisfaction and diversity. Some individuals could argue that these alterations are fluctuating reactions to particular events, but the general effect shows a more significant tendency toward deglobalisation. Notably, the future course of globalisation has complexities and is impacted by many social, economic and geopolitical elements. This is a suggestion that the trend of rising globalisation has reached its most significant point and is expected to drop in future, resulting in employment market alterations.

Question 5 (AC2.1)

Within Organisation x, recent developments of technology have affected the management of people and the role of the people professional. Organisation x is a hierarchically structured organisation within the Food Manufacturing industry, that employs over 2,200 colleagues across 7 manufacturing sites and head office. Within Organisation x at site a, which is the company’s second largest manufacturing site, where there are approximately 600 colleagues. Automation, artificial intelligence (AI), constantly evolving software and applications are just some of the technology that is changing the way we work, CIPD (2023a).

One of the most recent developments within organisation x, which has affected the management of people, has been changes to the recruitment system to incorporate AI. Major changes of this transformation include automating of replies to applicants, analysing of CVs and the access of better quality data.

For people professionals within organisation x this transformation with technology has enabled recruitment to evolve from a HR venture to more of a strategic concern for the leadership team which is critical for organisational success (Black and Van Esch 2020). Another way in which the use of AI in recruitment has affected the work of a people professional, is it has generated better quality data that can be used to allow for more strategic thinking (Sithambaram and Tajudeen 2022). Quality data is key to allow people professionals make better decisions that will affect longer term decisions (Guest and Conway 2011).

With the developments in recruitment software within organisation x, It has provided opportunities to streamline and to automate some of the recruitment and selection tasks that were previously the responsibility of humans before Eubanks, B (2018), therefore providing hiring managers with more time to spend on value added tasks, due to tasks such as screening and assessment decision-making processes and procedures becoming faster and efficient, which has been a major advantage, (Van Esch & Black et al, 2019). Another advantage of the developments in the recruitment software within organisation x, has ensured candidates are not waiting for replies as they were previously, as replies are automated, this provides a better experience for the candidates which can greatly impact on their application decision (Ore and Sposato 2022). Research by Meshram (2023) also supports these advantages, specifically, the use of AI allowing more meaningful initial connections with candidates due to the speed of responses. Pandey, Balusamy and Chilamkurti (2023) are also in agreement with this as they believe it also enhances the candidate experience.

Hunkenschroer and Luetge (2022) highlight the ethical concerns of AI-enabled recruitment, as AI removes human bias which is an advantage, a disadvantage of the use of AI is this can develop algorithms based on information that it has been provided with, which can also lead to bias. Amazon discovered this issue in 2015 as their recruitment system had bias towards women, (Martin, 2022). Chen (2023) states for Artificial Intelligence to work effectively and prevent bias, it requires a high quality set of data initially, which organisations do not tend to have prior to the change, so stresses that this needs to be monitored. Kyriakidou (2023), also highlights this concern of potential bias of AI by using historical data and suggests regular testing should be done to prevent bias.

Another development within organisation x has been to replace machinery on selected production lines with robots which remove manual repetitive tasks for the workforce with a view to enhance production.

For people professionals in organisation x this development in technology highlights the need for workforce planning, to understand the future demand of people and the skills that will be required for the organisation, (Erro-Garcé and Aramendia-Muneta 2023). Once Workforce planning has been completed, this will then feed into other key areas for people professionals to review such as organisational design, retention planning and learning and development (CIPD 2023b). In addition to this it is also important for people professionals in organisation x to support with the implementation of this development in technology, as it is a substantial change, it is important for the communication to be right to remove resistance to the change (Pollak et al, 2020).

With this development of replacing machinery on selected production lines, advantages of this have been greater levels of production on the production lines where the robots have been installed, due to minimising the rate of human mistakes, which are more likely to occur when completing repetitive tasks, Nadikattu, A. (2021). In addition to this, Similarly to research conducted by Pellegrino et al (2017) as well as Klenert et al (2022) within the manufacturing industry, due to the greater levels of production, organisation x has not seen a decrease within employment, as colleagues have been able to be displaced to other areas of the factory. Research by Dixon, J et al (2021), also suggests that robots in the workplace are related more to improving product and service quality, rather than decreasing headcount.

Whilst it is positive organisation x has been able to sustain headcount levels by displacing colleagues, this can also be viewed as a disadvantage, as not everyone wishes to develop within their roles, or likes change which can cause frustration and uncertainty for the colleague affected, which can lead to performance management processes (Nadikattu, 2021). Mirbabaie et al (2021) also identifies AI threats in the workplace, which include changes to work and loss of status and/or position.

Similarly, to changes with organisation x recruitment system, due to robots not having a human thought process, it’s inevitable that they will come with a period of adjustment, due to machines lacking creativity and only being able to perform functions based on commands, (Nadikattu, 2021). Therefore, if there is an issue, robots are not always capable of matching the human brain’s influence, which can be perceived as a disadvantage (Doya 2022).

Due to this it can lead to frustration from colleagues operating these robots, which can lead to an increase in stress related absences unfortunately in some cases, which organisation x has seen. (Pollak et al, 2020).

It is evident from the research presented that recent developments with Automation and AI has benefits such as reducing non value added activities and supporting organisation x meet supplier demands, which has been supported by the review of the literature from Eubanks, B (2018), Meshram (2023), Nadikattu, A. (2021) and Klenert et al (2022). However, as it is in its infancy, precaution should be taken as it still requires human involvement at this stage to ensure efficiencies as underpinned by O Kyriakidou (2023) and Chen (2023).

Technological advancements, mainly robotics and artificial intelligence (AI), alter how corporations manage individuals. These technologies are transforming conventional HR processes, encompassing employee engagement, performance management and recruitment. As a people professional in the technology industry in the UK, I am observing the significant impact of technology on retention, talent acquisition and development. AI alternatives optimise administrative activities, while robots automate monotonous operations, enabling organisations to dwell on strategic aims and enhancing employee preference.

The AI application in the recruitment system has significantly shifted hiring procedures. Replacement of personnel with machines responding to candidates and processing CVs lessens the time needed and increases decision-making effectiveness (Zhuryk, 2023). As a people professional, I believe this technological update has converted the HR function from a routine to a strategic decision-making power for organisational success. AI for recruitment is aimed at enhancing a more strategic way of talent acquisition that, in turn, improves the current practice to provide decision-makers with better-quality data (Harmon, 2023)—automating tasks like screening and assessment preservers the time and resources, which helps hirers to more jobs that require insight, advanced thought, and specialist knowledge. When automated replies are sent, this eliminates the risk of application abandonment and prospective employees having a great experience, which may even lead to boosting application rates (Bishop, 2024). Nonetheless, AI models may learn bias that exists in historical data, which may further deepen the institutional discrimination in the recruitment process. In addition, through being deprived of the personal touch and a broader spectrum of understanding of the interactions between people, non-genuine processes may cause a disaffection effect on the candidates, distorting their perception of the organisation.

Robotics is another technological advancement applied in production processes. It involves the machines’ placement on some production lines, which are used to automate routine manual jobs. This procedure clearly tests the ability to forecast and implement the change management practice (Vandana, 2021). AI as robotics boosts productivity efficiency, checks the errors made by human beings, and speeds up repetitive tasks; all of these can lead to higher output on production lines (Vandana, 2021). Despite the automation, the organisation has been keeping the employment levels where they should be, associating employees with different departments and preventing the workforce from being displaced. Nevertheless, implementing automation may lead to employees` resistance and uncertainty and thus, one may expect low mood and vulnerabilities in production (TheKnowledgeAcademy, 2024). Artificial intelligence (AI) in robots cannot substitute human creative thinking and adaptability capabilities, which create challenges in handling sophisticated assignments and changing products from demand (Ablison, 2023).

In conclusion, technological advancement using AI and robotics will have advantages and disadvantages depending on how organisations appreciate the social effects. On the one hand, these innovations are liberating and enable new approaches, while on the other hand, they are raising, for example, algorithms’ biasedness and change reluctance. As a people professional, technicalities are a part of this business, so I should be in a position to find that balance incorporating tech and human factors to advance productivity.

Question 10 (AC3.2)

Resistance to change can be defined as an individual or group engaging in acts to block or disrupt an attempt to introduce change (George, S 2023). Taylor and Perkins (2021) suggest resistance occurs as the change process usually creates winners, people who will gain from the change, and losers, people who will be disadvantaged from the change. Buchannan and Huczynski (2019) suggest the main sources of resistance to change are self-interest and misunderstanding. Main causes of resistance to change are wanting to protect the status quo, having a fear of the unknown, information provided regarding the change, either the amount of the information provided or the timing of this and a lack of trust.

Lack of trust can originate from relationships with management. Oreg (2006) discovered that a lack of trust in management was notably associated with resistance to organisational change. Furst and Cable (2008) found that the management strategy and their influence on resistance to change was dependent upon on the supervisor-employee relationship. Similarly within Stanley et al. (2005) research, he discovered employees who had doubt about the viability of achieving change, was linked to their perceptions of management’s abilities to achieve change.

Within Organisation x a restructure has resulted in the introduction of new roles. To support with the introduction of the first role, drop-in sessions were arranged, where colleagues could discover more information on this role. During the drop-in sessions the manager running these sessions provided two different responses to the same question asked by colleagues regarding the responsibilities of the role. Within this situation it would have been better to communicate nothing than communicate information that was incorrect, Dennis, Andrew and Garman (2010) discovered within their research. The intention of inviting colleagues along to understand and participate has many benefits such as buy in of the change as Coyle-Shapiro, (1999) suggests, however due to the incorrect and conflicting information that has been provided to colleagues during these sessions, it has had the adverse effect as Mishra and Spreitzer (1998) highlight, which can also impact greatly on trust and credibility of the people managing the change, which in turn causes the resistance to the change. Research suggests that the role was not successfully introduced in this example due to the incorrect information provided on the role, which then impacted on trust within the managers leading the change.

To address this resistance to change, people professionals can provide support to the managers leading the change as Doeze Jager, Born and van der Molen (2021) suggest as they highlight the importance of their roles within the change process to acquire trust from colleagues, one way they can do this is by being knowledgeable in the subject area of change. Within Organisation x agreement on the role requirements would have been beneficial prior to the drop in sessions. In addition to this, the questions asked during the drop in sessions could have been captured and then circulated which would have alleviated further confusion by doing this colleagues feel that the organisation cares about them and can be trusted (Coyle-Shapiro, 1999). People Professionals can also coach the managers if they do not know the answer to say this and not provide an answer that is incorrect as Cameron and Green (2009) advises which is in agreement with Dennis, Andrew and Garman (2010).

Fear of the unknown can cause a big resistance to change. Weeks et al (2004) suggests people can feel that change entails dangers and therefore do not support it, Eagle (1999) also agrees with this, as he believes that due to peoples preconception of the change potentially involving pain, anxiety and danger, these are also reasons why people do not adapt to change. In addition to this, since many changes are unpredictable in nature, changes within a company can often signal the emergence of turbulence as soon as they are proposed. Therefore, in time, the employee learns to associate negative tension states such as fear and frustration with the introduction of change, Mealiea, (1978, quoted in Appelbaum et al 1998).

Within Organisation x the HR and Payroll system were changed. The impact of this has allowed colleagues to be able to view their payslips online, update their own details on the HR system and request their own annual leave. To implement this change successfully, the timescales of when the system was going to be introduced and the benefits of the system were well communicated from an early stage. One to one sessions with all colleagues were arranged to provide the necessary training and support. This approach is also in line with Schein (1996) suggestion of training, involvement of the leaner to reduce learner anxiety to therefore increase a persons psychological safety to minimise resistance to change. After the implementation of this change, the people professionals within Organisation x also provided support groups for colleagues which is another recommendation of Shein (1996), to fully embed the change. Bridges (1991) also agrees that it is key to reduce anxieties during this period and frequent communication can help support this.

In the early planning stages of this change people professionals completed stakeholder mapping within Organisation x which was determined on the level of peoples interest in the change, so the relevant communication could take place, which is key when managing change and resistance as Buchanan, D. and Huczynski, A. (2019) highlighted. Lewis (2006) reported the more information received about the change, the less resistance to the change. Similarly, Wanberg and Banas (2000) study of colleagues experiencing change, discovered colleagues who were more open to change, received more information about the change than those who resisted it. This allowed buy in of the change from an early stage.

Research suggests the implementation of the HR & Payroll system within Organisation x was successful, due to the level of communication, support and training that was provided.

Fear of the unknown and lack of trust are two of the main causes of resistance to change amongst colleagues. From the review of the literature, it can be determined that people professionals can help to minimise resistance to change by taking a proactive approach to support with communication, training and involving the people who the change is going to effect which is underpinned by research from Shein (1996) Bridges (1991) Coyle-Shapiro, (1999) and Cameron and Green (2009).

By supporting these key things, it can increase the likelihood of achieving and maintaining successful change.

Resistance to change in corporations could arise from various sources, impacting the successful execution of new projects. The significant reasons for resistance encompass self-interests, fear of the unknown, and distrust in leadership. These causes could appear differently, establishing hindrances for entity transformational initiatives. People professionals are at the core of addressing opposition and helping in the successful change management procedure.

When individuals develop distrust in leadership, they resist change. Workers who perceive entity management as untrustworthy and unreliable could resist entity reforms following their scepticism regarding the reasons following the efforts and uncertainty of their efficiency (Olmstead, 2022). Creasey (2022) posits that change and lack of trust in a corporation’s management are significantly linked. People professionals could play a vital role in establishing credibility and trust in an entity to address this problem. For instance, organisation X arranged drop-in sessions during the restricting stage to inform about implementing new positions. Conflicting information from the supervisors during such meetings could be more apparent, and trust could be improved.

Addressing these challenges requires professionals to assist and counsel the managers participating in the change projects. People professionals could boost credibility and trust by ensuring that the managers are well-informed on the alterations and capable of efficient communication (Paycor, 2023). Consistent and straightforward communication regarding the changes, coupled with transparent communication approaches, could aid in the restoration of trust among the employees. In their research, Doeze Jagerm Brn and van der Molen (2021)highlight the importance of trust within the leadership team in decreasing change resistance.

Additionally, employees usually oppose change for fear of the unknown. Change frequently encompasses doubts regarding the future, possible routine interruptions and worries concerning personal results (Kanter, 2024). Workers could resist change since they have concerns about ways it will impact their general welfare, employment stability and positions. Weeks et al. (2004) research indicates that individuals perceive change as risky and could oppose it to evade potential dangers.

Alleviating fear of the unknown would require professionals to dwell on minimising anxiety and uncertainty among employees (Change Strategists, 2024). Organisation X implemented a new payroll and HR system that substantially changed workers’ daily schedules. To decrease the resistance, the people professional staff explained the system’s benefits and conducted thorough training sessions to acquaint the employees with the new procedures. It organised personal support sessions to address particular concerns and reduce change anxieties.

Moreover, engaging the workers in the change procedure could enhance ownership and reduce resistance. By seeking responses, addressing worries, and actively engaging employees in decision-making, people professionals could empower the workers and instil a sense of ownership over the changes (Change Strategists, 2024). Schein’s (1996) research highlights the significance of training and involvement in reducing anxiety and enhancing psychological safety when transitioning.

In conclusion, resistance to change among the workers could be caused by a lack of trust alongside fearing the unknown. People professionals have a critical role in managing resistance by establishing trust, supporting managers and minimising uncertainty through involvement and clear communication. People professionals could assist in successful change management procedures and contribute to corporate success by proactively addressing resistance variables and adopting approaches to mitigating them.

Question 16 (AC4.4)

Based on the findings below, it could be argued Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) efforts within Organisation x have initially been impactful, however it would appear there is an opportunity to do more in regard to EDI.

Equality is the belief that regardless of a persons background or experiences, everyone should have the same opportunities in life, such as access to treatment for example (Ali, 2022). Diversity recognises and celebrates these differences in people, whereas Inclusion recognises people as individuals and encourages for these differences to be celebrated. (CIPD, 2023c). Together Equality, Diversity and Inclusion supports workplaces to create an environment where each person feels that they can achieve their full potential and each person feels that they belong. (Ali, 2022).

In Organisation x, significant changes within the recruitment process have occurred, with the view to be more impactful in relation to EDI. One way Organisation x has attempted to increase its efforts within this area, is by updating their careers page with inclusive imagery and diversity cues.

Organisation X has seen a slight increase of diverse applications for their roles advertised since updating the imagery and messaging on the career website. Flory et al (2018) results also suggest a positive correlation between updating website content to demonstrate an organisations commitment to EDI and job applications, he discovered an increase in job applications of underrepresented groups to 48.4%, this same underestimated group currently account for 6% of leadership roles within the organisation detailed within the study. Walker et al (2012) also found diversity cues on recruitment websites were important, as applicants generally would retain more information regarding the organisation, especially those from minority backgrounds, which led to an increase in job applications, Jonsen et al (2016) study also supports these findings on diversity cues and imagery, however both researchers highlight this will only be impactful to people if they feel represented, so its important to ensure that all inclusive imagery and diversity cues are inclusive to all, which can be challenging. Another concern highlighted by Rodani (2015) diversity can be easier to depict on organisational websites, whereas inclusion is not, this comes from interactions with the organisation after the job application is submitted.

Whilst the studies from Flory et al (2018) and Walker et al (2012) have found a positive impact on changes to careers pages on organisational websites and an increase in the number of job applications received from underrepresented groups, it is important to note, this is the first step in the recruitment process as Rodani (2015) highlights, inclusion is also important. Alburo et al (2020) emphasises the focus on EDI needs to continue once a person is employed, throughout the whole employee life cycle, such as the onboarding process, as longevity within a role is dependent upon if a person feels safe and is fairly treated, Borry, Getha-Taylor and Holmes (2021) also agree that processes such as recruitment and onboarding should be reviewed to encourage a culture which generates a sense of belonging. Downey et al (2014) also stresses unless a person feels high levels of inclusion once in a workplace, employee attrition is likely to occur. It would appear from supporting research, Organisation x has made a positive step in terms of updating their company website to demonstrate more inclusively imagery, however it would appear important to remember this is just one part of EDI efforts within recruitment. For Organisation x to be more impactful within the area of recruitment, it would be beneficial to review the whole recruitment process as Alburo et al (2020) and Borry, Getha-Taylor and Holmes (2021) suggest.

Another commitment to EDI Organisation x has made, is the celebration of events such as religious events and national celebrations to promote awareness of EDI. By celebrating relevant religious events that mean something to all colleagues, this can greatly impact on inclusivity, (Etzioni and Bloom 2004). Kuknor and Kumar (2024) speak of the importance of awareness and training regarding EDI and the benefits of this, such as minimising negative behaviours that can occur from discrimination, which impacts on peoples feeling of belonging. By raising awareness this can have a positive impact on measures such as engagement survey results which Daniels-Osaze et al (2021) noted within their studies, as scores were significantly higher the following year after EDI training had taken place. It is important to also note, to have an effective EDI strategy, there needs to be more consideration than just the legal compliance, an intersectional approach will add the most value (Ali 2022).

Rajagopal and Provodnikova (2022) also highlights the importance of using an intersectional approach as this will support in reducing inequalities within an organisation due to getting a deeper understanding of the workforce along with the use of data such as ethnicity and religion. Further research by Buitendijk, Curry and Maes (2019) also highlights the importance of using data such as feedback from focus groups to have an intersectional approach in relation to EDI. Within both studies detailed, a clear improvement on engagement and the feeling of belonging have been evident within the results of taking a intersectional approach.

However, it is noted that there is extremely limited research at present based on intersectionality. This is due to most studies specifically obtaining information on one protected characteristic plus another, i.e gender and race (Rajagopal and Provodnikova 2022). Even with the current limited research available, with the studies noted into intersectionality from Rajagopal and Provodnikova (2022) and Curry and Maes (2019) and the use of data such as employee statics such as race, religion and gender this approach could be used by Organisation x aswell as information from focus groups so that the celebration of religious events and national celebrations that are chosen to promote awareness of EDI are the most meaningful ones for the workforce.

In conclusion it would appear that Organisation x initial efforts in regard to EDI have been impactful. In regards to recruitment, studies from Flory et al (2018) and Walker et al (2012) support this statement and in regards to raising awareness of EDI, studies from Kuknor and Kumar (2024) and Etzioni and Bloom (2004),  however there needs to be more thought into both of these initial efforts to make them more impactful as underpinned by research by Alburo et al (2020), Borry, Getha-Taylor and Holmes (2021), Rajagopal and Provodnikova (2022) and Curry and Maes (2019).

Entities aim to promote equality, diversity, and inclusion as fundamental principles to establish an encouraging and just work atmosphere. Equality guarantees that everyone has equal resource access, rights, and chances, irrespective of differences. Diversity appreciates and acknowledges various backgrounds, experiences and opinions that individuals contribute to the workplace. Inclusion entails establishing an environment that fosters appreciation, respect and support for all individuals while embracing and celebrating diversity.

In the financial service industry, my international firm demonstrates its dedication to Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) through solid policies, ethical norms and training programs. It has implemented explicit conduct codes and policies which forbid discrimination and advocate for inclusion and diversity. The company often holds training courses on EDI subjects to raise awareness and promote an inclusive culture among staff.

One EDI project at our firm is the establishment of affinity groups of Employee Resource Groups (ERGs) dedicated to supporting various underrepresented groups. ERGs give workers a networking forum where they can exchange experiences and champion change in an entity (Magazzo, 2024). ERGs have been highly successful in advancing inclusion and diversity, but there are areas which should be improved. ERF’s success could be assessed by its impact on company culture, employee representation and engagement. Catalino et al. (2021) indicate that ERGs can improve employee satisfaction and engagement through professional growth chances and support networks (Personio, 2024). ERGs could encounter hindrances, including the absence of leadership backing, issues in assessing efficiency, and constrained resources.

For the ERGs to be more efficient, our entity should guarantee sufficient support and resources to maintain their activities. Sponsorship and leadership involvement are core ERG sources. By encompassing top executives in ERG activities and ensuring ERG aims are in line with organisational objectives, ERGs could facilitate significant change and enhance workplace culture inclusivity (Catalino et al., 2021). Besides, our firm has included unconscious bias training for staff participating in promotion and recruitment procedures as part of another EDI program. Unconscious bias training is designed to raise awareness of latent biases that could impact decision-making and offer techniques to reduce bias in promotion and hiring choices (Traliant, 2022). This training is highly used in workplaces, but its efficiency remains a subject of contention.

Gino and Coffman (2020) indicate that unconscious bias training on its own may be less successful in changing behaviour or diminishing bias over an extended period. For unconscious bias training to be more efficient, our company should incorporate it into broader inclusion and diversity efforts and offer continuous assistance and reinforcement (Morris-Chott, 2021). Training should be engaging, dynamic and customised to unique corporate circumstances to enhance its efficiency. In addition, our entity could enhance this training by implementing structural interventions, including blind recruiting procedures and diversity programs that target systemic hindrances to inclusivity. The company could achieve permanent change and promote an equity and fairness culture by implementing a holistic inclusion and diversity approach.

Overall, unconscious training and ERGs are valuable EDI projects, but there is potential for enhancing their effectiveness. Our firm may enhance its dedication to inclusion, diversity and equality and establish a more inclusive workplace for all workers by supplying enough resources, receiving leadership backing and incorporating efforts into the comprehensive EDI initiative.

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