Diversity in the Workplace in Practice at Marriott Essay
Diversity in the workplace is an essential function of the modern human resources department of any organization in today’s environment. Organizations that ensure the diversity of their workplace will be more successful than those who don’t. It is very important that today’s organizations are staffed with employees with those who accurately reflect the society as a whole. A recognized leader in this effort is Marriott International. Marriott has a top down approach to workplace diversity that has been a recipe for success from its beginning through is 84 year history up until today.
Marriott has is a world leader in hotels and diversity and that be expressed in this paper. Diversity in the workplace in practice, Marriott International Diversity is an important aspect in today’s workplace in order for the best firms to maintain a competitive advantage. Organizations that employ a variety of people with many different backgrounds that reflect the society as a whole will be more likely to succeed in that society. After all, it is the employees of these organizations who make up the human capital that generates revenue.
At the same time, those employees who are a part of a diverse workforce will benefit from it through experiences that they wouldn’t otherwise have. Employees from diverse backgrounds will be able to share different things and teach each other different things. One very successful international organization that has embraced workplace diversity and has succeeded in practicing it is Marriott International. Marriott International is a worldwide leader in the hospital industry and at the same time a leader in workplace diversity. According to Marriott’s website “Our global workforce mirrors the communities where we live and work every day.
Marriott’s 137,000 employees hail from dozens of nations, speak more than 50 languages and work under the Marriott banner in 70 countries and territories around the world. ”(Marriott International, 2011, para. 1) I have personally experienced the diversity of Marriott’s workforce as both an employee and now as hotel guest. There were many times at the Cambridge Center Marriott where I worked that seemed a little bit more like United Nations meeting rather than just hotel employees congregating. The director of the department where I worked was a prime example of diversity in the workplace himself.
He was an immigrant from the island nation of Cape Verde who spoke six languages, taught history part time at Boston University, and was studying to earn his Ph. D. As an employee I was a member of the hotel’s diversity committee. The committee met weekly to discuss ways to feature the various countries of the employees who worked at the hotel. The cafeteria was decorated with various artwork, maps, flags, and historical facts about the featured country during the month, and a meal featuring food in the style from that country was served in the cafeteria on one day during that month.
Marriott does enjoy celebrating the diversity of its workforce. Marriott’s success in workplace diversity lies in its approach. Marriott does not need to do anything to create a diverse workplace, it just happens naturally through free market forces. There is the exception in which Marriott recruits international students and others as interns to work in the United States to gain experience in the industry.
According the global human resources section of Marriott’s website, this is the full name and description of the program, “The J-1 Exchange Visitor Training Program allows students and non-students from abroad who are currently working or studying in the hospitality field to participate in practical “on-the job” training programs with U. S. Marriott hotels. ”(Marriott International, 2011, p. 1) Marriott has been recognized for its accomplishments in workplace diversity.
Here is just a small sampling of the awards found on the Marriott. com website from the year 2010, “Black Enterprise magazine named Marriott one of the 40 Best Companies for Diversity for the sixth consecutive year. Working Mother ranked Marriott International among the ‘Best Companies for Hourly Workers. DiversityInc ranked Marriott International seventh on its list of Top 50 Companies for Diversity. ”(Marriott International, 2011, para. 1, 6, & 8) Marriott employees also cherish the diversity of the company they work for. Many of them who I’ve interacted with really enjoy working with so many different people from so many different backgrounds.
Those who don’t enjoy working in that type of environment, do not last very long at Marriott. This attitude is comes from the top down at Marriott, beginning with the company’s CEO, J. Willard Marriott Jr. , or as he’s more commonly known, Bill Marriott. He enjoys visiting as many hotels as he can every year. It is not uncommon to find Bill Marriott talking and joking with Spanish speaking employees in Spanish. One of Marriott’s greatest strengths is clearly its diversity. It is not that simple to quantify the overall diversity of an organization, but many of the parts that make up diversity can be quantified.
What is even more difficult is to determine how workplace diversity translates into financial success. While many people may to point to the numbers contained in a company’s annual report, the growth and expansion of a company can sometimes be a more accurate measure of financial success. In the case of Marriott, the sustained growth of the company’s size by the number hotels has grown exponentially in its history. It takes real money to open new hotels not just numbers on an income statement.
According to Marriott’s website, “Marriott International operates more than 2,800 hotels and resorts around the world”. Marriott International, 2011, para. 1) That is a great leap from the modest start as a mom and pop, twelve seat root beer stand in 1927. Marriott has clearer been a leader, an innovator, a winner, and a shining example of how to practice workplace diversity. Marriott is the example of how to practice workplace diversity for the entire business world. Marriott succeeds because of its diversity, not in spite of it. This should be the model for all organizations, at least those with the desire to grow, succeed, and have a stronger workforce.