Developing ethics and diversity awareness programs domestically can
pose a significant challenge, and adding the global factor creates
a new dimension. Experience with these matters often concentrates
on generational, race, and gender differences. While focusing on
these areas certainly benefits an organization, most of the
traditional models do not apply to other countries.
Determining what topics to discuss is not easy. However, there are
five distinct approaches to help you:
The utilitarian approach supports actions that
produce the greatest good and the least harm.
The rights approach advocates respect and
protection for the individual.
The justice approach believes that all people
should be treated equal.
The common-good approach states that all actions
should contribute to the community.
The virtue approach encourages the individual to
decide what action will contribute to his personal best.
Additionally, consider the following questions when discussing,
designing, or deploying a global program:
- Who will handle the training?
- How do we validate the credibility of the person and the
- How are other companies contributing to diversity in their
- Can the local talent conduct ethics training?
- Are there programs available that can be used as a foundation?
- What metrics will indicate program success or the need for
As you collect the basic items required and investigate the complex
factors that these questions will reveal, you will uncover other
important areas to explore. Every business is different and
presents special circumstances.
Research the shared practices and policies in your
global offices. This could include flexible work hours, competitive
pay practices, developmental opportunities, and how employees
participate in the company's success. Shared policies could include
education assistant programs, domestic partner benefits,
nondiscrimination clauses, and open-door policies.
Read informative articles to keep focused. For
example, the United Nations website addresses ethics and diversity,
including a concept known as world citizenship, which promotes
human honor and dignity, understanding, amity, cooperation,
trustworthiness, compassion, and the desire to serve. This has
created the idea of corporate citizenship. Starting out with what
would make an employee a good corporate citizen is a solid way of
building a strong ethics training or diversity awareness program.
Workforce demographics are changing. This means new issues are
cropping up in ethics training and diversity awareness. Your goal
should be to create an environment that ensures business success
and attracts the best people. A strong stand on ethical issues and
a commitment to diversity can contribute to these goals. You have
the opportunity to effectively impact the global market via careful
research and dedication to appreciating the cultural differences
among the peoples of the world.