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Workforce Diversity at TOYS 'R' US INC


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Training & Development (HRM) Case Study for work force diversity in TRUI...

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Workforce Diversity at TOYS 'R' US INC

  2. 2. About TOYS ‘R’ US, INC. …… TOYS ‘R’ US, INC. is the world's leading toy and baby products retailer , offering its customers a differentiated shopping experience through its brands. It currently sells a merchandise in nearly 1,550 stores including 847 Toys ’R’ Us and Babies ‘R’ Us. Stores in the United States and nearly 700 international stores in more than 30 countries, consisting of both franchised and licensed outlets. A MESSAGE ON DIVERSITY FROM TOYS“R”US, INC. CHAIRMAN AND CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER, GERALD L. STORCH : Excellence through diversity is more than just a philosophy at Toys“R”Us, Inc. – it is a core component of how we play to win, achieve business results and distinguish ourselves as an employer of choice. Our commitment to diversity includes embracing both similarities and differences in our customers, employees and suppliers. As a company that operates in many different markets worldwide, our employee base includes people of diverse backgrounds, cultures, religions, ages and lifestyles – and we value those differences. We recognize that diversity encourages creativity and innovation, and by taking advantage of a wide variety of perspectives and experiences, we are able to be more creative and ensure we are meeting and exceeding the needs of our customers.
  3. 3. Our performance-based culture encourages open communication and learning from each other, and by sharing our varied experiences, we can collaborate more effectively, which strengthens our ability to succeed. We believe that a great workplace includes colleagues who share their knowledge and experiences, listen actively and demonstrate mutual respect. By cultivating an environment that empowers our employees to incorporate diversity into all aspects of our business, we can continue to create a competitive edge that benefits our customers and supports our mission of being the world’s greatest kids brand Gerald L. Storch Chairman Toys“R”Us, Inc
  4. 4. Evolution of Toys ‘R’ Us, Inc. …… • In 1948, Charles Lazarus, a visionary of his time, started selling baby furniture in a small store of his father, catering to the post-war baby boom era. • Sensing a growing demand for toys, Lazarus added baby toys and toys for older kids into his merchandise and in 1957, opened the first supermarket in the US dedicated solely to toys and kid stuff and named it TOYS ‘R’ US. He took the complete charge of the stores and ran them single –handedly and steered them to profitability. • In 1978, Toys ‘R’ US became a public company - Toys ‘R’ Us, Inc. TRUI was incorporated in the state of Delaware, USA. • Within years TRUI expanded its operations and made its presence felt in various locations. Also TRUI launched many websites to offer a wide range of products like baby furniture, infant care products, clothing, toys, video games, gifts etc. to its customers. Toys ‘R’ Us, Inc. settled the name with a backward ‘R’ . Although the name drew a lot of fire from parents and teachers for the grammatical error, but Lazarus knew that this was surely an attention seeker.
  5. 5. The “R” Team – growing and developing the employees by cultivating a great place to work culture that fosters teamwork and collaboration, is based on trust and respect, draws on the diverse perspectives and experiences of their employees and encourages inclusion of all. “R” VALUES At Toys“R”Us, Inc., it is believed that by being rapid, real, reliable and responsible, they will best serve their customers, employees, shareholders, communities and kids! • Rapid: They believe that speed is a reflection of their culture. Their team is focused and clear with common, user-friendly processes and solutions; fast and urgent in decision-making and speed-to-market; and quick in adapting to change. • Real: Their team is urgent, sincere, authentic, helpful to work with and confident. T hey are “Playing to Win!” • Reliable: Being reliable means working as a team so everything can move faster. They are a company that is dependable, and we produce what we promise. • Responsible: They believe that honesty, integrity and compassion are the foundation upon which they work together and conduct their business. Keeping kids safe is a cornerstone of the brand.
  6. 6. THE WORKFORCE DIVERSIY PROGRAM….. TRUI started its Workforce diversity program in late 1990s. The program was scheduled over three days and was conducted for the mangers who were associated with TRUI for over an year. Life Orientation (LIFO) workshops were aimed at improving the communication skills of the employees, minimize employee resistance, increase acceptance of new ideas, create an open atmosphere and resolve differences. This was done by formulating the communication styles according to the suitability of the employees. The program trained the employees on how to secure support from their superiors/peers/subordinates. With improved communication, the workforce diversity program became easier to implement. The program was taken up in three different sections and each section had its own aims and objectives to improve the workforce diversity: • The initial stage of the program was focused towards ’managing differences’ at the workplace. It was explained that how organizational culture, assumptions and differences can impact the performance of the employees at different levels. The issues affecting women and minorities were also explained. This stage of the program sought to make the employees aware about the various cultural differences and provided them with the skills to manage those differences.
  7. 7. • The second stage of the program focused on the minority employees and how they can adapt their behavior according to the organizational culture without losing out on their uniqueness. • The final stage of the program encouraged the employees to create a positive work environment. The employees were taught to work together with responsiveness, trust and flexibility. • Over the years the program has helped the TRUI reduce its employee turnover and has also given some unexpected boost in terms of internal communication and performance.
  8. 8. WHY WORKFORCE DIVERSITY PROGRAM Workforce diversity program was needed because of the following reasons: • For attracting and retaining talent from diverse sections of the society. • To help the organization smoothly operate in diverse markets. • To help provide the company a competitive advantage in selecting appropriate merchandise • To cater to the different needs of diverse customer base. • To help improve employee morale and also help the employees build strong relationships with each other. • To incorporate dynamism in the organization and develop a congenial environment for growth. • To encourage fair and equal treatment to minorities and women and their inclusion into the workforce. • To create a work atmosphere based on understanding, trust and cooperation and pull down the attrition rate.
  9. 9. BRAIN CHURNING SESSION Q1. Was it necessary for TRUI to include diversity training in its training program? A. Yes, It was necessary for TRUI to include diversity training in its training program due to factors which were company specific as well as industry related . TRUI had started understanding the advantages that a diverse workforce can provide in customer service. • Also TRUI was facing high level of employee turnover, affecting the productivity and performance of the organization and also pushed the costs up. Workforce diversity program would make the organization more aware about the fact that employee are representative s of different cultures and thus, a formal training regarding the same would help the employee and the company blend in well together. • They realized that a diverse and trained workforce would provide different skills required to deal with the challenges in the diverse markets. • TRUI was a signatory of ‘Fairshare’, an initiative of NAACP, and thus they had to commit with the cause of equality and indiscrimination with colored people. • TRUI wanted to make its workforce more diverse to represent the changing trends in cultures and gain the trust of minorities. All of these reasons gave opportunities of advancement to women and minorities in TRUI, thus the company could generate a goodwill.
  10. 10. Q2. Do you think TRUI succeeded in its efforts to train its employees on diversity issues because it included LIFO to improve the lines of communication among its employees? A. Yes, TRUI succeeded in its efforts to train its employees on diversity issues. LIFO was an important part of the training program because it aimed at improving the communication skills of the employees, to create an open atmosphere for working, resolve differences etc. Communication skills are something in which every employee needs to be perfect as it forms the basis of an employee personality. If an employee is able to communicate well then all the hurdles are easily solved. These skills are as important as much as the other business skills are. They are important not only for success but also for adapting to the changes in the business environment. They help in explaining the employees what is happening and to motivate them to work. The employees must be able to express their ideas verbally. The program also focused on creating a positive work environment for its employees. It is important as it increases the work productivity there is peace and harmony in the organization, the employees are comfortable with each other and are able to share their views and experiences. Therefore the LIFO program was very much needed to train its employees on diversity issues.
  11. 11. Q3. Do you think diversity training is suitable only in workplaces where there is a diverse set of employees? Or do you think that it can be included at all companies because of the fact that every employee is unique and requires to be trained to deal with differences with his peers/superiors/subordinates? A. No, diversity is not only suitable in workplaces where there is a diverse set of employees. It can be included at all companies because apart from people adjusting with various kinds of cultures or religion of people, they also need to adjust to different people’s age, personality, attitudes, skill set, knowledge. The focus of workplace diversity now lies on the promotion of individuality within an organization, acknowledging that every person can bring something different to the table. There are various opinions, approaches and perspectives of people from different backgrounds. By promoting workplace diversity the company becomes attractive because it is open to new ideas which many people may appreciate. Conducting diversity training would help employees learn and deal with the differences with his/her peers/subordinates. Also this can benefit the organization as a whole, as happy, satisfied and friendly employees working unitedly in a congenial work environment can contribute better to the company's profits and success.
  12. 12. TO END… diversity training is an effective tool to train the employees to accept and appreciate the diverse needs, skills, talents and contributions of their coworkers. At the same time, recognize their similarities. Success can be achieved in diversity initiatives if companies follow a systematic and methodological way of conducting such a program. • For effectiveness, the program can begin with ‘positioning’ of the organization to ensure the complete commitment of the top mgmt. and to check the readiness and ability of the organization to hold such a program. • Then it can move to ‘ designing and implementation’ of the diversity program. While designing, it should take care of the necessary elements for building a diverse workforce. • Lastly, for a training program to be successful , the results should be continuously monitored and fixing accountability with suitable managers/supervisors for proper follow-up.
  13. 13. Presented by : Sheryl Mehra Kritika Ghai Vibhuti Goel Promita Majumdar