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Managing and Organizing People

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Leo Ryan

Managing and Organizing People

17 November 2010

Data gathered from a study of reservists who were activated during the spring of 2002, following the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, suggested that the Reservists were concerned about how the effects of their activation affected their civilian employment (Allison-Aipa). Therefore, the purpose of the study was to obtain this information from the civilian employers of these reservists. Most civilian employers who participated in this study were male and working in law enforcement. Fifty-six percent of employers gave consent to be interviewed by telephone. Although supervisors reported difficulties in several areas of operation and aspects of the reservist activation, they still supported the activation of their RC employees and their military mission (Allison-Aipa).

By supporting the mobilized reservists is an ethical decision because it is consistent with fundamental liberties and privileges of individuals. For decision makers are comfortable with utilitarianism because the best interests of the organization and the stockholders can justify these questionable actions. Public concern is all about individual rights and social justice calling for non-utilitarian. This presents a challenge because satisfying individual rights and social justice creates far more ambiguities than the utilitarian effects on profits and the bottom line.

It is no wonder if employees view the unethical treatment of military members by the organization, this might happen to them if they are faced with a family situation that requires the employee to be absent for a period of time. It is this lack of confidence in management and the increasing uncertainty about what is appropriate ethical behavior. Some organizations are responding to unethical behaviors by putting their ethical beliefs in writing and distributing these codes to their employees to help guide them. This study is a significant start to illuminating the important roles that both reservist employees and their civilian employers play in homeland defense.

A successful reserve component program depends upon recruiting, retention, and volunteering. An important factor in sustaining these key personnel flows is employer support of National Guard and reserve components of the Selected Reserve - or at least lack of employer hostility to employee participation in the reserve. The average number of days that the employee must participate in the Reserves is 45 per year (Hansen). There is a greater intensity of the use of significant numbers of Selected Reserve personnel in the Global War on Terrorism. This also raises a question about the impact on employers to support their employees who are in the Guard and Reserve.

It seems reasonable to expect that employees' absent from the workplace for long periods of time might impose financial costs on the employers or even cause moral problems among co-workers. It is easy to imagine an employer finding a reason not to promote a reservist-employee when the heart of the matter is the inconvenience of the employee's Reserve participation. It is just as easy to imagine an employer asking a job candidate about his or her membership in the Reserve component, expressing great verbal support but subsequently finding an unrelated reason for not hiring the candidate. These types of actions can have consequences.

The Department of Justice is suing Wal-Mart for failing to reinstate a cashier who was an Air Force reservist and United Parcel Service for eliminating the job of another Air Force reservist while he was on active duty.

How big is the problem? No one knows. The Government Accountability Office (GAO) says that there have been more than 16,000 complaints both formal and informal filed between 2004 and 2006 (Carol).

Experts think that the number should be much higher. There are four government agencies that are in charge of assistance, enforcement and investigating complaints are doing a much better job handling the complaints. Work place conflicts are not productive, these conflicts or interact with customers, and hurt feelings and the anger always lingers long after the conflict is over. Conflicts produce stress, which can make people to become more close minded and adversarial. Conflicts reduce trust, respect and cohesion.

The destructive consequences of conflict on the organization breeds discontent, which acts to dissolve common ties and eventually leads to the destruction of the organization or at least reduce organization effectiveness. Extreme conflict can bring organizational functioning to a halt and threaten its survival. Among the more undesirable consequences are hampered communications, reductions in cohesiveness.

Are companies being unethical, are they overlooking what Reservists and the National Guard's diversity, or do they just want to overlook employee's rights? Do they choose to discriminate against that employee because they are affiliated with the National Guard or Reserve? Do they want to overlook the diversity of those potential employees whom have affiliation with the Reserve?

Diversity management makes everyone more aware of and sensitive to the needs and differences of others. Teams of individuals who are highly intelligent, conscientiousness, and interested in teamwork are more effective. Regardless of the composition of the group, differences can be leveraged to achieve superior performance. Groups of diverse employees will be much more effective if the leaders can show how members have a common interest in the group's success.

Having a diverse workforce is a competitive advantage. To attract a diverse workforce, organizations are turning to mentoring as well as educational programs. Although most organizations do not categorize military personnel as a separate culture, some organization's treatment of them can be viewed in this manner. In many respects they are because of their technical skills, leadership training, work ethic and team orientation that employers need. Military personnel are a perfect fit at Advanced Technology Services. At ATS, their workforce is made up of 30% former military or current reservists (Selko).

Diversity does work. Diversity is the exchange of ideas from a diverse workforce that fuels future growth of companies. The concept of diversity encompasses acceptance and respect. It means understanding that each individual is unique, and recognizing our individual differences. These can be along the dimensions of race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, socio-economic status, age, physical abilities, religious beliefs, political beliefs, or other ideologies. It is the exploration

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