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Equality and Diversity at The Workplace; Primark Case Study in the UK

Title: Equality and Diversity at the workplace; a case study of Primark PLC, UK

Abstract

This is a research paper on the research study done on the Primark PLC, UK based firm. It was aimed at establishing the state of equality and diversity at the firm, to ensure that it is functioning optimally. The report contains the contents of the research project in terms of the process taken to develop it, the methodology followed in the preparation for the field study, and the findings arrived at during the process of study. The methodology for undertaking the research process involved the use of various logical and practical methods. Logical premises of thought used are such as the philosophy of positivism. Whereas the more practical methods were such as random sampling, which included the application of tools such as questionnaires and key informant schedules. Data were analyzed using SPSS and Excel software, to produce outputs.

Performance at Primark PLC, UK has been affected by various incidences relating to equality and diversity. Findings indicate various areas of shortfalls with regards to the two ideals, within the firm’s workplace. Issues at Primark PLC, UK vary from gender-based discrimination, discrimination according to social classes, racial discrimination, religious-based discrimination, alongside discrimination based on age and culture. Various recommendations have therefore been proposed, following these findings, and are meant to address the aforementioned issues.

Among the recommendations proposed by the paper is the handling of staff and management carefully through the use of initiatives such as team building activities. Also, the formulation of various policies has been proposed to ensure the practice of equality and diversity in the workplace. Recommendations mentioned above are meant to address the challenges identified at Primark PLC, among them being the employee dissatisfaction with top management and leadership. Also, employees lack confidence in the firm’s general image and feel insecure in terms of their job security due to the inequalities and issues related to diversification.

Introduction

This section is about the background of the study and tries to explain the basic logic and reasoning behind the undertaking of the project for a better understanding of the research purpose.  It introduces the main basis of the research undertaking and the structuring elements of the research project to ensure a smooth transition through the rest of the research contents.

This research project for Primark PLC is based on the title “equality and diversity at the workplace”, it looks to establish the various dynamics of the workplace at the firm. Findings from this research project will help in the identification of the key problem areas in the running of the firm’s day today. Primark PLC’s management will, therefore, benefit greatly from the findings of the research in their attempt to improve their market performance.

It is based upon equality that organizations are getting encouraged to expand and widen their horizon of business (Tatli et al., 2015). It is keeping respect with the organizational equality opportunity that employees feel valued, independent, and recognized within the organizational framework. The possibilities of discrimination are negated in this manner where diversity is welcomed and taken care of through caste, religion, and disability impacts.

Primark PLC, UK has therefore undertaken the initiative of improving the situation within its organization. It is certainly a move to see a change within the industry, and which will ensure continuity of business. An undertaking of research was, therefore, necessary since there was a need for the identification of specific problem areas, which would be beneficial if addressed.

 

Research aims;

It is concerning the present research that specific aim is laid upon the significance of equality and diversity across the workplace in context with Primark PLC, UK. The research, therefore, seeks to establish and identify incidences of a lack of equality and diversity and to address them appropriately.

Research questions:

  • Natural research questions are emerging out concerning the present research issue. They include:
  • How are equality and diversity impactful upon the business organizational paradigm?
  • How does equality create its impactful establishment in the way of gaining optimized diversity within the organization?
  • What are the issues that Primark PLC, UK is facing at the current times concerning equality and diversity matters?
  • In what ways can Primark PLC, UK create overcoming impacts for the challenges faced?

Research Objectives:

  • To create an understanding of the establishment of equality across the structure and function of the business organizations
  • To identify the relevance of diversity getting included within the organization so that an effective business operation can be established
  • To configure the issues identified as challenges within the business organization in the face of equality and diversity
  • To evaluate the recommendations against the policies framework towards Primark PLC, UK

Background of the company

It is concerning the supermarket retail chain operates across international boundaries that elements like equality as well as diversity are most likely to get incorporated. Primark PLC, UK is acknowledged to be the fourth largest supermarket retail chain with its headquarters in the United Kingdom. Creating a huge economic presence with an annual revenue income of 17,262 million pounds Primark PLC contributes generously towards strengthening the GDP by a net income worth of 311 million pounds. Having their stores spread across 498 stores across varied global regions of the world, Primark PLC includes employee supports 110,000 employees from across the world This statistical and empirical background evidence necessitates Primark PLC to encompass the significant elements of equality as well as diversity. Due to the large distribution of employees included within their firms a natural diversity in backgrounds is acknowledged. To substantiate that diversity of the population in terms of employees, clients, and customers, it becomes essential for Primark PLC to equally emphasize the maintenance of equality paradigm across the organizational spectrum.

 

Significance of the study

Equality bears significance in terms of rendering accessibility, availability, and approachability among the workers within the business operative workplace. By taking diversity in those paradigms into consideration, equality is necessary to be observed and maintained effectually.  Organizations like Primark PLC, UK have multidisciplinary actions to play within their supermarket chain of functions (Ali and Konrad, 2017). To understand and reveal the functional paradigm it performs across the international business activities in the global paradigm the present research stands justified. It is depending upon equality the organizational policies and regulations that international practices upon effective global spectrum are effectually established. Creating equality when diversity is embraced on an international level becomes essential within a prospective organization. The research is therefore initiated to shed light upon this attribute.

It is through the diversity acknowledged in a wide range of employees included within the organization that policies and regulations are necessary to be applied. It is within the organizational policy framework that equality is necessary to be implied with natural diversities shall be maintained. There are needs for similar evidence to be implemented throughout Primark PLC.

 

Literature Review

Concept of Diversity and Equality for organizations

It is based upon equality that organizations are getting encouraged to expand and widen their horizon of business (Tatli et al., 2015). It is keeping respect with the organizational equality opportunity that employees feel valued, independent, and recognized within the organizational framework. The possibilities of discrimination are negated in this manner where diversity is welcomed and taken care of through caste, religion, and disability impacts.

Importance of policies related to Diversity and Equality for an organization

When the varied countries are addressed and approached with effective strategies outcomes, there are policy and regulation frameworks specific to every nation where the business is conducted (Hodson et al., 2018). It is adhering to equality within the organization, in case of accessibility, unbiased behavior, rights, and lack of discriminatory practices that such diversities are widely acknowledged. Laws of Equality and Diversity are effectually observed so that caste, creed, culture, and religions are possibly taken care of.

Issues faced by organizations after the implementation of equality policies

It is necessary to implement effective policies and regulations within the organization to avoid the discriminations that take place adhering to the employee differences in backgrounds (Srinivasan, 2015). It is owing to the clashes in culture, habits, working practices, and workplace orientation that issues and challenges are faced.

 

Measures that can be taken by the organizations to deal with the issues

It is adhering to issues identified within the policy framework that employee training and regulations are maintained. Policies on equality and diversity must be established throughout the organization (Sheehan and Anderson, 2015). Organizational integrity is necessary to be maintained so that effectiveness is yielded in their performance outcomes.

Literature gap

The data and sources from which the literature is gathered are essentially concerning the wide range of generic paradigm of supermarket retail stores. However, creating specific outcomes towards Primark PLC, UK narrows down the applicability across global business conducts for all businesses. There is limited accessibility over data relevant to the organization that establishes a gap in the literature for creating concrete understanding. When any specific case study is used to apply on a generalized consideration it creates a gap in literature insight.

In conclusion, this literature review has addressed the conceptual approaches to understanding the aspects of equality and diversity within the workplace. Close attention has been paid mostly towards the UK market which has seen some disruptions with regards to the aspects of equality and diversity. Reviewing literature has therefore enabled the development of a logical basis of reasoning in approaching the research and arriving at appropriate solutions.

Methodology

Introduction

This section presents the research process in detail and looks to elaborate the step by step process to be followed in the undertaking of the research study. It is aimed at guiding the research team in the direction of achieving the aim of the research. Specific to this research study, is an aim to establish and identify the various challenges associated with workplace diversity and equality at Primark PLC, UK.

Research philosophy

Positivism is a philosophy that might prove to be very effective in solving the challenges relating to equality and diversity. It centers its premises on positive thinking about various situations in the world. Philosophically, positive thinking could become a powerful tool if put into the right use, especially with regards to changing perspectives of staff within a firm.

As the present research concerns equality and diversity within the workplace of Primark there is a need for definite research philosophy to be framed. Keeping in context with this research issue into consideration, among positivism, interpretative, and realism research philosophy (Gray, 2018), a positive approach shall suit most adequately. For the present case, positive research philosophy falls effective where the research needs to analyze the variables included.

Research approach

Two research approaches exist that could be adapted in the research process, the inductive and deductive approaches to research (Gray, 2018). The inductive research approach is research that is derived or which makes inferences from existing general laws and is mostly done from an inward standpoint looking outwardly, it may usually involve experiments. The deductive research approach, however, involves a more exploratory type of research process, where findings are deduced from studying a case, or doing a case study, to find answers to research questions.

This research project has adapted the deductive approach, which entails the deduction of various types of information from the findings, therefore developing perspectives of what such findings translate into. Approaching the study from a deductive perspective, translates to looking inwards from outside, and trying to understand the inner workings of the organization. The paper, therefore, explores the various aspects of equity and diversity, within the workplace at Primark.

Research Strategy

This research study approaches the research through a case study and therefore analyses the day to day thoughts and opinions of the staff at Primark PLC, UK. The use of case studies is useful in the understanding of certain areas of knowledge, which would otherwise prove hard to understand, by experimentation. Case studies present the opportunity for in-depth learning of the inner workings of certain phenomena, by deriving the same from a practical example.

The conclusive research paradigm is most effective and appropriate for the organization where a definite outcome is necessary to be created. The empirical and research evidence created are likely to be measurable, (Saunders, Lewis and Thornhill, n.d.) quantitative and qualitative concerning primary and secondary research. For Primark PLC, UK, the equality and diversity paradigms require investigation using a conclusive research paradigm (Gray, 2018).

Research Choices

Data collection will involve a mixed approach, which is expected to guarantee a more comprehensive grasp of the study area. In this case, Primark PLC, UK is the area of study, and the approaches used include Key informant interview schedules, and questionnaires, to get perspectives of the firm’s workplace with regards to equality and diversity. A mixed approach to data collection, therefore, presents a better opportunity to capture more data variables.

In exploring the need for equality and diversity within the workplace of Primark both primary and secondary approach of analysis needs to be used. There are secondary approaches to be carried out through a long-term timeline research investigation (Gray, 2018). For the primary approach, the researcher needs a direct connection with samples (Saunders, Lewis and Thornhill, n.d.).

Techniques and Procedures of Data Collection

The research process involved the use of both questionnaires and key informant interview schedules to collect data from the employees of Primark PLC, UK. Questionnaires contained close-ended questions and were administered to the company staff to derive both qualitative and quantitative data. Key informant interview schedules containing open-ended questions were also administered to senior management officers and the top company leadership to derive both the quantitative and qualitative data unique to them.  The use of questionnaires and interview schedules enables the collection of data across the board and derives firsthand information. The downside of this technique is that responses stand a risk of being biased towards various variables as respondents might be inclined towards certain perspectives.

Data was also collected using secondary research methods, which entails desktop research using empirical research articles, newspapers, journals (Saunders, Lewis and Thornhill, n.d.) regarding the issue of equality and diversity necessities within the workplace. The challenge with desktop research was the fact that it would probably not apply to Primark PLC, UK, s challenges within the firm are likely unique to it.

Sampling method

The selection of participants was based on the need to achieve a fairly representative data for the whole population. It, therefore, followed the random style of sampling which allows for capturing the opinions and thoughts of employees at a larger level of detail. An indication of this being the better method of sampling data.

For the primary quantitative research, the data shall be taken from 40 employees of Primark PLC, UK (Saunders, Lewis and Thornhill, n.d.). The random sampling technique from the staffing groups at different levels of Primark PLC, UK shall be included within the survey procedure. Sampling shall be done in an evenly by ensuring at least all departments are captured in the process of data collection (Saunders, Lewis and Thornhill, n.d.).

Data analysis plan

Data analysis was undertaken by the use of various software, two to be specific. The software used for data collection included SPSS and Excel. Analysis using the two software was instrumental in the preparation of various outputs which aided substantively in the statement of the narrative, using various charts and figures. The use of the two software, was therefore advantageous to the research as it aided with the presentation of data in graphical formats. it was however particularly difficult to execute a comparison of more than one variable; this necessitated improvising to achieve desired outputs.

For determining the need for equality and diversity within the workplace of Primark UK application of descriptive research analysis is carried out following statistical implementation for the primary paradigm of research. In the secondary analysis, the descriptive analysis concerning each topic of equality and diversity from empirical articles, journals, and newspapers across the workplace of Primark shall be considered.

Access negotiation

For the selected topic under intervention, it was expected that Primark PLC, UK would maintain an effective timeline for assessment through conclusive strategic survey and empirical literature understanding. Access to Primark PLC, UK was made possible by ensuring that a timetable was set through both remote and face to face communication with the Management at the firm. The setting of appointments was necessary, which culminated in often long meetings at Primark’s premises (Saunders, Lewis and Thornhill, n.d.).

Reaching the top management was at first difficult, due to their intense work regimen, however, we were able to acquire information on the schedule of the company, from the front office. Consistently follow up with the front office also almost failed to bear fruit for our nearly deterred research study (Gray, 2018). We were however successful after weeks of consistent and continuous trials, in reaching the Managing Director, a fete which proved beneficial to the research process.

 

Research limitation

With effect on the academic premise of research, the limitation of times, budget costs, and sample size restrictions have led to compromised research analytical intervention. This has certain possible impacts upon the research outcomes in terms of confounding results. The results formulated for Primark to be generalized for global workplace understanding creates a limitation in research.

Ethical Issues

In the carrying out of the research, participants were forewarned and informed, in detail of the implications of participating in the research study. Details were shared orally, by word of mouth, and in text, through the information sheet and the Ethical approval form. Participants, therefore, duly filled and signed the consent forms agreeing to the terms of engagement for research. Information to be derived from participants is to be protected and held in trust by the researchers.

Before carrying out a primary research survey on employees of Primark PLC, UK consent needs to be taken from them and their higher authorities. The empirical sources need authentication validation to be used solely for academic purposes. Disclosure of any information within the premises of the research process shall be justifiably an infringement on the privacy and confidentiality of staff information, and opinions.

 

Gantt Chart

Chart 1: Gantt Chat

Main activities 1st-3rdweek 4th-6th week 7th-10th week 11th-15thweek 16th-21st week 21st-25thweek
Selecting the topic for investigation 
Accumulating data from secondary sources
Designing a layout of the research
Literature review
Creating a plan for research
Selecting proper techniques of investigation
Accumulating data from primary sources
Analysis of the data that has been collected
Drawing appropriate conclusions
Creation of a rough draft
Submission of the final project on the research conducted

Table 1: Gantt chart

(Source: Created by the author)

 

Findings

The ration of males to females at Primark PLC, UK was found to be equal, at 50-50 percent. This portrays the company as being fairly balanced in its employment of staff, in terms of gender. Primark PLC is therefore portrayed to be a fairly well-balanced workplace for both the male and female genders.

Chat 2: Staff Gender

 

Primark’s levels of equality in terms of gender may be due to the presence of policies regarding the employment of staff according to gender or could be owed to a strong sense of need for equality and diversity amongst the top leadership.

About 48% percent of the staff at Primark are within the age bracket of 34-41 years old, followed closely by those within the age brackets of 18-25, and 26-33 years old, each accounting for 20% respectively. Only about 13% of the workforce fell in the age bracket above 41 years old, which is the age bracket of 42-49Years old. Indicating a preference of the middle-aged individuals in the employment of the company.

Chat 3: Staff Age Brackets

 

The preference of the younger generation could be as a result of the perceived productive and energetic nature of this group of employees. It is perceived that the youthful populations are more capable of driving an organization towards its peak performance. Also, the slightly older youth are likely to have more experience and still have the energy to thrust a company to where it should be.

A majority of staff were from the Judaic religion, accounting for 40% of the total staff at Primark. The second most predominant religion was Islam at 33% of the total work population. About 20% of the total work population was of the Hindu religion, while those of the Christian and atheist affiliations, were accounting for about 5% and 3% respectively.

 

Chat 4: Staff Religious Affiliations

The employment of a larger proportion of Judaists could indicate a preference for individuals of the religion for employment, due to certain beliefs and feelings amongst the leadership. Such traits as believed by the leadership may be as either a result of affiliation or from empirical data. Meaning there is a possibility that discrimination within the firm, happens with regards to the religious affiliations of the staff.

Most of the employees were of African American and White races, accounting for about 35% each. Asians within the firm were the second largest group with about 20% of them dominating the workforce. Both the English and the Jew, account for about 5% of the workforce each.

Chat 5: Racial Makeup of the Company

 

The bias towards Americans and African Americans is fairly likely to be as a result of the predominance of these races within the top leadership of the establishment. This is especially because the firm is in the UK, where the English are more likely to dominate given the native racial composition of the location. The Asian race’s dominance over the native English race might be due to close interracial ties between the Asians and the Americans. The English and the Jewish may, however, be a result of the need to express some level of balance within the organization.

A majority of staff expressed an incidence of discrimination on a racial basis. This accounted for about 35% of the total workforce. Following closely was a group of staff who felt that discrimination was based on social class mostly accounting for 33% of the workforce at Primark PLC. About 20% of the staff expressed that discrimination is a result of culture, 8% based on gender, and 5% based on age.

Chat 6: Basis for Discrimination

Racial bias may, therefore, exist even amongst the majority groups, regardless of their dominant stake within the company. Discrimination on the grounds of the social class could be due to the differences in income levels and various family backgrounds of employees. Social classes may, therefore, form across the board even within the various racial classes within the firm. Discrimination against certain cultures may be tied to all other factors including racial and social classes. Age may present the least avenue for discrimination within the firm.

A part of the workforce accounting for about 33% expressed the existence of fare levels of equality and diversity within the firm. About 28% of the staff expressed that equality and diversity were wholesomely encouraged and that it was so done to a great extent. Respondents who felt that equity and diversity were encouraged only selectively, were about 25% of the total. A section of the staff also felt that there was a complete lack of equality and diversity within the firm, this was accounting for 10% of the entire workforce. Only 5% of the staff felt that there was but a hint of equality and diversity encouraged within the firm.

 

Chat 7: Levels of Equality and Diversity in the Firm

This indicates that the staff feels that there are fairly safe levels of equality and diversity within the firm. However, the level of confidence in the firm’s ability to promote equality and diversity is fairly still in question, given the scores of employees who still feel that the two virtues are lacking.

About 38% of staff felt that the levels of equality and diversity within the firm had contributed fairly to the growth and development of the firm. About 30% of the firm’s staff felt that these levels had inspired optimal performance within the firm. About 28% of the staff felt that the levels of equality and diversity within the firm were responsible for the inspiration and motivation of the staff. Just 6% of the staff felt that the levels of equality and diversity had little contribution to the firm’s growth and development.

Chat 8: Effects of Equality and Diversity on the Firm

 

This indicates the possibility that the firm’s performance is greatly affected by the levels of discrimination and bias. And that the degree of such vices affects the degree of the firm’s success commensurately. This would, therefore, mean that an imbalance in the levels of inclusivity and diversification, would mean a negative effect on the firm’s success. The vice versa would be true, that the maintenance of a balance in the levels of inclusivity and diversification, would hence positively affect the firm’s present and most likely prospects. Maintaining a healthy balance between the negatives and the positives is therefore important in enhancing the firm’s optimal performance within the market.

Most employees considered the ICT department as having the most vulnerability to discrimination. This section of the staff accounted for 38% of the entire workforce at Primark. Presumably, the second most culpable department to discrimination was the Accounts department, with 25% of the staff expressing so. Also, 20% of the staff felt that the leadership was also likely to be prone to discrimination either amongst themselves or towards subordinates in their leadership.

Chat 9: Departmental Levels of Discrimination

 

This finding indicated the degree of discrimination and bias, hence an absence of equality and diversity within each department in the firm. A picture is also painted of the firm’s general outlook on its levels of inclusivity and diversity. However, the firm’s image may be little affected by this phenomenon in terms of image, given that the marketing department is least hit by discrimination. The human resource department also plays a critical role in the firm and might be very instrumental in the development of the firm as it handles the employees’ needs.

Most (33%) of the staff expressed that the accounts department was the most crucial for the development and growth of the firm, whereas 30% of staff expressed that the legal department was most likely the most valuable in the firm. The third most essential department within the firm appeared to be the ICT department ass expressed by 25% of the staff. The fashion design department followed closely and was expressed to be a crucial department within the firm by only 10% of the staff. The marketing department was found to be the least essential department in the company with only 3% of staff stating it as essential.

Chat 10: Departmental Contribution to Company growth

Accounts are easily the most essential department to the company as it ensures the financial books are in order in any organization. The financial well being of any firm is the most crucial aspect of the firm. This is since the day to day running of the firm is all tied to the finances and the ability to afford the running costs. The legal department might also be high in the pecking order of seniority given that the industry that Primark is involved in is highly legalistic and frequently prone to legal battles.

The ICT department may be crucial in the maintenance of systems that enable the smooth running of the firm. Mainly, the firm is a fashion design firm, however, most staff did not mention this department among the top three departments, in terms of priority. Marketing is crucial within any organization, however, regardless of this department being the face of the company, it appears to play a menial role in the success of the firm.

 

A majority of staff expressed a lack of enabling environment for equality and diversity. About 88% of the staff interviewed expressed their lack of faith in the firm’s commitment to promoting equality and diversity. Only 13% of staff were of the idea that equality and diversity were encouraged within the firm.

Chat 11: Primark’s Encouragement of Equality and Diversity

This finding shows that the firm probably does little to enhance the level of equality and diversity among staff and in interactions between the staff and the top management and leadership. A majority of the staff felt that there were only slight benefits accruing from the exercise of equity and diversity at the firm, this was expressed by about 40% of the staff. Staff who felt that there were little to no benefits of equality and diversity at the firm, those who felt there were fairly notable benefits, and those who felt there were large benefits, all accounted for 20% each, of the total workforce.

 

Chat 12: Benefits accruing to the Promotion of Equality and Diversity within the Firm

 

An indication of low levels of diversification and equality can be derived from the findings above. This is because a majority of staff felt like benefits accruing from equality and diversity were only but slight as opposed to how they should be. Primark PLC, UK is therefore probably very far from achieving optimal levels of diversification and equality. Meaning that benefits accruing to the practice are still beneath the optimal levels as they should be in the essence.

 

It was expressed by about 48% that the level of equality within the firm has occasionally led to diversity. This was a majority of the total workforce at Primark PLC, UK, while 23% felt a considerable degree of equality has led to the diversification of the workplace. About 20% of staff felt that equality within the firm had largely contributed to the diversification of the workplace. 10%, however, felt that the level of equality within the firm had not at all contributed to the diversification of the firm’s day to day way of running the business.

Chat 13: Level of Diversification Owing to Equality

 

A majority of the employees felt that equality within the firm had led to some form of diversification at least in the slightest. An indication that the firm was in some form diversifying its operations as a result of equality being practiced, even though this might be at a slow pace. Staff accounting for a majority of 88% were of the idea that there were no challenges associated with the diversification and equalization of operations within the firm. Only 13% of the staff felt that the firm had challenges associated with the levels of diversity and equalization within the firm.

Chat 14: Issues Directly Relating to Diversification within the Firm

A majority of staff did not feel that the levels of discrimination related directly to any challenges that may have been faced by the firm. However, this is not to say that there exist no challenges as a result of discrimination within the firm, that are somewhat indirectly related to the same. Both members of the staff who thought that there were harmless effects of equality and diversity on the firm, and those who thought that equality and diversity led to unhealthy competition, accounted for 40% of the staff each. About 20% of the staff thought that the staff was demotivated by the high levels of inequality and a lack of diversification of the workplace.

Chat 15: Issues Relating to Diversity and equality faced by the firm

 

These findings are indicative of both the downsides and the upsides of leveling the playing field at the workplace. The downsides being a lack of respect among staff for each other, and hence rising unhealthy competitiveness to unsuitable levels for growth and development of the organization. Also, a picture is painted on the downside of how the lack of equality and diversification can lead to the staff being extremely demotivated and therefore performing poorly. Parallels are drawn therefore which indicate the opposite effects of a lack of and a presence of optimal levels of equality and diversification.

About 36% of the staff at Primark felt that the organization had made comprehensive efforts to make the company equal and diverse. Among the other staff, 33% felt that Primark had made significant efforts to equalize and diversify the workplace; 25% felt that the firm put in only casual efforts, while 8% did not feel strongly about the company’s efforts to equalize and diversify operations at the workplace.

 

This indicates therefore that the company is therefore intent on the alleviation of the incidences of inequality and un-diversification. Although this is the case, it appears that the firm’s efforts are not very effective or are haphazard for appearances. A majority of staff accounting for about, 35% expressed that using a reward system would barely work in the prevention of discrimination and dwindling levels of diversity at the workplace.

A section of the staff (28%) expressed that offering rewards would be very effective, which is a considerably significant portion of the staff. 25% of the staff expressed that the use of rewards to induce equality and diversity at the work was fairly effective, whereas 13% felt that it was not an option.

Chat 17: Employee thoughts on using a Reward system to Curb inequality and a Lack of Diversification

A majority of respondents were more leaned towards the idea of rewards being an effective means of enhancing workplace diversity and equality, hence it might be one of the effective means. It was however also considerably considered to be an ineffective method of mitigating against the threat of inequality and a lack of diversification.

About 35% of staff at Primark PLC, UK expressed their confidence that the formulation and use of policy will be fairly effective in addressing the challenge of maintaining a balance within the workplace, among various groups. However, 33% of the staff expressed that the use of policy as a tool for mitigating against discrimination would be very useful and effective for the organization. 25% of staff felt that the use of policy would little affect the levels of equality and diversity within the workplace at Primark PLC, UK. Only about 8% of staff, felt that the use of policy for mitigation of inequality and un-diversification was not a suitable option for the firm.

 

These findings indicate that the staff largely believe in the use of policy for the improvement and enhancement of equality and diversity at the workplace. Those members of the staff who felt a bit skeptical about policy, appear to have reservations probably due to their experience with the level of policy implementation. It could, therefore, mean that the firm is performing poorly concerning policy implementation. Such could indicate that, for policy formulation to work as a strategy, the firm should be able to fasten their belts about the implementation of the policy.

Both the staff feel that the setting of an example by the leadership of Primark PLC, UK would be fairly effective, and those that felt it would be barely effective were accounting for 38% of the staff each. 18% of the staff felt that the leadership leading by example would be very effective in enabling the achievement of equality and diversification. Only about 8% of the staff at the firm were of the idea that the setting of an example through an unbiased leadership, by the firm, would not be a viable option.

Chat 19: Employee views of the Leadership Setting an Example

In totality, therefore, it appears that at least more than 90% of the staff at Primark PLC, UK, would be of the idea that the leadership could remedy the situation of inequality and a lack of diversification, at least in the slightest. The 8% of staff who were against this idea, was, however, most probably antagonists of the leadership, or they felt that the firm was under the wrong kind of leadership.

A majority of staff accounting for about 38% of the entire workforce at Primark PLC, UK expressed that the use of affirmative action in the punishment of staff who indulged in any acts of discrimination or bias would be barely effective. 35% of the staff expressed that the use of affirmative action in the administering of discipline would be fairly effective. 25% of staff, however, felt that the instilling of discipline by the use of affirmative action would be very effective.

Just 3% of the staff interviewed expressed a lack of confidence in the application of disciplinary action.

Chat 20: The Use of Affirmative Action in instilling Discipline at Primark PLC

While, a considerable section of employees felt that the use of disciplinary action, was not the most effective way of restoring equity and diversity at the workplace; a majority seemed at least somewhat convinced that it would be at least fairly effective as a means of achieving equality and diversity at the workplace. Management at Primark can therefore confidently use this as among the methods of arriving at optimal levels of equality and diversity at the firm.

Staff accounting for a majority of 56% of the workforce at Primark PLC, UK expressed that establishing a value system at the firm would either fairly or very effectively solve the challenge of equality and diversity at the workplace. 38% of the staff interviewed were of the idea that the establishment of a value system would barely be effective for the achievement of equality and diversity at Primark PLC. The staff that lobbied against the idea of using a value system to achieve equality and diversity formed a minority of 8%.

Chat 21: The Effectiveness of Developing a Value System in Addressing Equality and Diversity

It appears a majority of staff at Primark PLC are confident in the utilization of a value system as a tool to ensuring optimal levels of equality and diversity are attained at the workplace. The minority seemed skeptical about the effectiveness of a value system in achieving this, as to them it appeared a little too theoretical.

Employees mostly felt that they were at a distaste, of their employment in the firm, the section of employees who felt this way was accounting for about 40% of the workforce. 28% of the staff felt that their employment at the firm was comfortable, while 28% also felt a subtle discomfort with being employed at Primark. Only 5% of the staff felt proud o their employment at Primark PLC, UK.

Chat 22: Employee Feelings about their Employment at Primark PLC

This finding indicates that the employees, although they have expressed some like for the firm, cannot stand being employed by the firm. This could indicate the existence of challenges within the firm that drives employees towards a hostile perception of the company.  Employees could mostly be repulsed by the existence of discriminatory practices on multiple fronts within the firm. The few who felt comfortable and unbothered by their employment in the firm might be part of the course of the bias or might be the few favored by the discrimination.

49% of the staff at Primark PLC, UK were not confident about their leadership being able to lead with equal and diverse scales. 21% of the staff were skeptical about whether the company’s leadership was capable of leading in a just way. 18% of the staff skeptically declined that their leadership, meaning they were almost certain that the firm’s leadership was incapable of achieving equitable and diverse leadership.

Chat 23: Employee Confidence with Firm’s Leadership

The findings above indicate a huge lack of confidence in the leadership amongst the employees at Primark PLC, UK. Primark PLC, UK is therefore likely to face the need for changing the employee perceptions of their leadership as promptly as possible. Failure to undertake this may lead to a crisis in employment, where employment might sabotage the firm by downing tools and abandoning ship, which could lead to the firm’s collapse. An encouraging statistic though is the fact that the firm might still have a few employees who expressed their confidence in the organization’s leadership.

37% of the staff felt that the use of strict policy on the leaders would be a very effective, method of establishing equality and diversity at the workplace. 34% of the staff felt that the use of leadership specific policy would be barely effective in enabling equality and diversity. 20% of the staff was of the idea that the approach would be fairly effective. 9% of the staff at Primark, however, felt that the approach would not be a suitable option for the firm.

Chat 24: Use of Leadership Specific Policy

A majority of the staff were for the idea of ensuring the formulation and implementation of policy focused on the leadership to ensure a lack of discrimination in the firm’s execution of leadership of the staff. This finding resonates with the general perspectives of the employees relating to the low levels of confidence in the type of leadership at the firm.

38% of staff at Primark PLC felt that the taking of disciplinary action against leaders at the firm would lead to the only barely effective achievement of equality and diversity. 30% of the staff at the firm expressed that the use of disciplinary action against the leaders would be very effective in achieving equality and diversity at the firm. 28% of the staff felt that this approach would be fairly effective in the achievement of equality and diversity at the firm. 5% of the staff felt that the use of this approach was not a suitable option.

A majority of the staff at Primark PLC, UK felt that the firm could make use of the disciplinary approach in handling the leadership of the firm. An indication of the challenge in the leadership of the firm. It is, therefore, necessary for the firm to look into the leadership to arrive at the genesis of the challenge of inequality and a lack of diversity at Primark PLC, UK

35% of the staff at the firm felt that shuffling of the top leadership would be very effective in enabling equality and diversity at Primark PLC, UK. 35% of the staff at Primark PLC, felt that the shuffling of the top leadership at the firm would only barely be effective in achieving equality and diversity. 23% of the staff at Primark PLC, expressed that the approach would be fairly effective in enabling equality and diversity at the firm. Only 8% of the staff at Primark PLC, UK are opposed to the option of shuffling the top leadership at the firm.

Chat 26: Effects of Shuffling Top Leadership at Primark

The findings above indicate that a majority of the staff vouched for the idea of shuffling the staff to achieve equality and diversity at the firm. Therefore, it probably indicates the staff’s knowledge of the firm’s leadership and therefore would be wise to implement their ideas regarding the shuffling of the top leadership within the firm.

Conclusion

Although the firm has some level of equality and diversification, Primark PLC, UK is yet to do this at an optimal level and is, therefore, struggling with negative staff perceptions of the organization. A problem that is likely to escalate to dangerously toxic levels should it not be addressed. Primark PLC, UK is therefore impeded from achieving optimal performance and output from its employees and ultimately, as a company due to these underlying challenges that are facing it.

Staff at the organization aired contrasting views which further elaborated on the degree of the problem at Primark PLC, UK. Findings have indicated a specific lack of confidence in the leadership of the firm specifically. The cause of this scenario could be owed to the lack of suitable policies guiding the exercise of and the practice of equality and diversity, and maintenance of high levels of the same. The firm should, therefore, jump at salvaging the situation as soon as possible to save the relationship.

Recommendations

The research process has identified various challenges regarding the workplace at Primark PLC, UK. The following are the various recommendations made with regards to enabling the coexistence of staff and the leadership with the aspects of equality and diversity at the workplace;

  • Organize team-building initiatives engaging both the leadership and other staff at Primark PLC, UK.
  • Formulation of relevant and elaborate policies guiding the practice of equality and diversity at the workplace.
  • Organize events that involve rewarding members of the fraternity that adhere to company policies on practicing equality and transparency.
  • Implementing strict disciplinary action on any individuals within the firm, whether within the top leadership, or other staff.
  • Take necessary steps to change staff perceptions of the firm and to ensure a positive change in so doing, through an elaborate plan

Reflection

The research study was successful and the methods used were satisfactory, the tools used were effective in deriving the relevant information from the various respondents that were involved in the research process. It is visible from the comprehensiveness of the data collected from the field survey. Data included an in-depth look into the firm’s interrelations amongst employees such as those between senior and subordinate staff within the firm, this proved useful in understanding the workplace and work environment. Any other research undertaken in the future can, therefore, borrow greatly from the tools utilized in this research process.

The sources referred to inform the research, were useful and proved informative in the arriving at the various methods of data collection and sampling, alongside the various approaches to the research process. Future research should certainly follow the path as in this research study, and take advantage of existing material out there to inform the research undertaken by researchers. The use of various reference material informed the research process and enabled its logical development to ensure sound logic was used in the preparation of various tools and decisions on various processes.

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