Journal of Human Resource Management
Volume 4, Issue 6, December 2016, Pages: 100-123

Diversity Management Instruments in German Organizations: Effectiveness and Preferences from Corporate and Employee Perspectives

Jens Landwehr

Faculty of Management, Economics and Social Sciences, Seminar of Personnel Economics and HRM, University of Cologne, Cologne, Germany

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To cite this article:

Jens Landwehr. Diversity Management Instruments in German Organizations: Effectiveness and Preferences from Corporate and Employee Perspectives. Journal of Human Resource Management. Vol. 4, No. 6, 2016, pp. 100-123. doi: 10.11648/j.jhrm.20160406.13

Received: November 25, 2016; Accepted: December 6, 2016; Published: January 24, 2017


Abstract: While diversity management appears to rank high on the HR agenda of many organizations in Germany, both status and quality of diversity management in Germany remain lower than in most European countries, and by far lower than in the US. This paper discusses the relevance organizations in Germany attach to the topic of diversity, identifies the measures actually employed, and shows how effective these measures are in practice. Based on the responses of 73 organizations and 285 employees, the study empirically measures the use and effectiveness of diversity measures and identifies differences from the perspective of the organization versus the employee. In the area of Gender diversity companies employ the largest breadth of measures that also appear very effective. In the areas of Age and Ethnic diversity, companies tend to employ much fewer measures which also don’t appear to be the most effective, showing less relevance and experience with relevant instruments. We also found that measures considered by employees to be most effective often differ from the measures used in practice and prioritized by HR professionals. In general, from an employee perspective, diversity measures appear to be connected to better career and development opportunities. Companies in Germany largely follow the diversity measures prescribed by the state without using their diversity profile for differentiation in employer branding. The results of the study give an overview of the diversity measures in use today in German organizations and of their effectiveness to achieve diversity objectives.

Keywords: Personality Assessment, Performance Management, Talent Management, Personality, Potential, Personality Talent Management, Potential, Social Responsibility


1. Introduction

1.1. Definitions of Diversity

In recent years, diversity management has become a widely discussed topic both in the political arena and society at large. The fundamental objective pursued by organizations with their diversity management efforts is to develop a "diverse" employee structure. In this context, "diversity" can relate to several employee attributes (gender, age, ethnic origin, religion, sexual orientation and physical abilities). Although there are large cultural differences in the interpretation of the term diversity, working definitions in the US and the UK agree on the typical motivations behind this objective are closely intertwined with issues of demographic change and the resulting lack of qualified expert and management personnel (Nkomo & Cox 1996; Kandola & Fullerton, 1998; Arrendondo, 1996). In consequence, improving one's attractiveness as an employer and one's capability to recruit talents is therefore one of the primary goals of the diversity management efforts undertaken by organizations. In addition, using the different perspectives contributed by diverse employees helps to foster the innovative ability and motivation of employees, develop the corporate culture, successfully open up new markets and address diverse consumer groups.

The term diversity management can be traced back to the publication of a report in 1987 titled Workforce 2000 (Johnson et al. 1987). Diversity management has its roots in the Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) and Affirmative Action (AA) movements in the US and can be traced to the publication of a report in 1987 titled Workforce 2000 (Johnson et al., 1987) by the Hudson institute. This report projected demographic shifts leading up to the year 2000 in which the US workforce would dramatically diversify. Since then, the topic has been categorized by scholars as evolving (Thomas 1995), the stage of EEO/AA having followed by a ‘Valueing Differences’ phase, followed by a Managing Diversity Phase and finally entering the ‘Global Diversity Management’, a term mostly described by Ozbilgrin & Tatli (2008).

1.2. Problematization of Diversity Management Globally

Diversity management has become a topic that ranks high on the HR agendas in many organizations. However, similar to the widespread and deep confusion around the equally fashionable HR area of "talent management" (Lewis & Heckman 2006; Collings & Mellahi, 2009), there are high levels of ambiguity and insecurity about how to appropriately manage diversity, about the objectives of diversity management, as well as the effectiveness of specific measures (Lorbiecki & Jack, 2000), most notably the gender quota for women in leadership positions. It is not a new development that both cause and effect of diversity management is being discussed controversially. Rooted in the US Civil Rights movement, the creation of equal opportunities in organization has been a political topic from the start. Since its inception the 1980s, there has been a debate on whether diversity management should benefit the people or the organization. Against this background, a large scale problematization of diversity management has taken place through the different phases and in the broader social context (Thomas 1995), both in theory and in practice. The main aspects of criticism include: Control mechanism at play, which have recently been described by Costea & Introna (2008); appropriate definitions of difference as being described by Kersten (2000), as well neo-liberal concerns voiced by Humphries & Gries (1995).

Diversity management has been discussed controversially for the last 30 years from different perspectives. At the origin of the debate was the demographic argument, based on the assumption that a more diverse workforce will substitute the traditional white, heterosexual, married, career minded, male workforce. The discussion also has a political dimension (quota) as well as an economic argument. Rooted in the affirmative action movement in the US, diversity management has undergone several phases of ambivalence. Initially triggered though expected demographic change, the ambivalence also underwent a political phase, as well as the economic phase. The literature – originally very positivistic - turned more critical when problems were encountered in the implementation of diversity management (Lorbiecki & Jack, 2000). For example, diversity management was viewed as an instrument or tool that uses people’s diversity as the means of achieving economic success based on control (Vince & Booth, 1996). Garnsey & Rees (1996) suggested that, instead of creating an atmosphere of tolerance and respect at the workplace, diversity management interventions appear to have triggered responses of antagonism and resentment on part of the ‘managed diverse’. The critical perspective on diversity management has been reinforced by studies of practical examples in which diversity management has been misguided and abused to obstruct marking measures towards minorities (Subeliani & Tsogas, 2005).

Over the years and the different phases of diversity management have also been critical voices on specific programs and measures. The criticism includes, that programs often perpetuate rather than combat inequalities, diminish the legacy of discrimination and continue to prescribe essentialist categories of difference. In addition, it has been noted that the focus is too often on differences rather than on inclusion.

Furthermore, there has been widespread unease about the objectives of diversity management. Is diversity about increasing the share of women in management positions, in order to comply with legal requirements? Is it about creating a diversity culture which is presumed to have a positive impact on the performance of the workforce as a result of more respectful cooperation of all diversity groups (e.g. employees with a migration background or mature employees)? Is diversity management rather a leadership issue? Is it an HR tool to make the organization more attractive as an employer? In any case, there is hardly any department or function head in German corporations who would not occupy himself or herself with this topic.

This widespread ambivalence in the assessment of the means and ends of diversity management is therefore a theme that can be traced through the history and different phases of diversity management, both internationally and in Germany. However, there are also some large differences between nations both in the practice and theory of diversity management. The differences are the result of real world variations in the need for diversity categories and the ensuing social and economic debate, as well as the use and prioritization of specific measures (Jonsen et al, 2013). This embeddedness in a social and political context makes it, however, also more complicated to compare study results across nations. As a result, any measurement of success of specific diversity measures has to be evaluated within its business, social and cultural context.

1.3. The Limits of Diversity Management in Germany

In comparison to the US, which have a tradition of a strong contextual embeddedness of diversity management in the managerial, economic and social discourse (McDonald, 2010), Germany has a relatively short diversity history. In comparison to other countries, the efforts of diversity management have been labeled ‘Integrationism’, historically mostly directed at the assimilation of Turks to the German work space. As a result, the history and prevalence of other diversity categories, especially geared towards ethnic diversity in general is relatively low. In Germany, in contrast to the US and UK, the phases described by cannot be extracted in the same way due to a lower level of maturity in the social and economic discourse (Tatli et al, 2012).

Another clear indicator for a relatively low diversity maturity in Germany is that in organizations lower levels of diversity measures are being applied, and on top there is a tendency to apply measure with lower levels of effectiveness (Köppel, Ya, Lüdicke, 2007).

In Germany, the typical objectives of diversity management are closely intertwined with the demographic change and the resulting shortage of professional and management personnel. For the companies, enhancing their attractiveness as an employer and attracting new talents are primary objectives. In addition, having diverse perspectives in the workforce promotes the innovative power and motivation of the employees and thereby makes a positive contribution to the corporate culture and helps to successfully tap new markets and consumer groups. Therefore, in recent years, the topic of gender diversity has become a widely discussed topic in the political arena and in society at large. Since that time, and spurred by state regulation, companies in Germany aim at developing and shaping a "diverse" workforce, spurred by the strong media debate around this issue and additional possible regulative influences with respect to "Gender diversity".

However across all other diversity categories, and despite the ongoing debate on increasing the number of women in management positions, German organizations employ much lower levels of diversity measures compared to other countries. This is surprising as numbers of migrant workers in their domestic operations continually rise, as well as domestic workers sent abroad, and international business relations are continuously on the rise and have outreached those of traditional immigrant countries such as the US and UK. In addition, employees' and job applicants' demands especially in Germany increase. Given the demographic change and the intense competition in the labor market for highly qualified employees, the prevailing attitude generally appears to be that diversity management is of great importance for a successful future of the company. However, high importance is not the same as effectiveness, and a critical debate is happening to a very limited extend.

In addition, diversity measures are implemented to a lesser degree in German organizations as compared to Europe as a whole and the US/UK. Overall, German organizations don’t apply enough diversity measures and the measures implied appear to be less effective compared to other countries, and they also don’t apply the measures correctly.

As a result, German organizations are in some ways less well prepared for the challenges associated with the demographic change compared to companies in other comparable European countries, which could become a disadvantage as the war for talent becomes even more international. Even today, a large gap can also be identified with smaller countries more adapt to immigrant culture such as the Netherlands and Denmark. For example, Royal Dutch Shell and British Petroleum employ higher numbers of international stuff in leadership positions than do comparable German companies (insert quote). Overall, the orientation of diversity management in Germany appears to be less mature.

As in other nations, diversity in Germany has followed a path-dependent trajectory in which the meaning of diversity management has been bent, stretched, shrunk, and fixed to fit the national traditions and requirements of social and economic activity. While in the US a bottom line orientation dominates, in France the debate has a moral undertone, and in the UK a social regulation dominates, is diversity in Germany embedded around integration topics within the German business and cultural context (Tatli et al, 2012). However, this is a limitation of the opportunities of diversity management both for organizations and society (Krell 2008) and most researchers agree that Germany would benefit from additional diversity measures. Therefore, this research can be understood as a component towards an integrated relational theory of diversity management.

1.4. Measuring the Effectiveness of Diversity Management in Practice

In addition to the diversity lag in practice, there is also a clear lag in the critical theoretical review of diversity in Germany. In the last years quite a number of studies have been carried out in Germany on diversity management (Köppel et al, 2007). However, these studies have mostly been descriptive in nature and only a few addressed the actual design and effectiveness of specific actions taken to enhance diversity (Süss & Kleiner, 2005). In addition, these studies neither have been aimed at establishing a link between the use of certain diversity measures and the resulting diversity culture in specific German organizations, nor how effective specific instruments are from an employer and an employee perspective. Only a few of these studies have addressed the specific design of the diversity measures taken in organizations and the actual effectiveness of specific measures (Stuber, 2004). Actual measures employed and their effects remain elusive. In addition, German literature on diversity management omits large parts of aspects of problematization of diversity management as predominant in the US and other European cultures. This it is no surprise, that according to a number of studies, Germany lags behind in applying diversity measures (Köppel et al, 2007). The study therefore intends to provide insights into the prioritization, workings and effectiveness of specific measures and an explanation why diversity management is behind in Germany in many ways. Our study focuses on the importance attached by organizations to diversity management, on how diversity management is integrated in the organizational structure and implemented in company policies, on which and to what degree specific instruments are practically used to promote the three most common diversity aspects – gender, age and ethnic diversity.

However, our study was not limited to asking employers for their perspective. So, what precisely are the objectives organizations pursue with diversity management, and how well are these objectives supported by the multitude of diversity instruments and programs that are currently in place in German organizations? Is diversity management suitable to make an organization more successful? We would like to find out which instruments are success critical with respect to which objectives. How do you measure the success of diversity management and what are the influencing factors determine, how effective diversity measures are? Is it national culture, company culture, or personality of the employees? Measuring the success of diversity measures is not trivial as it needs to include the contextual aspects. Is it the economic success, is it employee satisfaction? In addition, as described above, every country has different aspect of diversity due to culture link. But which instruments are success critical with respect to which objectives? Very little research has been done around these questions. In light of the contextual orientation of diversity measures, cross national studies of diversity measures have been very limited. But then its needs to include contextual measures as well.

Our study therefore focuses on the significance of diversity management from the point of view of the company, the organizational responsibilities for and integration of the topic into HR and corporate policies, and the degree to which instruments to promote gender, age and ethnic diversity are actually being used. The key question is what determines whether measures are success critical, i.e. is it the measures itself, is it the employees who determine the success of the diversity measures, or the culture of the organization.

2. Research Questions

The aim of this explorative study is to empirically establish a link between the use of certain instruments and certain qualitative and quantitative ends. Quantitative ends include the quota of women in management, the percentage of employees older than 56 years, and the percentage of international (non-German) staff. Qualitative ends include the perception of diversity and discrimination in particular organizations, value acknowledgement, personal commitment to the organization, work-family conflict, personal attitudes towards care and performance, and personal career preferences. We expected positive relationships between the use of certain instruments and these ends. In order to clarify the linkages between, we will draw separate hypotheses for different diversity instruments, including gender, age and ethnic diversity.

Initially we measure today's weight of diversity management in German organizations and establish a complete overview of the prevalence of specific instruments. We also measured the organizational infrastructure, and size of departments as well as integration in the wider range of personnel measure as well as corporate policy.

Two sets of success metrics were used. To identify success critical instruments to support gender equality, we used the quota of women in management. To identify success critical instruments to more age diversity, we used the quota of 56-65-year employees. To identify success critical ethnic diversity instruments the rate of non-German staff was used; instead, employees were likewise asked for their perception of the importance and effectiveness of various diversity management instruments.

In order to back the results by the employee perspective, in addition employees of the organizations participating in the survey were asked to identify instruments in their organizations, as well as the ends. Thus it was possible to establish convincing success criteria for instruments of diversity.

Furthermore, the aim of the study is to compare assessments from HR professionals, objective success measures, as well as from employees.

3. Hypotheses

Hypothesis 1a: Diversity measures still have a relatively low urgency and are not wide spread in German organizations (especially Age and Ethnic diversity); However, German organizations expect the importance to grow significantly in the future.

Hypothesis 1b: The diversity measures offered by German organizations differ from the one prioritized as most effective by experts.

Hypothesis 1c: Employees rate different measures high compared to the measures actually offered.

Hypothesis 2: In terms of Gender diversity instruments, companies are not offering sufficient levels of qualitative instruments such as Job sharing, gender quotas, mentoring and corporate childcare although these are effective and desired my employees

Hypothesis 3: In terms of Age diversity instruments, companies are not offering sufficient levels of systematic personnel development, age consistent content, horizontal moves and age mixed teams although these are effective and desired my employees

Hypothesis 4: In terms of Ethnic diversity instruments, companies are not attracting well enough qualified talent with international experience although these are effective and desired my employees

Hypothesis 5: Diversity culture is more relevant as a success factor as employee personality

4. Method

4.1. Sample

On the basis of participant data from a survey conducted in 2009, 600 of Germany‘s largest organizations were contacted in Winter/Spring 2011/2012. The invitation to participate was addressed to the Personnel Managers/departments by email. The broad purpose was explained to the participants combined with the incentive to receive the study results upon completion of the study as well as a free benchmarking against the other participants. As a result, the online questionnaire consisting of 52 questions was completed by 73 personnel managers or talent and diversity professionals. The average company size was about 22,800.

In order to generate an overview over the employee perspective, employees of the participating companies were identified via Xing and contacted with the request to respond to an online questionnaire consisting of additional 52 questions. This questionnaire was completed by 287 employees of 23 (out of the 73 participating) companies. As a result, we could run correlations between talent and diversity instruments as well as.

4.2. Design and Procedure

In the first part of the questionnaire, HR experts were asked to assess the relevance of diversity management to their organizations as well as provide some insights about the diversity management infrastructure (table 1a). In parallel, the first part of the employee questionnaire, participants were asked about their Perception of diversity and talent management from an employee perspective (table 1b). The second part in both the employer and employees questionnaires provided an overview over the prevalence of diversity management instruments in their respective organization. Interestingly, employer and employee perception also varied in this respect. Moreover there was also some significant variation in the effectiveness of instruments.

Finally, the employer sure asked for a broad variation of diversity related metrics (ends) as well as some sociographic date of the participating organizations. In a similar way, the employer survey asked for some sociographic date as well as some personality related self-assessment.

5. Measures

5.1. Use of Instruments

Participants were asked to assess the use of 32 instruments by diversity group (gender, age and ethnic) on a scale from not available to widely available. In addition, HR experts were asked to choose the instruments which are most effective from their perspective. Similarly, employees were asked about the use of instruments in their respective organizations.

5.2. Effectiveness of Diversity Management

We defined three measure of success for diversity measures, these include Quota (percentage) of women in leadership positions, Even age distribution, and Employees with non-German background

In order to get an inclination for which instruments are linked to organizations we regressed the use of specific instruments with quotes of higher and low measures of success. Off course we understand that the logic is difficult.

Employee perception on the value of various objectives of diversity management, i.e.

discrimination in the organization

career and development opportunities

recognition

retention and personal commitment

work family conflict

personal perception on career and performance

personal preferences on career development

talent culture construct

6. Results

Increasing relevance of diversity management but little breadth and low levels of organization

Table 1a provides an overview over the relevance of diversity and talent management in the context of German organizations. While the mean significance is as 3.25 at the middle range (sd 1.08446), the expected relevance for the future is expected to be much higher at 4.13 (sd 0.53879).

Table 1a. Perception of diversity and talent management from an employer’s perspective.

  Variable code Mean Standard deviation Range Cronbach’s alpha
Relevance of Diversity Management          
How do you rank the significance of diversity management in your organization? Stellw 3.25 1.084461 1-5 0,52
How will it change in the coming years? veraend_st~w 4.138889 .5387925 3-5  
Is there a main responsible for diversity management? Beauftragter .3239437 .4713097 0-1  
For how many years? hre_beauf 6.333333 4.809712 0-18  
Is there a position/department dealing mainly with diversity management? Abteilung .6818182 .4767313 0-1  
How many employees ma_abteilung 6.166667 4.407294 0-16  
Do you have concrete diversity goals for gender? geschl_div~s .7538462 .4341216 0-1  
Do you have concrete diversity goals for age? alters_div~s .453125 .5017331 0-1  
Do you have concrete diversity goals for ethnic? eth_divers .3809524 .4895215 0-1  
Are diversity goals linked with personnel strategy divers_per~t .5671642 .4992079 0-1  
Are diversity goals linked with corporate strategy? divers_all~t .3846154 .4902903 0-1  
Relevance of Talent Management          
How do you rank the significance of talent management in your organization? stew_tm 3.774194 .663309 3-5 0,63
How will it change in the coming years? vernd_stew_tm 4.234375 .5561257 2-5  
Is there a main responsible for talent management? hauptveran~m .78125 .4166667 0-1  
For how many years? hre_hauptb~m 7.6 15.54778 0-100  
Is there a position/department dealing mainly with talent management? eigene_abt~m .78 .418452 0-1  
Staff in this department ma_tm_abt 9.633333 14.31778 1-80  
Relevance of TM for employer branding employer_b~d 3.78125 1.105093 1-5  
Relevance of TM for university marketing hs_marketing 3.8125 1.12511 1-5  
Relevance of TM for talent identification ident_inte~e 4.203125 .9116475 3-5  
Relevance of TM for personnel development of internal talents peronalent~r 4.111111 .9351748 2-5  
Relevance of TM for succession management Nachfolgepl 3.84375 1.184808 1-5  
Relevance other factors Weitere 3.545455 1.439697 1-5  
Talent management goals anchored in personnel strategy tm_ziele_p~t .8064516 .3983042 0-1  

At 0.7538, diversity goals for gender are much higher than for age and ethnic diversity.

In contract to diversity management, means significance of talent management is ranked at 3.77 significantly higher than diversity management, and the expected relevance is expected also to be higher at 4.23 (sd).

Table 1b provides an overview over diversity related perceptions from an employee perspective.

Table 1b. Perception of diversity and talent management from an employee perspective.

  Variable code Mean Standard deviation Range Cronbach’s alpha
Diversity Climate          
Offene Kommunikation zum Thema Diversity div_kommun~n 3.839286 1.067217 1-5 0,87
Diversity-freundliches Arbeitsumfeld div_arbeit~d 3.897163 .9982507 1-5  
Vielfältige Perspektiven sehr geschätzt div_perspe~n 3.678445 1.020601 1-5  
Sichtbarer Einsatz von Führungskräften für Diversity div_fhrung~e 3.480565 1.032526 1-5  
Discrimination          
Diskriminierung aufgrund Geschlecht dis_geschl~t 1.582456 .7489718 1-5 0.84
Diskriminierung aufgrund von Alter dis_alter 1.82807 .9203785 1-5  
Diskriminierung aufgrund von Ethnie/Herkunft dis_herkunft 1.390845 .6922494 1-5  
Diskriminierung aufgrund von Religion dis_religion 1.291228 .583904 1-5  
Diskriminierung aufgrund sexueller Orientierung dis_orient~g 1.390845 .6501324 1-5  
Development Opportunities          
Aufgaben/Projekte, die Lernen von neuem Wissen erforderten ent_zugang 3.769784 .9822728 1-5 0,89
Entwicklung anhand von Aufgaben ent_aufgaben 3.730216 1.010355 1-5  
Herausfordernde Aufgaben ent_heraus~g 3.723022 1.080969 1-5  
Gute Weiterbildungsmöglichkeiten ent_weiter~g 3.27957 1.150842 1-5  
Unterstützung durch die Organisation          
Wertschätzung misslingt unt_wertsc~g 2.956044 1.103924 1-5 0,90
Beschwerden werden ignoriert unt_beschw~n 2.193309 .9501531 1-5  
Unternehmen ist um Wohlbefinden besorgt unt_wohlbe~n 3.062271 .9998923 1-5  
Unternehmen erkennt Anstrengungen nicht unt_bestes~n 2.567766 1.126219 1-5  
Unternehmen um allgemeine Zufriedenheit besorgt unt_allgzu~t 3.073801 .974725 1-5  
Unternehmen zeigt wenig Interesse an Mitarbeiter unt_intere~e 2.490842 1.17609 1-5  
Unternehmen ist stolz auf Fähigkeiten des Mitarbeiters unt_stolz 3.098901 1.095327 1-5  
Persönliche Bindung zum Unternehmen          
Bindung für den Rest der Karriere bind_restk~e 3.387218 1.12454 1-5 0,75
Anteilnahme an Problemen des Unternehmens bind_antei~n 3.387218 1.033617 1-5  
Unternehmen bedeutet MA sehr viel bind_persb~g 3.34717 1.066111 1-5  
Mitarbeiterfluktuation          
Umschauen nach anderem Job im Laufe des kommenden Jahres fluk_jobum~n 2.842105 1.269926 1-5 0,89
Nachdenken, Job im Unternehmen zu kündigen fluk_kuend~g 2.490566 1.258646 1-5  
Hätte bei Gelegenheit gerne einen neuen Job fluk_gerne~b 2.966165 1.312775 1-5  
Zufriedenheit mit Entwicklungsmöglichkeiten          
Zufrieden mit Erfolg in Karriere zuf_karriere 3.584906 1.037807 1-5 0,87
Zufrieden mit Fortschritt im Hinblick auf Karriereziele zuf_fortsc~t 3.551331 1.017138 1-5  
Zufrieden mit Fortschritt im Hinblick auf Einkommensziele zuf_einkom~e 3.280303 1.142437 1-5  
Zufrieden mit Fortschritt im Hinblick auf berufl. Weiterenentwicklungsziele zuf_weiter~w 3.433962 .9635287 1-5  
Zufrieden mit Fortschritt im Hinblick auf Aneignung neuer Kenntnisse und Fertigkeiten zuf_kenntn~e 3.674242 .8676371 1-5  
Zufriedenheit mit derzeitigem Job          
Insgesamt zufrieden mit derzeitigem Jon zufjob_insg 3.567669 1.004296 1-5  
Talent Culture          
MA können schnell ranghohe Positionen erreichen unt_rang 3.1 .9708777 1-5 0,89
Talentierte MA erhalten deutliche Einkommenssteigerungen unt_eink 2.781065 .9477398 1-5  
Manager werden ermutigt, talentierte MA zu identifizieren unt_ermutigt 3.213018 1.04178 1-5  
Identifizierung talentierter MA hat hohen Stellenwert unt_ident 3.005917 1.020603 1-5  
Erhebliche Ressourcen zur Beurteilung externer Bewerber unt_ressou~n 2.885542 .9872684 1-5  
Manager investieren viel Mühe zur Beurteilung ext. Bewerber unt_extbew~b 2.832335 .9094729 1-5  
Talentierte MA erhalten herausfordernde Aufgaben unt_heraus 3.319527 .9021982 1-5  
Weiterbildungsmöglichkeiten exklusiv für talentierte MA unt_weiter~s 3.059524 1.103627 1-5  
Talentierte MA werden ermutigt, zwischen verschiedenen Bereichen, Funktionen und Ländern zu wechseln unt_wechsel 3.094118 1.167849 1-5  
Verfahren, talentierte Angestellte im ganzen Unternehmen sichtbar zu machen unt_sichtbar 2.751037 1.160212 1-5  

Table 1c provides an overview over the use of instruments from an employee and employer perspective. Interestingly, there are some variations due to different perceptions, partially due to the fact that not employees from all companies participated in the survey. Also, employees tend to rank instruments higher that they wish where offered in their organizations while they actually are not, whereas the once that are actually offered and not marked. So employees tend to rate what they wish rather than what is actually there. In the case of Age and Ethnic diversity, use of measures were assessed higher by employees in all cases.

Table 1c. Use of diversity instruments from employer and employee perspectives.

    Company Survey Employee Survey
  Variable code Mean Standard deviation Mean Standard deviation
Gender Diversity          
Flexible working hours flex_arbei~n 4.061538 .9822952 3.889764 .9676862
Part time contracts after parental leave teilz_eltern 4.215385 .8748626 4.023622 .7798304
Working from home arb_zuhause 3.296875 1.177564 3.23622 1.141781
Job sharing for leadership roles Jobsharing 1.676923 .9032527 2.405622 1.055004
Diversity trainings train_divers 2.184615 1.309727 3.100402 1.267602
Networks for female leadership roles netzwerke_~l 2.546875 1.390782 3.402439 1.217489
Mentoring ment_weibl 2.703125 1.387926 3.342975 1.20946
Personal coaching coach_weibl 2.78125 1.338902 3.102459 1.159038
Company kindergarten Kindertages 2.125 1.374369 2.797619 1.309905
Support for child care financing unt_priv_k~s 3.123077 1.525898 2.251029 1.08652
Company counsel for family topics betreibl_a~p 2.078125 1.645626 3.143443 1.12213
Quota for female managers quote_weibl 3.6 1.272301 2.506122 1.275945
Conversations after return from parental leave Rckkehrgesp 2.390625 1.280094 3.549587 .9288036
Targeted recruiting of women rekrut_weibl 4.061538 .9822952 n.a. n.a.
Age Diversity          
Flexible working hours for mature staff flex_model~t 3.031746 1.24393 3.42449 1.112251
Part time Alterstz 3.241935 1.478651 3.881148 .9107345
Systematic development for mature staff syst_perso~t 1.968254 1.031258 2.563559 1.064008
Horizontal moves for mature staff horiz_aelt 2.349206 .9698475 2.652542 .9925434
Targeted design of mixed age teams altersgemi~t 1.854839 .9382015 n.a. n.a.
Ergonomic design of working space ergo_aplatz 3.596774 1.165905 3.506224 1.012918
Design of content for mature staff alters_ges~l 2.222222 1.007143 2.504202 1.070305
Leisure/sportive activities freiz_ange~t 3.492063 1.401301 3.786008 1.057973
Targeted external recruiting of mature staff rekrut_ext 1.580645 .7798358 1.878788 .8662916
Personal health counseling pers_gesund 2.634921 1.428981 2.978903 1.121618
Life phase oriented personnel development Lebensphasen 2.063492 1.17601 n.a. n.a.
Ethnic Diversity          
Targeted recruiting of foreign professionals rekrut_ausl 2.66129 1.26677 2.799163 1.13085
Targeted recruiting of professionals and management with migration background rekrut_fac~a 2.145161 1.113947 2.553648 1.041342
Targeted recruiting of trainees and graduates rekrut_abs~a 2.065574 1.046723 2.599138 1.088547
Targeted design of international teams internat_t~m 2.741935 1.317418 n.a. n.a.
Job rotation/mobility programs entsend_au~d 2.822581 1.261332 3.245763 1.136897
International experience requirement auslandser~s 2.409836 1.35864 2.798319 1.222709
Global talent pools glob_talen~s 2.516129 1.501277 2.85654 1.170112
Trainings/Workshops with international focus train_int_~s 2.774194 1.285727 2.752137 1.224962
Mentoring for international staff ment_ausl 2.290323 1.092254 2.582609 1.113495
Department to support international staff abtl_unt_a~a 2.677419 1.544681 2.647826 1.215752

Table 1d. provides a complete overview over the use of talent management instruments.

Table 1d. Use of talent instruments.

  Variable code Mean Standard deviation Cronbach’s Alpha
External Recruiting        
Detailed job requirements including competencies for new jobs anfordprof~p 3.741935 1.085455 0,65
Structured interviews struk_interw 4.129032 .9318388  
Multiple interviews per applicant mehrer_int~v 4.163934 .9691977  
Written tests to measure cognitive skills schriftl_kog 2.590164 1.282927  
Written tests to measure professional knowledge schriftl_f~k 2.196721 1.166471  
Written tests to assess personality schriftl_p~s 2.377049 1.331214  
External references ext_ref 2.633333 .9382036  
Asesssment center ass_cent 3.096774 1.276646  
Active recruiting(head hunting) Headhunting 3.283333 .9404591  
Targeted, external recruiting for talent pools/ succession plans ext_rek_ta~l 2.66129 1.305016  
Refrer-a-friend programs ref_friend 2.516129 1.315007  
Targeted use of social media (Facebook, Xing, Linkedin etc.) Socialmed 2.677419 1.315409  
Internal Talent Identification        
Structured assessment of potential by competency struk_pote~w 3.672131 1.220947 0,67
Structured and regular talent review workshops/panels syst_bespr~h 3.655738 1.302373  
360 degree feedback Grad 2.639344 1.252102  
Internal assessment center int_ass_cent 2.854839 1.35316  
Internal personal assessment int_einzel~s 2.52459 1.191729  
Personal assessment through external consultant einzel_ass~t 2.213115 1.127161  
Talent pools for specialists and management roles talent_poo~r 3.306452 1.26217  
Internal job portal int_stelle~t 4.322581 1.004485  
Performance Management        
Regular assessment based on quantitative scale beurt_skala 3.918033 1.429395 0,62
Separate assessment of performance and potential sepa_beurt~l 4 1.197219  
Target agreements Zielvereinb 4.516667 .7700246  
Recommended distribution empf_verte~g 2.65 1.470904  
Forced distribution erzw_verte~g 1.766667 1.15519  
Performance panels with multiple leaders beurt_konf~n 3 1.527525  
Development        
Personal development plans pers_entwp~e 3.683333 .9998587 0,85
Mentoring Mentoring 3.033333 .9560985  
Coaching Coaching 3.066667 .7561425  
Job rotation job_rotat 2.666667 1.036073  
Stretch assignment as targeted development instrument herausf_proj 3.423729 1.101776  
Expat assignments ausl_entsend 2.6 1.044761  
Cross divisional career paths bereichsub~e 2.672414 1.098451  
Assessment center/development center ass_cent_e~u 3.05 1.43119  
Employee portal for training and development mitportal_~b 3.766667 1.382293  
Self assessment of employees selbstbew_~d 2.728814 1.243334  
Special portals for talent networks, communities, specialists spez_portale 1.847458 .8672899  
Development programs for high potentials entw_progr~t 3.45 1.28122  
Competency Model        
Competency model Kompmodell .8245614 .3837227 0,79
Competency model is used for external selection persauswah~f 3.520833 1.091351  
Competency model is used for internal assignments int_stellbe 3.520833 1.091351  
Competency model is used for develop entw_plan 3.854167 .9450787  
Continuous monitoring of development plans pruef_entw~e 2.982759 1.177142  
Particularly talented employee participate in personal development steuer_tal~b 3.474576  1.134961  
Personal development is evenly available to all employees var3 3.20339 1.171201  
Retention        
Flexible time models flex_arbei~l 3.583333 .9440566 0,84
Sabbaticals Sabbatic 2.237288 .9161197  
Professional studies berufsbegl~d 2.916667 1.013329  
Special compensation for talents spez_verguet 1.813559 1.008149  
Individual career planning indiv_karr~n 3.216667 1.075011  
Regular employee surveys for talents talentpool~g 2.016667 1.200165  
Assessment of intention to leave Abwandrisik 2.183333 1.016669  
Personalized career paths perso_lauf~f 2.338983 1.183364  
Alternative career paths alter_karr~f 2.9 1.258193  
Structured exit management exit_manag 2.433333 1.357548  
Structured conversation after leave of absence strukt_rue~r 2.448276 1.40391  

Table 2a and b show diversity metrics both from an employer and employee perspectives, contrasting the results of the employer and employee survey. Table 2 a and b show some of the diversity metrics.

Table 2a. Talent and diversity metrics (employer perspective).

  Variable code Mean Standard deviation Cronbach’s Alpha
Gender diversity metrics        
Gender quota (all employees) frauenquot~t  32 16.62471 n.a.
Gender quota (leadership) frauenquot~3 11.14634 8.987661  
Gender quota (non union employees) frauenquot~f 17.94737 11.65715  
Gender quota (new hires) anteil_fra~l 32.37143 17.37321  
Gender quota part time workers ant_frauen~z 30.42424 17.76589  
Percent of male parents taking leave of absence maenl_ellt~t 13.83871 18.43746  
Percent of non union workers in talent pool aussertari~l 12.41935 11.93531  
Training days weiterbild~e 4.814815 2.774015  
Age diversity metrics        
Percentage age 15-25 ant1525 8.967742 4.607847 n.a.
Percentage age 26-35 ant26_35 22.22581 11.44468  
Percentage age 36-45 ant36_45 31.46667 8.386086  
Percentage age 46-55 ant46_55 26.77419 10.69489  
Percentage age 56-66 ant56_65 11.35484 5.320078  
Percentage > 65 years antgr65 .3181818 .8387271  
Ethnic diversity metrics        
Quota international staff ant_nichtd~t 20.93939 17.59783 n.a.
Other metrics        
Duration of parental leave in years dauer_elte~l 1.925926 2.758566 n.a.
Duration of parental leave on months Monate 5.857143 4.00357  
External recruiting rate top and senior management extbes_top | 20.32143 17.03168  
External recruiting rate of middle managers extbes_mm | 20 9.873271  
External recruiting rate other non union employees extbes_and~t 30.7037 17.12132  
External recruiting rate specialists var5 30.07143 17.09869  

Table 2b. Talent and diversity metrics (employee perspective).

  Variable code Mean Standard deviation Cronbach’s Alpha
Are you a member of a talent pool (to the best of your knowledge) talentpool~d 1.733607 .442981 n.a.
How many years in current position beantwortu~d 5.813953 5.058024  
Time elapsed since last promotion var12 16.95322 10.1887  
Time expected until next promotion var22 7.458333 5.797846  
Time desired until next promotion Var32 8.39521 4.020966  
I am an outgoing and social person ich_heraus~n 3.917355 .8156842  
I am a reserved person ich_zurckh~d 2.504098 .9273971  
I am someone who works diligently ich_grndlich 4.115226 .694648  
I am someone who effectively and efficiently ich_wirksam 4.368852 .6311635  
I am a somewhat lazy person ich_faul 1.632231 .7519507  
I am easily irritated ich_nervoes 2.065844 .8694695  
I am someone who worries easily ich_sorgen 2.471074 .9473648  
I am relaxed and can deal with stress easily ich_entspa~t 3.646091 .8943435  
I am respectful and friendly with others ich_freund~h 4.278689 .739951  
I can easily forgive ich_verzei~n 3.856557 .8841995  
I am sometimes a bit rough with others ich_grob 2.385892 .9897644  
I have a lively phantasy and imagination ich_phanta~e 3.5 1.024394  
I am an original character ich_origin~l 3.8107 .8113151  
I value artistic experiences ich_kuenst~e 3.07438 1.067555  
Sex geschlecht 1.367769 .4831973  
Age alter 37.39916 9.335536  
Education level bildung 2.805785 .5148093  
Employer arbeitgeber n.a. n.a.  
Management responsibility fuehrungsv~g 1.643154 .480066  
Responsible for how many people unterstell~a 18.49333 28.82256  

In order to test the hypothesis about the effect of the use of certain instruments on certain diversity measures, regression analyses were carried out with different dependent variables: table 3 gives an overview over means, standard deviations and correlations for all variables. For gender diversity, table 3 a shows the effect on the general gender quota and the leadership quota. Table 3b shows the effect of age and ethnic diversity instruments on age distribution and ethnic diversity.

Table 3. Means, standard deviations and correlations for all variables.

Variables Mean Standard deviation gender age ethnis frauenquot~t frauenquot~3 frauenquot~f anteil_fra~l
gender 2.988095 .670636 1.0000            
age 2.492424 .5663469 0.2422 1.0000          
ethnis 2.775 .8080561 0.0857 0.0673 1.0000        
frauenquot~t 35.08333 21.16798 -0.2350 -0.2016 -0.5882 1.0000      
frauenquot~3 11.75 11.63166 -0.0096 0.0806 -0.3712 0.3896 1.0000    
frauenquot~f 20.08333 14.56932 -0.0630 -0.1056 -0.4871 0.6594 0.8810 1.0000  
anteil_fra~l 38.25 21.42269 -0.0016 -0.2147 -0.5652 0.8882 0.4103 0.6617 1.0000
ant_frauen~z 27.58333 11.828 -0.3355 0.1679 0.1234 0.0408 -0.5136 -0.2124 -0.0473
ant_nichtd~t 20.75 18.3755 -0.4492 -0.1396 0.0044 0.2763 -0.0394 0.0728 0.3378
maenl_ellt~t 10.25 16.68491 0.1999 0.1747 -0.2416 -0.1326 0.1620 -0.0629 -0.1576
aussertari~l 17.91667 14.53184 0.3737 0.3971 0.0029 -0.0511 0.0881 -0.0850 0.0106
weiterbild~e 3.916667 2.065224 0.2243 0.0312 -0.1484 -0.1392 0.0558 0.0577 -0.2789
dauer_elte~l 1.583333 1.1645 -0.0818 -0.0741 0.2005 -0.1681 -0.5655 -0.3139 -0.1922
ant_ausser~a 24.75 31.83801 -0.3797 -0.7580 0.0697 0.1063 -0.3610 -0.1275 -0.0386
ma_ausl 71965.83 83570.2 0.1623 -0.5120 0.3004 0.0351 -0.3615 -0.0600 0.1467
fehltage_k~k 7.5 4.871065 0.5427 0.3490 0.0543 -0.3134 -0.1420 -0.2376 -0.2365
ma_fluk 7.833333 8.515583 -0.5109 -0.4321 -0.3362 0.6295 0.0675 0.3540 0.6590

Table 3. Continue.

Variables ant_frauen~z ant_nichtd~t maenl_ellt~t aussertari~l weiterbild~e dauer_elte~l ant_ausser~a ma_ausl fehltage_k~k ma_fluk
gender                    
age                    
ethnis                    
frauenquot~t                    
frauenquot~3                    
frauenquot~f                    
anteil_fra~l                    
ant_frauen~z 1.0000                  
ant_nichtd~t 0.2437 1.0000                
maenl_ellt~t -0.3638 -0.1990 1.0000              
aussertari~l -0.1748 -0.6132 0.3960 1.0000            
weiterbild~e 0.0357 -0.5420 0.6708 0.3269 1.0000          
dauer_elte~l 0.6925 -0.2942 -0.3731 -0.0022 0.1355 1.0000        
ant_ausser~a 0.2539 -0.0192 -0.1857 -0.1663 0.2209 0.3157 1.0000      
ma_ausl 0.3710 0.2836 -0.3369 -0.4002 -0.0259 0.3523 0.4019 1.0000    
fehltage_k~k 0.0434 -0.2879 0.6057 0.3564 0.5558 0.0881 -0.3555 0.2015 1.0000  
ma_fluk 0.2411 0.6754 -0.2473 -0.4218 -0.3369 -0.0076 0.3335 0.1649 -0.5896 1.0000

Table 3a. Regression analysis (employer survey): effect of gender instruments on overall female quota (model 1) and female leadership positions (model b).

  Variable code Regression model a Regression model b
    Beta p Beta p
Flexible working hours flex_arbei~v 16.68044 0.014 2.402103 0.608
Part time contracts after parental leave teilz_elte~v 3.157783 0.660 3.090538 0.525
Working from home arb_zuhaus~v .9479923 0.893 -8.108065 0.073
Job sharing for leadership roles jobsharing~v -2.172129 0.887 3.083643 0.828
Diversity trainings train_dive~v -3.725093 0.764 -7.098527 0.398
Networks for female leadership roles netzwerke_~v 7.001714 0.562 -8.081704 0.306
Mentoring ment_weibl~v -4.979274 0.594 -4.589263 0.449
Personal coaching coach_weib~v 1.67306 0.550 7.972963 0.128
Company kindergarten kindertage~v 2.940117 0.760 -2.763412 0.656
Support for child care financing unt_priv_k~v -2.038495 0.857 -2.28303 0.777
Company counsel for family topics betreibl_a~v .2565389 0.976 -3.520359 0.532
Quota for female managers quote_weib~v -2.922899 0.699 -.105131 0.983
Conversations after return from parental leave rckkehrges~v 1.089929 0.857 7.497415 0.072
Targeted recruiting of women rekrut_wei~v -3.280317 0.720 4.498514 0.448

Table 3b. Regression analysis: Model a: Effect of age diversity instruments on percentage of employees 56 – 65 years Model b: Effect of ethnic diversity instruments on percentage of non-German employees.

  Variable code Regression model a Regression model b
    Beta p Beta p
Flexible working hours for mature staff flex_model~v .0170212 0.725    
Part time for mature staff alterstz_av .0393844 0.456    
Systematic development for mature staff syst_perso~v -.2283264 0.146    
Horizontal moves for mature staff horiz_aelt~v .1768819 0.061    
Targeted design of mixed age teams altersgemi~v .0181552 0.916    
Ergonomic design of working space ergo_aplat~v .0457892 0.674    
Design of content for mature staff alters_ges~v .0579999 0.561    
Leisure/sports activities freiz_ange~v .0351066 0.718    
Targeted external recruiting of mature staff rekrut_ext~v n.a. n.a.    
Personal health counseling pers_gesun~v -.0287659 0.725    
Life phase oriented personnel development lebensphas~v .0103078 0.936    
Targeted recruiting of foreign professionals rekrut_aus~v     .3497993 0.031
Targeted recruiting of professionals and management with migration background rekrut_fac~v     .3913477 0.066
Targeted recruiting of trainees and graduates rekrut_abs~v     .4176494 0.106
Targeted design of international teams internat_t~v     .4277092 0.013
Job rotation / mobility programs entsend_au~v     -.2163998 0.333
International experience requirement auslandser~v     .3347404 0.126
  abovemed_eth     .2145455 0.213
Global talent pools glob_talen~v     .0704411 0.711
Trainings / Workshops with international focus train_int_~v     .1479849 0.450
Mentoring for international staff ment_ausl_av     -.0682234 0.740
Department to support international staff abtl_unt_a~v     -.1216473 0.607

Table 4 shows the results of a regression for the use of specific instruments on various aspects of diversity culture from an employee perspective, such as perception on diversity (model a), career and development opportunities (model b), sense of embeddedness and recognition (model c), personal commitment and contentedness (model d) and finally perception on work life balance (model e). Results show that surprisingly, the use of diversity measures is overall most positively connected with a positive perception on the career and development opportunities in the organization Table 5 mirrors the results from an employer perspective.

Table 4. Results of regression analysis (employee survey): effects of instrument use on the perception of the diversity climate (model a), career and development opportunities (model b), sense of embeddedness and recognition (model c), personal commitment (model d), and perception of work life balance (model e).

    Model a Variable: Perception Model b Variable: Career opport.
  Variable code Beta P Beta P
Flexible working hours arbeitszei~n .1021195 0.006*** .2767632 0.002***
Part time contracts after parental leave teilzeitve~e -.0332391 0.479 -.113108 0.311
Working from home arbeitenzu~e -.0886579 0.016** -.1274645 0.141
Job sharing for leadership roles jobsharing .0837908 0.024** .1118814 0.199
Diversity trainings trainingdi~g .0795853 0.031** .157603 0.070*
Networks for female leadership roles netzwerke .0058554 0.922 -.1275864 0.367
Mentoring mentoring .0787421 0.198 .2297386 0.114
Personal coaching coaching -.0114434 0.811 -.0487254 0.668
Company kindergarten kindertage~n .004784 0.869 -.046608 0.497
Support for child care financing kinderbetr~n -.0493814 0.179 -.1417097 0.105
Company counsel for family topics ansprechpa~r .0694223 0.020** .1754703 0.014**
Quota for female managers quote .0147556 0.577 .0506689 0.420
Conversations after return from parental leave rckkehrges~e .0400626 0.355 .1005941 0.328
Flexible working hours for mature staff alt_arbei~le .0330905 0.404 .0649683 0.489
Part time for mature staff alt_alter~it -.0519042 0.227 -.0660551 0.516
Systematic development for mature staff alt_person~g .0585472 0.217 .2060824 0.068*
Horizontal moves for mature staff alt_horizo~l .0321177 0.522 .0248237 0.835
Targeted design of mixed age teams alt_alter~ht .0698129 0.121 .1217546 0.254
Ergonomic design of working space alt_ergo -.0391231 0.295 -.030985 0.726
Design of content for mature staff alt_arbei~te -.1319107 0.005*** -.3087533 0.006***
Leisure/sports activities alt_freize~e .0348108 0.374 .0965923 0.299
Targeted external recruiting of mature staff alt_rekrut~g -.045675 0.318 -.1956679 0.073*
Personal health counseling alt_gesund~g -.0140041 0.692 .0300406 0.721
Targeted recruiting of foreign professionals eth_ausl .0764665 0.124 .1665534 0.158
Targeted recruiting of professionals and management with migration background eth_migra -.0274161 0.752 -.1375271 0.505
Targeted recruiting of trainees and graduates eth_azubi -.0639619 0.395 -.0497536 0.780
Job rotation / mobility programs eth_rotation .0722863 0.076** .1499326 0.121
International experience requirement eth_voraus -.0279655 0.456 -.0331452 0.710
Global talent pools eth_globale .0418629 0.335 .061676 0.549
Trainings / Workshops with international focus eth_training .0924539 0.023** .1246749 0.193
Mentoring for international staff eth_mentor~g -.1441717 0.002*** -.1053757 0.337
Department to support foreign professionals eth_abteil~g .027437 0.427 .0513389 0.531
  _cons 1.865497 0.000 1.193816 0.016

Table 4. Continue.

  Model c Variable: Embeddedness Model d Variable: Commitment Model d Variable: Work life balance
  Beta P Beta P Beta P
Flexible working hours .0033908 0.944 .0927174 0.020** -.0720385 0.359
Part time contracts after parental leave .0231959 0.710 -.0165088 0.744 -.2858656 0.005***
Working from home .0113375 0.816 .0471598 0.231 .091162 0.242
Job sharing for leadership roles -.0448663 0.354 -.0173663 0.654 .0256412 0.738
Diversity trainings -.0988767 0.039** .052534 0.172 -.0552258 0.469
Networks for female leadership roles .0833449 0.295 -.0601219 0.348 .1734503 0.173
Mentoring -.0958857 0.241 .0911911 0.168 -.0343112 0.792
Personal coaching -.0032057 0.960 -.0637581 0.215 .0938503 0.356
Company kindergarten -.0187318 0.635 -.0722233 0.022 -.0225347 0.716
Support for child care financing -.0102658 0.834 -.0502528 0.203 .0018441 0.981
Company counsel for family topics .047244 0.230 .0450899 0.159 -.0513483 0.420
Quota for female managers .0674056 0.056** .0526323 0.064 .0459627 0.416
Conversations after return from parental leave -.0223023 0.699 -.0026874 0.954 -.001683 0.986
Flexible working hours for mature staff -.022751 0.665 -.0279965 0.510 .0798747 0.346
Part time for mature staff .0163062 0.775 .0536813 0.246 .012745 0.889
Systematic development for mature staff -.0479899 0.446 .013637 0.789 .0767834 0.447
Horizontal moves for mature staff .0978127 0.147 .0479924 0.376 -.1244838 0.248
Targeted design of mixed age teams .0002051 0.997 .0475695 0.326 .064805 0.499
Ergonomic design of working space -.0033 0.948 .0045427 0.910 .0872408 0.278
Design of content for mature staff -.0182261 0.779 -.0227289 0.648 -.0956129 0.333
Leisure/sports activities -.1569358 0.004*** .021989 0.602 -.1638714 0.052*
Targeted external recruiting of mature staff -.0689243 0.276 -.0788937 0.108 .0242173 0.803
Personal health counseling .0691075 0.155 -.0046309 0.903 -.0183705 0.809
Targeted recruiting of foreign professionals -.0574508 0.395 -.1049836 0.050* .2981917 0.005***
Targeted recruiting of professionals and management with migration background .0565319 0.624 -.0054339 0.954 -.5354586 0.005***
Targeted recruiting of trainees and graduates .0218874 0.827 .1029292 0.205 .0944577 0.556
Job rotation / mobility programs -.0209088 0.704 .085002 0.054* .0205573 0.812
International experience requirement -.0061805 0.902 -.0775433 0.054* -.0328208 0.678
Global talent pools -.0284482 0.615 .0012402 0.978 .1559565 0.087**
Trainings / Workshops with international focus -.0361386 0.492 .0327643 0.440 -.2380662 0.005***
Mentoring for international staff .102689 0.107 .0130416 0.790 -.061034 0.530
Department to support foreign professionals -.0723933 0.113 -.0075143 0.836 .0718104 0.318
  3.992103 0.000 2.509912 0.000 3.60332 0.000

Table 5. Results of regression analysis (company survey): effects of instrument use on the perception of the diversity climate (model a), career and development opportunities (model b), sense of embeddedness and recognition (model c), personal commitment (model d), and perception of work life balance (model e).

    Model a Variable: Perception [var 344] Model b Variable: Career opport. [var 345]
  Variable code Beta P Beta P
Flexible working hours flex_arbei~n .0019203 0.914 .002277 0.936
Part time contracts after parental leave teilz_eltern -.000452 0.986 -.0032143 0.938
Working from home arb_zuhause -.0104615 0.528 .0100187 0.704
Job sharing for leadership roles jobsharing .0393241 0.062** .0639668 0.058**
Diversity trainings train_divers -.0076768 0.698 -.0060116 0.849
Networks for female leadership roles netzwerke_~l .0033994 0.831 .0153596 0.549
Mentoring ment_weibl .0096361 0.589 .0094947 0.738
Personal coaching coach_weibl .0081309 0.586 .0119296 0.617
Company kindergarten kindertages -.0015497 0.924 -.0110024 0.672
Support for child care financing unt_priv_k~s .0124761 0.289 .0129382 0.486
Company counsel for family topics betreibl_a~p -.0265828 0.123 -.0509399 0.069**
Quota for female managers quote_weibl .0034466 0.789 .0239 0.255
Conversations after return from parental leave rckkehrgesp -.002393 0.869 .0033942 0.884
Targeted recruiting of women rekrut_weibl -.0064437 0.719 -.0209489 0.467
Flexible working hours for mature staff flex_model~t .0100147 0.603 .034336 0.271
Part time for mature staff alterstz -.0096306 0.445 -.0432366 0.044**
Systematic development for mature staff syst_perso~t -.0269237 0.417 -.014836 0.777
Horizontal moves for mature staff horiz_aelt -.0147236 0.528 -.014809 0.690
Targeted design of mixed age teams altersgemi~t -.0239999 0.422 -.089367 0.074**
Ergonomic design of working space ergo_aplatz -.0069385 0.660 -.0173353 0.493
Design of content for mature staff alters_ges~l -.0073482 0.773 -.0029116 0.943
Leisure/sports activities freiz_ange~t .0312377 0.045** .048333 0.051**
Targeted external recruiting of mature staff rekrut_ext -.0295333 0.284 -.053682 0.226
Personal health counseling pers_gesund -.0042339 0.777 .0105762 0.658
Life phase oriented personnel development lebensphasen .0157851 0.604 .0090111 0.853
Targeted recruiting of foreign professionals rekrut_ausl .0052608 0.851 .0556517 0.226
Targeted recruiting of professionals and management with migration background rekrut_fac~a .0239445 0.600 -.0250606 0.730
Targeted recruiting of trainees and graduates rekrut_abs~a -.0005401 0.989 .0584253 0.340
Targeted design of international teams internat_t~m -.0103669 0.648 -.0729311 0.058**
Job rotation / mobility programs entsend_au~d -.0143934 0.443 -.0289871 0.336
International experience requirement auslandser~s -.0036471 0.786 -.0023635 0.912
Global talent pools glob_talen~s -.0072367 0.652 .00042 0.987
Trainings / Workshops with international focus train_int_~s -.0103566 0.583 -.0070068 0.815
Mentoring for international staff ment_ausl .0379866 0.218 .0619392 0.209
Department to support foreign professionals abtl_unt_a~a .0047588 0.714 .0038922 0.851
  _cons 2.963182 0.000 3.819733 0.000

Table 5. Continue.

  Model c Variable: Embeddedness [var 346] Model d Variable: Commitment [var 347] Model d Variable: Work life balance [var 348]
  Beta P Beta P Beta P
Flexible working hours -.000058 0.996 .0124039 0.443 .0002451 0.988
Part time contracts after parental leave -.0054081 0.751 .0263559 0.270 -.0177486 0.474
Working from home .0130551 0.237 -.0028842 0.846 .0262108 0.108
Job sharing for leadership roles -.016584 0.213 .0543697 0.007 -.0032154 0.864
Diversity trainings .003429 0.791 .0388907 0.042** -.0109449 0.560
Networks for female leadership roles .0027237 0.794 -.0045202 0.754 .0130044 0.395
Mentoring -.0076222 0.515 .0309176 0.068* -.0111218 0.511
Personal coaching -.001632 0.867 -.0134462 0.324 .009313 0.511
Company kindergarten -.0037137 0.727 -.0069902 0.634 -.0125761 0.417
Support for child care financing -.0069367 0.365 -.0074758 0.476 7.79e-06 0.999
Company counsel for family topics .0128741 0.245 -.0189138 0.217 -.0113493 0.472
Quota for female managers .0025474 0.762 .010512 0.371 .0165275 0.187
Conversations after return from parental leave .0041103 0.666 -.0137721 0.302 .0116772 0.400
Targeted recruiting of women .0022799 0.845 -.044111 0.014** -.0021091 0.901
Flexible working hours for mature staff -.0006552 0.958 .0099217 0.568 .0224412 0.227
Part time for mature staff -.0038989 0.635 -.0121725 0.290 -.02956 0.022**
Systematic development for mature staff .0253908 0.248 -.0083276 0.779 .0370336 0.244
Horizontal moves for mature staff .0056944 0.708 .0268102 0.212 -.0059141 0.788
Targeted design of mixed age teams -.0044355 0.819 -.0825927 0.007*** -.0400334 0.166
Ergonomic design of working space .0008351 0.935 .0055442 0.696 -.0120788 0.421
Design of content for mature staff .0060264 0.718 .0031501 0.891 .0137835 0.570
Leisure/sports activities -.0167795 0.092** .0267772 0.055* .000224 0.987
Targeted external recruiting of mature staff .0074276 0.676 -.0377271 0.137 -.0114311 0.656
Personal health counseling .0090948 0.358 -.013825 0.312 .0204049 0.162
Life phase oriented personnel development -.0087246 0.661 -.0025314 0.926 -.0039703 0.890
Targeted recruiting of foreign professionals .0118811 0.520 .0102302 0.687 .0518949 0.065*
Targeted recruiting of professionals and management with migration background -.0245627 0.414 .0355118 0.392 -.0645274 0.148
Targeted recruiting of trainees and graduates .0102268 0.680 .0203787 0.552 .0462366 0.208
Targeted design of international teams -.0121869 0.415 -.0578124 0.011** -.0547533 0.020**
Job rotation / mobility programs -.0001344 0.991 -.0046901 0.780 -.0170366 0.339
International experience requirement .0016002 0.855 -.0078144 0.521 .0048449 0.703
Global talent pools .0089618 0.398 .0100397 0.490 .0159969 0.300
Trainings / Workshops with international focus .0068322 0.580 -.0291776 0.100 .0099397 0.577
Mentoring for international staff -.0145378 0.464 .0316834 0.253 .0095826 0.737
Department to support foreign professionals -.0013346 0.875 -.0121072 0.309 .0001941 0.987
  3.222547 0.000 3.341475 0.000 2.324853 0.000

Finally, table 6 combines results from the employer and employee surveys, adding the mean results of the employee survey for specific organizations to the employer data set as dependent variable for the use of specific instruments. The dependent variables include overall diversity climate as perceived by employees in the organization (model a), personal preferences on career and performance (model b), personal ambition (model c) and overall perception of talent culture (model d). The effect of diversity measures on the diversity climate are confirmed by this approach, while the use of diversity measures appear to have little to know effect on the other variables. Part time offers for mature staff seems to be the one measure with a positive effect on almost all variables.

Table 6. Results of regression analysis (employer survey): effects of the use of instruments on overall diversity perceptions by employees in the organization (model a), personal preferences on career and performance, the perception of talent culture (model c), and on personal ambition (model d).

    Model a Variable: Overall diversity climate Model b Variable: Personal preferences on career/performance Model c Variable: Perception of talent culture Model d Personal ambition / personality
  Variable code Beta P Beta P Beta P Beta P
Flexible working hours flex_arbei~n -.0017827 0.826 .0013424 0.933 -.0097822 0.786 -.0015319 0.766
Part time contracts after parental leave teilz_eltern -.0046662 0.695 -.0172613 0.463 .0315821 0.552 -.0011467 0.879
Working from home arb_zuhause .0150455 0.061* .0125898 0.400 .0335282 0.325 .0039945 0.408
Job sharing for leadership roles jobsharing .0046804 0.607 -.0131955 0.462 .0419405 0.307 .0086991 0.144
Diversity trainings train_divers -.0015875 0.861 -.0005361 0.976 .0112119 0.780 -.0002083 0.971
Networks for female leadership roles netzwerke_~l .0062725 0.396 .0110708 0.444 -.0001002 0.998 .0037274 0.425
Mentoring ment_weibl -.0062621 0.445 -.0107366 0.503 .004038 0.911 -.0021365 0.678
Personal coaching coach_weibl .0020115 0.768 .0053715 0.688 -.012869 0.671 .0012617 0.770
Company kindergarten kindertages -.0020066 0.787 -.0140017 0.343 .0197801 0.551 -.0000957 0.984
Support for child care financing unt_priv_k~s -.000836 0.874 -.0049983 0.630 -.0010692 0.964 .0010148 0.762
Company counsel for family topics betreibl_a~p -.0051137 0.503 .0162576 0.283 -.0535834 0.126 -.0033095 0.493
Quota for female managers quote_weibl .0104131 0.092* -.0006773 0.953 .0439876 0.108 .0037493 0.321
Conversations after return from parental leave rckkehrgesp .006924 0.306 .0025714 0.843 .0152074 0.608 .0019802 0.638
Recruiting of female applicants rekrut_weibl -.0002 0.980 .0058661 0.715 -.0255314 0.486 .0009757 0.850
Flexible working hours for mature staff flex_model~t .0077507 0.383 .0019587 0.909 .0290517 0.460 .0018097 0.744
Part time for mature staff alterstz -.0171485 0.008*** -.0055281 0.623 -.0537088 0.048** -.0071974 0.061**
Systematic development for mature staff syst_perso~t .0167015 0.276 .0196841 0.507 .0139363 0.835 -.0015672 0.869
Horizontal moves for mature staff horiz_aelt .0001683 0.987 -.0085558 0.682 .03251 0.494 -.0028214 0.675
Targeted design of mixed age teams altersgemi~t -.025556 0.074* -.0105359 0.692 -.088839 0.154 -.0125486 0.157
Ergonomic design of working space ergo_aplatz -.0066593 0.361 .0028332 0.841 -.0242637 0.452 -.0024201 0.596
Design of content for mature staff alters_ges~l .0028646 0.806 -.000606 0.979 .0107791 0.835 -.0040634 0.584
Leisure/sports activities freiz_ange~t -.0015443 0.816 -.0132692 0.316 .0230174 0.440 .0026075 0.537
Targeted external recruiting of mature staff rekrut_ext -.0068746 0.581 -.0030828 0.899 -.0115221 0.834 -.0065994 0.405
Personal health counseling pers_gesund .0131917 0.068* .0130272 0.337 .0186151 0.542 .0056971 0.199
Life phase oriented career planning lebensphasen -.0084671 0.545 .0029755 0.913 -.0482551 0.439 -.0023186 0.792
Targeted recruiting of foreign professionals rekrut_ausl .0292103 0.035** .0091362 0.717 .0898457 0.130 .0094674 0.254
Targeted recruiting of professionals and management with migration background rekrut_fac~a -.038319 0.081* -.0046563 0.909 -.1396542 0.145 -.0083913 0.526
Targeted recruiting of trainees and graduates rekrut_abs~a .0306306 0.091* -.00176 0.959 .1400085 0.083** .0109698 0.323
Targeted design of international teams internat_t~m -.0260036 0.022** -.0172375 0.401 -.0747782 0.119 -.0073453 0.272
Job rotation / mobility programs entsend_au~d -.006423 0.454 -.0129611 0.441 .0135715 0.720 -.0039722 0.464
International experience requirement auslandser~s .000465 0.940 .001085 0.928 .0016675 0.951 -.0011791 0.761
Global talent pools glob_talen~s .0041845 0.570 .0103808 0.473 -.0059961 0.854 -.0021842 0.638
Trainings / Workshops with international focus train_int_~s .0067296 0.438 .0089863 0.595 .0079641 0.835 .0030019 0.582
Mentoring for international staff ment_ausl .0019246 0.889 .0002711 0.992 .0007178 0.991 .0052322 0.550
Department to support foreign staff abtl_unt_a~a .0018824 0.751 .0029208 0.802 -.0063401 0.810 .0029295 0.439
  _cons 2.960492 0.000 3.521957 0.000 2.919169 0.000 3.274776 0.000

7. Discussion

The key finding of this study is that German organizations are applying too little diversity measures in their organizations and that if they do apply measures they are often applying not the most effective ones. This seems partly be due to a low assumed significance of general diversity demands, lower levels of societal and economic embeddedness of the topic, as well as lower levels of diversity infrastructure. It seems that despite experts know better, too often only the more traditional and state regulated measures with respect to gender diversity are being applied. For example, the HR experts in Germany prioritize gender quota as second most effective gender diversity instrument in German organizations, however only 27% of organizations apply this measure. It appears the organizations are waiting for the state to regulate diversity and then they are complying with it rather than actively creating a set of unique differentiating measures that can be used to attract and retain human capital which is what German organizations should be doing in order to remain successful. The study results could therefore be used as evidence for future state regulation of diversity measures in Germany.

Furthermore, the difference between actual usage of instruments in German organizations as opposed to the prioritization of experts in these organizations is being used as indicator for the maturity of this diversity area in German organizations. According to this indicator, gender diversity shows the highest level of maturity in German organizations. In this area of diversity, employees also associate a higher level of commitment with the organization they work for.

The results of the present study show that many companies focus on promoting gender diversity. It appears that a great opportunity is being missed in the cultural context of Germany: Instead of providing differentiating measures which can support and strengthen their employer branding, the companies focus on offering part time arrangements and more flexible working hours. Measures designed to promote age and ethnic diversity, in contrast, are used by less than one third of the responding companies. Overall, the results confirm that in many organizations in Germany diversity management appears to be shrunk to ‘integrationism’ with the main burden put to the member of the minority groups rather than using diversity as management tool (Tatli et al, 2007).

Increasing significance, but low levels of infrastructure

Only just under half (46 percent) of the respondents in the survey consider the significance of diversity management in their organizations to be "high" or "very high". However, 92 percent of the respondents stated that they expect the significance to increase or even greatly increase. It can be reasonably assumed that in Germany diversity will considerably gain in significance. It is therefore all the more important for companies to already now understand what diversity instruments are effective and what benefits such diversity measures could bring for their position in the "War for Talents".

Despite the relevance attached to the topic in almost half of the organizations, only 32 percent of the respondents stated that their organization has a Diversity Officer whose scope goes beyond the role of the Equal Opportunity Officer required under German law. In companies which have a Diversity Officer, this officer at least reports directly to the Management Board or to the division head in more than half of the responding organizations, while the rest reports to the department head.

Asked for the objectives of their diversity management efforts, 75 percent of the responding organizations stated they had defined objectives relating to gender management; considerably less have defined objectives relating to age and ethnic diversity (age diversity: 45 percent; ethnic diversity: 38 percent). Other diversity aspects (such as religion, skin color or sexuality etc.) were not covered in the survey because their lack of relevance had already been identified in the run-up to the study. Furthermore, the survey shows that in 57 percent of the organizations, the diversity topic is embedded in the HR strategy, but only 38 percent of the organizations have managed to also embed the topic in their corporate strategies – although the involvement of other diversity aspects would indeed be important to mitigate the increasing shortage of professional and management personnel, especially in what in Germany are called the "MINT" professions (mathematics / information technology / natural sciences / technology), e.g. by retaining older talents, attracting foreign talents and generally enhance the organization's attractiveness as an employer vis-à-vis the current workforce and potential candidates.

Prioritization and prevalence of gender diversity instruments in German organizations

The use of gender diversity instruments differs from the prioritization through experts. This difference is being used as indicator for the maturity of diversity in Germany.

The main section of the questionnaire focused on the specific instruments used to increase diversity. Most of the instruments mentioned by the respondents are aimed at promoting female employees and at enhancing the compatibility of family and career. Figure 3 shows an overview of how many of the organizations consider the listed measures to be "widely available" (4) or "largely available" (5).

The most common instruments appear to be those which contribute to making work arrangements more flexible, e.g. "flexible working hours" or "part-time contracts after parental leave", while instruments that include financial support, such as "company kindergarten" or "support for private child care financing" are mentioned by less than 25 percent of the respondents. Thus instruments including financial support, such as "company kindergarten" and "financial support for private child care financing" are significantly less common than instruments designed to promote the compatibility of family and career.

Traditional programs for the advancement of women, such as mentoring, coaching or networks for female employees, play a role in less than one third of the responding organizations. It is surprising, however, that after all around 27 percent state that their company is implementing a "gender quota" policy to increase the number of women in leadership positions. Even though this instruments is being discussed very controversially in society in German at large, it appears to be relatively undisputed once implemented in practice. In light of the fact that German organizations appear to react predominately to state regulated diversity policy, the implementation of a gender quote in Germany should be reconsidered.

In order to measure the significance of the various instruments independent of their commonness, the survey participants were asked to prioritize the instruments by usefulness. This permits a comparison between actual practice and the perceived usefulness of the instruments on the part of the HR managers. Instruments which on average were considered to be relatively useful while their availability is still below average can thus be deemed to be topics that will gain in importance. The results are shown in a scatter plot (Fig. 3). Respondents had the option to assign top, secondary or tertiary priority to each instrument. In the next step, an average priority was calculated for each instrument, which could attain a maximum value of 3 (and a minimum of 0 for those instruments that were not on the priority list of any of the respondents). Of particular interest are the instruments in the left upper quadrant, which are not yet relatively common in practice but which are attributed a relatively high usefulness. For example: the instrument "job sharing" is widely or largely available in only 4.6 percent of the responding companies, while at the same time it ranks relatively high in terms of the priority attributed to it. This instrument might be an effective option for companies to distinguish themselves as attractive employers. HR managers also perceive the "quota for female managers" as a relatively useful instrument, which can likewise be interpreted as an option to enhance the company image. Support for child care by means of a company kindergarten may also be another topic of the future. Holding the top ranking by a wide margin, "flexible working hours" are the instrument HR managers consider to be the most effective one; however, as this instrument is already quite common in many organizations, it offers less potential for differentiation from other employers.

Figure 1. Use and prioritization of gender diversity instruments (n=63).

Overall, it is surprising that organizations apply different measures than would be recommended by practicioners or HR experts which are colored red I the above chart. In addition, the instruments prioritized by HR experts appear to be preferred by employees. Thus, employees appear to be more progressive than what their organizations are willing to implement as their preferences are aligned with the prioritization of HR experts. Overall, however, with regards to gender diversity, many companies appear to have hit the mark with offering flexible working hours to their employees, because this instrument is actually associated with a significant difference in the outcome variable (higher proportion of women in the workforce of the organization).

Prioritization and prevalence of age diversity instruments in German organizations

Age diversity is especially about retaining "older", more mature staff members. Figure 2 shows that the needs of the older generation are addressed especially by means of providing ergonomic design of working space, leisure/sports offers, and part-time arrangements (see the dots arranged along the X-axis). However, it are precisely these instruments which are attributed a relatively low usefulness. In contrast, the instruments "systematic development for mature staff", "design of content for mature staff", "horizontal moves for mature staff" and "targeted design of mixed age teams" are attributed a relatively high usefulness, although these instruments are today applied only in approx. 10 percent of the responding organizations. Therefore, the topics of "Systematic personnel development" and "Mixed age teams" can be considered as priority topics to come.

Figure 2. Actual use versus prioritization by HR experts of age diversity instruments.

The present study shows that specific needs of the older generation of employees are being primarily addressed by measures aimed at improving workplace ergonomics, health counseling, part-time arrangements for mature staff or leisure/sports offers. Qualitative topics, such as systematic HR development for mature staff, targeted design of mixed age teams and especially recruiting of mature staff play a secondary role only. Having in mind that this is where HR officers place a special focus on, this makes clear that there is a huge gap between intention and reality. Nevertheless, every company today faces the question of which value added can be generated bat he targeted use of instruments to enhance age diversity. A look at the detailed results of the survey makes clear that the proportion of employees aged between 56 and 65 was higher in those organizations that do apply instruments such as personal health counseling or mixed age teams than in those who do not apply such instruments. HR officers consider the instruments currently used by the companies – such as improvement of workplace ergonomics, leisure/sports offers and part-time arrangements for mature staff – to have relatively little usefulness. On contrast, systematic HR development for mature staff, design of content for mature staff, horizontal moves for mature staff and targeted design of mixed age teams are attributed a relatively high usefulness, although these instruments are today applied only in approx. 10 percent of the responding organizations. Interestingly, these measures are also prioritized by employees. The most effective age diversity measures are currently not particularly widely used but they are at least attributed a relatively high priority by HR officers and will therefore move more in the focus. In future, more targeted development for mature staff or opportunities for job rotation could be offered for mature staff as these are also prioritized by employees. Therefore, the evidence in the area of age diversity differs from gender diversity. Employers prefer instruments which leverage workforce flexibility, while HR experts seem to prioritize instruments which actually make jobs for the elderly more attractive and can therefore provide a more long term economic benefit. As the employees themselves also would prefer these instruments, German organizations currently don’t seem to take advantage of the chance for differentiation using age diversity measures. Thus, the chance for differentiation in employer attractiveness is currently not being used.

Prioritization and prevalence of ethnic diversity instruments in German organizations

Finally, in the area of ethnic diversity, German organizations actually seem to have the biggest issue. At the same time, this area could offer the largest opportunity for differentiation. Organizations consider "deployment of management personnel to jobs abroad", "targeted recruiting of foreign professional/management personnel", and "global talent pools" to be effective measures to increase the proportion of non-German staff. In addition, the "targeted recruiting of professional/management personnel with a migrant background" – which is not currently very common – is also considered to be relatively effective; this is understandable given the fact that organizations can avail themselves of ethnic diversity at relatively low cost while the deployment of German staff abroad is considerably more expensive. Covering internationality by deploying German staff with international experience seems therefore to be a topic which will increase in significance in the years to come.

Figure 3. Actual use versus prioritization by HR experts of ethnic diversity instruments.

Organizations consider both, deployment of executive personnel to positions abroad and targeted recruitment of internationally experienced staff to be important measures. However, there is awareness of the differences between these two instruments, which is reflected by the fact that targeted recruiting is given priority. By pursuing this approach, the organizations miss out on specific cultural knowledge and knowledge of local customs and habits. Furthermore, the deployment of German staff and the training measures involved have proven to be a rather costly exercise. So why not enhance ethnic diversity within the company and harness the potentials inherent therein? Recruitment of professional and management personnel and (younger) trainees with migration background is increasingly seen as a way to move to the future. This intention is also indicated by the correlation matrix with the proportion of non-German staff members as dependent variable.

Companies consider the deployment of executive personnel to positions abroad, targeted recruitment of foreign professional/management personnel and global talent pools to be effective measures for increasing the proportion of non-German employees.

In addition, the focused recruiting of professional and management personnel with migration background – an instrument currently not very widely used – is considered to be relatively effective; this is understandable given the fact that organizations can avail themselves of ethnic diversity at relatively low cost while the deployment of German staff abroad is considerably more expensive.

However, in general it can be said that, as far as ethnic diversity is concerned, German organizations do not yet appear to have "a good nose": none of the particularly effective measures is currently very common in German organizations, nor do HR managers perceive them as particularly useful. Bringing internationality into the company through German staff with experience from working abroad could be replaced by hiring more international staff in the home country.

Quantitative (measurable) effects of the use of diversity measures on key metrics

The analysis of effectiveness of diversity measures provides insights in the actual practice in the organizations in Germany. In order to gain insights into the actual effectiveness of diversity measures on different outcome variables, regression analyses were done in a next step, with the specific instruments being the explanatory variables. Tables 3, 4 and 5 show the results of the analyses. The proportion of female employees in the overall workforce and the proportion of female managers were used as outcome variables for gender diversity; the proportion of mature staff was used as outcome variable for age diversity and the proportion of non-German staff was used for ethnic diversity. In the regression analysis, various influencing parameters, such as industry, organization size and number of used diversity instruments in each organization were controlled in order to isolate the effect as much as possible. The analysis shows which measures have a significant impact on the outcome variables and which don't (Figure 4). However, given the small number of observations covered, results should be interpreted with some caution. On the basis of the analysis results, the differences in the depth of experience of the organizations with the various diversity aspects can be considered to be confirmed. As regards the gender aspect, many companies appear to have hit the mark with offering flexible working hours to their employees, because this instrument is actually associated with a significant difference in the outcome variable (higher proportion of women in the workforce of the organization). In the case of age diversity, the situation is different in that the most effective instrument in this field is not particularly common but given priority by HR managers and that therefore quite some focus will be placed on this instrument in future. As far as ethnic diversity is concerned, German organizations do not yet appear to have "a good nose": none of the particularly effective measures is currently very common in German organizations, nor do HR managers perceive them as particularly useful.

Figure 4. Instruments making a significant difference in the outcome variable (in companies applying the respective instruments).

Due to the potential benefits and possible state regulation in Germany, the topic is still being discussed widely. The discussion is also still controversial and has a political dimension. However, it is surprising that the levels of diversity measures are so low. In this context it appears that in most cases only the aspect of equal opportunities for women is being discussed, whereas mature employees and people with a migration background are being neglected in the debate. For employees, their decision in favor of or against a job offer depends increasingly on a multitude of different factors involving aspects of diversity management. In this regard, such aspects as job satisfaction and corporate/business policy of the company play an ever increasing role.

The issue of diversity management continues to be a very topical one, not least due to the ongoing discussion on the pros and cons of a mandatory quota of women in management positions. However, the results confirm that Germany is still very much behind due negative experience with migration, ethnic diversity, and a culture of inclusion. Companies in Germany would be well advised to move strategically and turn the weakness and other countries mistakes into advantage.

In synthesis, the results of Table 4 and 5 show the complication of diversity management. Table 4 shows that employees associate a positive diversity and inclusion climate as well as high levels of work live balance with the usage of diversity instruments. Table 5 shows the different priorities of employers. In this case, the high usage of instruments is associated with improved career opportunities and improved commitment to manage fluctuation. It is critical for the success of diversity measures to integrate the different perspectives and find the tools that satisfy the needs of employers and employees. As Table 4 shows, from an employee perspective it is mostly the overall perception on diversity practice and discrimination as well as perception on work live balance which is impacted by the use of diversity management (gender, age, and ethnic) in the organization. In contrast, table 5 shows that from an employer perspective it is the perception of career opportunities and commitment to the organizations which is impacted by the use of diversity measures. The picture evolved that the personal character of the workforce is important as it determines what is preferred by employees. Therefore, the culture of the workforce becomes an important factor. The success of diversity measures is higher the more socially aware the workforce is. This means, the diversity instruments have a higher efficacy in the case of a workforce with higher social value orientation.

Qualitative (measurable) effects associated with the use of diversity instruments

The results of the employee survey in table 4 show on average a positive effect of the use of diversity instruments on the overall diversity climate and the personal perception of work life balance, as well as a negative effect on discrimination. The results of the employer survey in table 5 show a positive effect on career opportunities as well as employee commitment. The different results speak to the different perspectives, expectations and priorities of employees and employers in organizations around the use of diversity instruments which are reflected by the study results. Employers appear to appreciate employee development and commitment, whereas employees prioritize intuitively a positive atmosphere against discrimination as well as work life balance. The latter prioritization may not be identical with all employees, thus the effects of diversity measures may also be connected to the personality of employees. Thus personality of employees may determine success of diversity culture. The picture evolves that the personal character of the workforce is important as it determines internal preferences and perceptions on diversity. There are no statistical differences in the personality of employees with respect to the effectiveness of specific measures. However it does determine how positive instruments in can contribute to an atmosphere of inclusion in the organization. Personality determines how strong someone react positively to the culture of the organization, thus SVO and JS are important concepts in diversity management.

If employees personality is a differentiator for the success of diversity measures, organizations will need to attempt profiling the personality of employees (to the extend this is possible by corporate law). One appropriate key metric is social value orientation, which appears to be a valid differentiator for workforce perception. Social value orientation may determine which instruments are success critical and which are not. Personality may not determine which instruments are success critical but it determines the culture of an organization and if the culture is conducive to tolerance or not, which can be defined as intervening variable and will be described in the next section.

While employee personalities appear to be a determining factor of the success of diversity measures, corporate culture seems to be another factor. Examples of a talent culture may be to focus more on potential than on past performance. This has several reasons. Some of them are obvious, as people like to be faced with possibilities rather than with facts, as they imply the opportunities of improvement. Another reason is that often career advancements involve very different jobs and requirements and that often people simply won’t perform as well on the new job than on the previous job. Therefore it is recommended to focus in talent management more on potential future than on past performance, and to focus on potential assessment rather than evaluation?

Therefore, research shows that talent management tools are more effective if they are combined with personality assessing instruments gauging people’s potential. The reason is that it is much more empowering to an individual to be assessed on the basis of his/her potential than on the basis of past performance. On the other hand, the level of transparency is lower if past performance is not evaluated. People are largely being assessed by the past performance, yet research shows potential should be by far the larger driver for assessments. But if this is the case you need to consider personality.

If it is so important to include the personality of individuals in the design of talent management instruments, then it is suggested to include the most current personality groupings available. In previous research other qualitative success factors of talent management was shown as self-control (Landwehr 2016).

Intervening variables on diversity management success

The results suggest that the perception of diversity climate, discrimination as well as work life balance are intervening factors for diversity measure success. Moe precisely, the results suggest that employees with higher levels of social value orientation prefer those diversity instruments over other instruments which are actually more effective with respective to objective metrics and could also be more effective for differentiation in the context of employer branding. One of the personality traits which reflects how people evaluate outcomes for themselves and others is ‘social value orientation’. It is regarded as a personality trait and has been identified as an important determinant of cooperative motives, strategies, and choice behavior (Kollock 1998), and is therefore relevant for perception of diversity measures. The literature generally differentiates among prosocials, who tend to maximize outcomes for both themselves and others (i.e. cooperation) and to minimize differences between outcomes for themselves and others (i.e. equality); individualists tend to maximize their own outcomes with little or no regard for others’ outcomes; and competitors tend to maximize their own outcomes relative to others’ outcomes, seeking relative advantage over others (Van Lange, 1997). Based on the results, high SVO is associated with a higher diversity culture.

De Dreu & Boles (1998) have linked SVO to negotiation heuristics expressing a specific perspective on life and thus explained that SVO is linked to moral convictions. Similarly, the integrative Model of Social value orientation by Van Lange (1999) argues that a prosocial orientation should be understood in terms of enhancing both joint outcomes and equality of outcomes.

From the beginning of SVO research, game theoretical experiments have been the basis for tracking the outcome distribution of certain behavior patterns. Accordingly, Kuhlman & Marshello 1975, Sattler & Kerr 1991, according to Lange et al. (1997) have pitted the results of cooperation versus non-cooperation of prosocial, individualistic and competitive preferences. Not surprisingly, a prosocial value disposition leads to higher returns, and therefore prosocial behavior would clearly be preferred over other behavior patterns in most situations. In addition, there are some self-enforcing factors to the positive effect of prosocialism, i.e. the positive impression on others (Iedema and Poppe, 1996). These factors need to be taken into account when making assumptions about the value of a prosocial value orientation and the effect of diversity instruments.

The concept of justice sensitivity aims at explaining inter-individual differences in reacting to unfair situations (such as discrimination) and was first described by Schmitt et al. (1995) as sensitivity to befallen injustice. Based on this concept, Schmitt & Mohiyeddini 1996 suggested four different indicators for a person’s sensitivity to befallen injustice, i.e. (a) frequency of perceived injustice, (b) intensity of anger, (c) intrusiveness~perseverance of thoughts about the event, and (d) punitivity. These indicators resulted in the definition of a specific perception pattern of justice sensitivity for which they identified distinct inter-individual differences. In order to improve the predictive power of the model, Fetchenhauer and Huang (2004) differentiated the personality trait of justice sensitivity into three sub-dimensions: sensitivity with regard to experiencing injustice towards oneself (JSvictim); sensitivity to observing that others are treated unfairly (JSobserver) and sensitivity to profiting from unfair events (JSbeneficiary). These dimensions were successfully used to predict decision making in a number of game theoretical paradigms. Therefore, performance management instruments should include components of a personality regulation which means that performance management takes personality into account.

Finally, work-life balance seems to an intervening variable for the success of diversity instruments as well. As a result, if companies finally succeed in recruiting qualified employees and managers, this will have a decisive influence on their competitive position. When making their decision on which job they choose and what sacrifices they are ready to bring, candidates consider family aspects and their desire to have their lives not solely be determined by their work. Exciting tasks, personal development opportunities and the corporate/business policies of a company are therefore in most cases more important than lucrative pay at renowned companies.

Diversity must become established as a central guiding principle in companies and understood as a factor that positively impacts company success.

Thus, the study makes clear once again that although companies do have initial ideas regarding diversity and talent management, they will need to put into place further measures. Nevertheless, as regards the study conducted by the University of Cologne it can be regarded as critical that no consistent definition of "high potentials" can be found. Furthermore, it is not clear whether an increased proportion of employees belonging to the more mature generation is desirable at all. After all, this generation is often considered to be associated with lack of IT knowledge, excessive salaries or susceptibility to age-related diseases. The study does not permit any conclusions as regards this topic and the different definitions of "high potentials" the individual HR managers have in their minds.

However, it is beyond doubt that in the coming years the overall topic of talent and diversity management will continue to grow in importance and that interesting innovations will be seen in this field. Companies must face up to the challenges of the labor market and take suitable, individual actions to secure corporate success.

In the context of talent and diversity management, social media is becoming more and more important, as diversity compentencies are being shared in social media. Therefore, the social media assessment is turning into an important intervening variable for diversity success as well.

Likewise, as a general trend it was found that social media portals are becoming more important and that especially the younger generation prefers using the web over conventional job advertisements. It is therefore important for the companies how to establish and design their web presence to attract high potential candidates. However, it is not always necessary to look for talents outside of the company. According to the HR managers responding in the survey, structured potential assessments, internal job portals and talent review workshops are indeed effective and common measures for identifying the leaders of tomorrow. At the same time, however, the study has also revealed a lack of talent pools and 360° feedback rounds. This can certainly be attributed to the effort and cost involved in keeping the individual employee profiles up to date. However, each individual company has to make its own decision on whether the costs thereby incurred exceed the worth of the positive results. Without doubt, communication is another aspect which is neglected in many companies and, as a result, talents available in one department often remain unknown to the other departments or divisions of an organization. When it comes to an effective selection of talents and to actions to advance these talents, many companies fail due to lacking follow-up on promotion promised to the employees (65 percent) or because there are no career prospects at all (76 percent). This illustrates that in many cases the companies themselves are responsible for their lack of suitable junior managers.

In addition, in the first instance, many companies are facing the question about the form of talent performance measurement and how and to what extent it is possible to identify differences to non-potentials. For performance assessment, the surveyed HR managers primarily use the instruments of a fixed scale, separation of performance and potentials, and specific agreements on objectives. "Forced" measures or conferences with several managers, in contrast, are less appreciated, firstly because of the time and cost effort involved, and secondly because forced measures are generally considered counterproductive. However, as regards performance assessment, top priority should be given to transparency for the employee. Only by treating employees in a consistent manner and in the absence of any arbitrariness can employees be motivated and triggered to perform better. At the end of the day, each and every employee will in the medium and long run face the question about which personal development prospect is provided by his or her company. For employees, such aspects like the opportunity to take on more responsibility or to get involved in an international project are often important criteria for a change of employer. In this regard, the study conducted by the Seminar for Human Resource Management at the University of Cologne identified focused measures, such as personal development plans, stretch assignments, portals for training and continued professional development and special development programs for high potentials as a priority. It is the aim of HR managers to offer individual opportunities and incentives for talents. However, promotion measures are limited to such employees who show personal ambition and a will to develop further. Nevertheless, the study shows that there are indeed personnel promotion opportunities, which are, however, in most cases only accessible for high potentials. Due to this, talents on the lower levels, which are of great importance to the company, take a back seat. It is therefore necessary to find ways to offer high potentials opportunities to develop their skills while at the same time providing suitable measures for talented employees even if they are not high potentials. In order to avoid loosing qualified employees, most companies will have to invest in this field.

To end, organization should dare more, and acknowledge that they can be the drove of change. If there use diversity as differentiator, they will maximize their benefits.

8. Summary of Results

Although the topic of diversity does not rank at the top of the agenda in many companies in Germany, the interest of HR experts in the topic appears to increase. In many companies, the primary focus is still on the gender aspect but his might change soon as the demographic change becomes more tangible and employees will increasingly have to rely on employees with a migration background and on more mature employees.

Our analysis indicates that some measures are perceived to be particularly useful although they are not yet widely applied. This includes the application of a quota of women in management, company kindergarten, job sharing and systematic personnel development for mature employees. Companies should therefore consider applying such measures in practice, not only to make use of the potential available in the labor market but also to distinguish themselves from competitors in the labor market. For quite some time now, ratings of the quality of companies as employers have become widespread in the Internet and the approach of companies to diversity has become an important rating criterion for many users.

Recommended Actions for Companies

To improve diversity, assess effective measures in a focused manner: If a company wants to improve promotion of workforce diversity, also to distinguish itself as an employer, the measures analyzed in the present study can provide important leads. Especially those measures that are not yet widely used but assessed as relatively useful (red) should be considered in the discussions.

Analyze the effectiveness of the company's offers to encourage diversity (internal analysis): A survey among the company's own employees about the effectiveness of the various measures could probably produce the most meaningful findings as regards the usefulness of the measures. This could be implemented without much effort by including suitable questions in employee surveys that are carried out anyway. The assessment of the measures by the target group itself will firstly ensure more objectivity of the assessment and secondly provide the management with direct leads as to how the measures should be developed further.

Gear the company's offers to the future personnel requirements (external analysis): Companies should understand offers to encourage diversity as a necessity for finding and retaining suitable personnel in the future. It is important to understand in which areas, professional groups and functions a personnel shortage may emerge in the company within the near future (five years). This shortage/demand must then be compared to the supply of suitable resources available in the labor market. Depending on the identified sources of professionals (e.g. mature employees or professionals from abroad) the company could tap, it will then be possible for companies to focus on and expand specific diversity encouraging offers. Leads as to which measures are useful can be derived from studies or from findings arrived at in the company itself.

The results of the present study do not cover employee perception. Suitable additional analyses could perhaps produce more objective assessments of the success of the measures. Thus, a second phase of the study is planned to survey the employees of the responding companies for their perception of the measures offered and the effectiveness of such measures. The aggregated data can then be analyzed in combination.

The results of the present study show HR managers' assessment of the effectiveness of specific measures in practice, and the actual success of the measures. In contrast, the current debate on some specific diversity measures, such as "Mandatory quota for female managers", "EU Blue Card" or "anonymized job applications" are often based on key figures, rules and regulations instead of an analysis of the objective, economic and social benefits of having a diverse workforce. A better balance with scientific examination of the benefits of and challenges involved in diversity could greatly contribute to both the debate at large and the practicability of methods applied and approaches taken.


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