As a global company, Uber should reflect the diversity and inclusion that thrives inside and outside our walls. That’s why we so strongly embrace the unique ideas and philosophies of our employees who live and work in more than 200 cities worldwide. Uber connects riders to drivers to make cities more accessible and bring people closer. Understanding their cultural backgrounds helps Uber to better serve its customers’ needs which in turn improves our economic and social sustainability. When cultural diversity is acknowledged and honored, managers find new ways to maximize the different skills and styles of employees from different cultures. When employees are understood and accepted for their different cultural backgrounds and beliefs of their colleagues, they are more capable of working harmoniously with their fellow staff and engaging in productive activity. Our Employee Diversity & Inclusion Strategy represents our commitment to creating an environment where all employees feel valued, respected and fully engaged to contribute to our future success. In support of that strategy, Uber’s definition of diversity extends beyond race, age and gender to also include differences in ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender identity, education, religion, physical ability, values, backgrounds and experiences. Implementing an organizational culture in a culturally diverse environment is a topic of interest for managers alike.
As Diversity and Inclusion Manager at Uber, I recommend the following strategies to help Uber succeed:
1. Implement a customized sustainable organizational design that fits our organization. In order for Uber to strengthen its organizational culture it must implement a sustainable organizational design that engages stakeholders around the globe and allocates high-level roles and responsibilities to these individuals. Uber must identify mid-level and supervisory level employees to act as operational team leads in major cities and hubs around the world. The head of these teams will act as mentors to the team leads. There are now virtual environments used by many organizations for problem solving in the real world. Likewise, some organizations like IBM send their employees overseas for month long community-driven projects in Africa, Asia, Latin American, and Europe where they work to familiarize themselves in complex areas like strategic thinking and decision making. With any major culture shift or organization change, these individual’s visible leadership is key. They need to set the behavioral example for the organization if he or she is not taking it seriously, and it shows, no one else will.
2. A leadership development program: Form resource groups that will serve as an extension of our Diversity & Inclusion Strategy and reflect our commitment to employee development and engagement. Each team will have a clearly defined vision statement, as well as an activity plan that will help employees develop new skills and business insights by expanding their professional networks and also coach leaders across the business on progressive ways to enhance diversity and inclusion on their teams. Alternatively, Uber can develop its own unique research-based leadership model rather than hiring a consultant or sending employees to leadership courses. After all, even though there are hundreds of leadership tools and courses in the market, none can replace taking the time to figure out what works best for Uber. Cisco, for example, groups its leaders in four categories: innovators, executers, efficiency-builders, and turnaround specialists. This could be a way for Uber to group its mid –level managers for on on-the-job leadership training. This approach will make significant contributions to employee development, business growth and community support.
As we are aware, communication is the glue that holds an organization together. A lack of