Aaefes - How Diverse Are They Really?

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AAEFES - How Diverse Are They Really?

What defines diversity and inclusion in the workplace? A diverse and inclusive workplace is necessary and crucial for companies to be successful on a global scale, and enables them to be able to attract and retain needed employees with a specific skill set. “It is no longer simply a matter of creating a heterogeneous workforce, but using that workforce to create the innovative products, services, and business practices that can set a company apart, and give it a competitive advantage in the market place” (Egan, n.d, p. 4). One of the key benefits to companies that have diversity and inclusion strategies in place is the ability to encourage, and allow the growth of different perspectives, ideas that are the seeds of innovation. It is the multiple voices with different ideas that lead to new services being offered, new products being created, insightful ideas that help ensure long term happy customers. But do all companies create this atmosphere in order to use it to their advantage? I have selected AAFES as the organization to search upon, and will find out just how committed they are to diversity now, and what led them to their current view. I have found that AAFES stands for the Army and Air Force Exchange Service, it is an agency of the United States Department of Defense, and they have served the American Armed forces for approximately 117 years. They are setup to provide quality merchandise and services to Reserve members, Guard, and active duty. Their mission statement boldly says that “It is the dual enduring mission of AAFES to provide quality merchandise and services to its customers at competitively low prices in order to generate earnings which will be used to supplement United States Army and Air Force Morale, Welfare, and Recreation (MWR Program)” (The Army & Air Force Exchange Service website, 2011, para. 1). Their Core Values revolve towards guiding all associates everyday with career opportunities. According to Mike Westphal, Senior Vice President of AAFES Human Resources, the primary reason in running a fully Diversified Organization is to provide job satisfaction, training, opportunities, personal growth at a fair level of compensation (The Army & Air Force Exchange Service website, 2011). Their following work associates working towards the following credos:

* Integrity – Where associates are honest with themselves and others, and follow through on commitments. * Trust – Where associates have confidence in the integrity, intentions and good character of other associates. * Accountability – Where associates take responsibility for their actions. * Teamwork – Where associates actively contribute as team members in achieving common goals. * Empowerment – Where associates are given the training, responsibility, authority and resources needed to act. * Compassion – Where associates demonstrate genuine concern for the others. * Risk Taking – Where associates take vision-focused action where there is not a guarantee of success. * Creativity – Where associates can create something original, try something new and develop better solutions.

AAFES has more than 3,100 facilities operating such as retail stores, fast food restaurants and movie theaters worldwide, in more than 30 countries, five U.S. territories and within 50 states. They offer a “major source of employment for members and family members of the Army and Air Force” (The Army & Air Force Exchange Service website, 2011, para. 2). AAFES motto is “We Go Where You Go”, it was designed to support both men and women in any of the Armed Forces all over the world by providing them with services during times of peace or war.

You are probably wondering what they do? Well AAFES buys goods and services from 32,000 different firms, of which 91% of these are small businesses, for about a grand amount 4.8 million customers at military installations with sales that are...
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