In the 1980s, diversity training mainly consisted of training people to be aware of differences in gender and race in the workplace, and by the 1990s, diversity training was at the forefront of innovative training for business managers, addressing such issues as "age, sexual orientation, ethnic background, and religion" (Koonce, 2001, para 45). According to Dr. Elaine K. Miller of the College of Business at Colorado State University, there is a driving force behind the push to embrace diversity in a business organization: The changing US demographics, increasing globalization of business and pursuit of effective competition make it imperative for companies to implement programs for diversity training. The ability of organizations to manage a diverse workforce will be a major determinant of their continued survival and success in becoming world class corporations (Miller, 1994, para 1).
When talking about "world class corporations," one of the most recognizable names in the world is McDonald's Corporation, which boasts approximately 438,000 employees worldwide (Yahoo! Finance, 2005). "As of March 08, 2005, the company operated approximately 30,000 restaurants in approximately 119 countries" (Yahoo! Finance, 2005). Because of their global presence, there is a demonstrated need for understanding and appreciating diversity in the workforce of McDonald's restaurants, both in the United States and in overseas locations. Need for Education vs. Need for Training
When completing a Needs Assessment, the person who has been given responsibility for training must determine what the particular needs are for that organization. Most McDonald's restaurants operate on a franchise basis, where a local owner is responsible for the direct management and operation of his or her McDonald's Restaurant franchise. In this paper, we will examine a Needs Assessment for Diversity Training in a typical franchise of a McDonald's restaurant. Incidentally, it has been predetermined that this McDonald's franchise will require a Diversity Training Program, as opposed to education about diversity. For our purposes, "education" is a teaching method which teaches an employee something new, such as a skill. In this context, "education" does not apply to diversity awareness in a McDonald's franchise. Instead, we will select a form of "training," which is used when there is a need to reinforce a previously learned skill or task. In this case, we will be reinforcing proper treatment of people from different genders, backgrounds, age groups, abilities, and racial and ethic compositions. Training Needs vs. Training Wants
Diversity awareness is an essential part of any business organization, and McDonald's restaurants could certainly serve as a case study for the future of diversity in the workplace. According to Koonce (2001), demographic experts have long predicted that the workforce would become more diverse as we move into the 21st century: ...companies are moving fast to compete for and accommodate the needs of an increasingly diverse workforce. Just as the "Workforce 2000 Report" predicted in 1987, only about 15 percent of new entrants into the American workforce are white males. The rest is a mix of Hispanics, African Americans, Vietnamese, Chinese, Russians, Europeans, and others. Despite the current tide of corporate layoffs, recruitment and retention of high-quality knowledge workers remain core challenges, according to PricewaterhouseCoopers. The need to attract and retain top talent has become especially acute as knowledge work has become a key business differentiator and as companies compete for a small pool of knowledge workers (Koonce, 2001, para 3). Therefore, diversity training is not just a "want" a luxury that can be scheduled when time affords itself to this task. Diversity training is a need that must be addressed when a needs assessment determines that it is warranted....