Organizational Psychology: Diversity at Lloyds-TSB

Lloyds TSB is the largest retail bank in the UK and they have more than 140,000 staff. Half of all people in UK now bank with Lloyds Banking Group. It is a diverse business, with stronger market presence in areas such as mortgages, insurance, finance and investments. They have taken a positive approach to employee who has disability such as creating an inclusive working environment so that their employees can reach their full potential.

Besides, they also help the disabled employees to remove the barriers that restrict them from being work effectively and encouraging development opportunities.

By developing a positive approach to employees who are disabled, Lloyds TSB adopts an equally positive approach to customers who are disabled as well. The understanding of disability provides benefits for Lloyds TSB such as retaining the staffs within the organization. In order to achieve the benefits, Lloyds has made some adjustments for the employees with disability so that they can continue to be effective in their roles.

The approach has also helped Lloyds to focus on new developments for customers such as improve the training in customer service for disabled customers (The Times 100). Diversity refers to the differences of gender, age, disability, sexual orientation and ethnicity (Equality and Diversity UK). An important part of diversity in the work place is how the company handles its diversities. This is called inclusion. Inclusion is described as an employee feel respected, accepted, supported and valued in the working.

Basically, diversity is focuses more on organizational demography while inclusion is focuses more on creating an environment that enables full participation of every member in the organization (Avigdor, Braun, Konkin, Kuzmycz &Ferdman, 2007).

Lloyds TSB has a diverse working environment in terms of gender, age, disability, ethnicity and sex orientation (Lloyds TSB). They provide equality for all their staff. Equality means treating everyone as the same, regardless of their differences (Chron). According to Lloyds TSB, the number of female managers have almost doubled between 1998 and today.

This shows that Lloyds TSB is promoting people based on their ability but not their gender. They have a thriving Women’s Network that provides networking and personal development opportunities. For age, Lloyds TSB recruits, train and promote people based on their strength but not age. Their staff can take flexible retirement options from the age of 55. Their staff has the rights to work until age 65 and can ask to work beyond. Besides that, Lloyds TSB provide an equal opportunity for disabled employees to get promotion as their non-disabled colleagues.

They will equip them with the skills that they need to reach the senior management position. For ethnicity, Lloyds TSB will provide a leadership programme for ethnic minorities to move into the senior management position. Moreover, Lloyds TSB is also the top employer for Lesbian, Gay and Bisexual (LGB) people in the UK, and their best practice sexual orientation strategy was awarded first place in the 2009 Stonewall Workplace Equality Index. They provide the same entitlements for same sex partner as heterosexual partner (Lloyds TSB).

All of these equalities will let their employees feel that they are being supported and accepted no matter how different they are; hence this will help to create an inclusive working environment. Diversity is the central for Lloyds TSB to their business success. Why is diversity so important for Lloyds TSB? It is because people from different background can have different ideas and skills and this will improve the organization’s ability to deliver a better product, service and also sustainable competitive advantage.

For example, the disabled employees from Lloyds can give some ideas about how to provide a better service for disabled customers based on their experience such as change the layouts of service desk to make sure that they are accessible to wheelchair users. In doing so, it will help Lloyds to retain the existing customer as well as to attract the new customers. According to World Health Organization, disability refers to any restriction or lack of ability to perform an activity in the range that considered normal for a human being.

There are 2 types of disability, visible and invisible. Visible disability is the disabled that we can see from their appearance such as people with prosthetic leg and wheelchair. While invisible disability is the disabled that we cannot see from their appearance such as diabetes, cancer and asthma. On the other hand, there are several models of disability for example medical, charitable and social. Medical is a traditional model that views disability as illness while charitable model is views disabled people as they need helps.

Lloyds TSB has promoted the social model of disability. This model describe that society is the main contributory factors for disabled people. They believed that all the impairments or limitations do not lead to disability unless the society fails to include people regardless on their individual differences (The Times 100). Disability Discrimination Act 1995 stated the meaning of disability as “a person has a disability if he or she has a physical or mental impairment, which has a long-term or substantial adverse effect on their ability to carry out normal day-to-day activities.

” The Act places a duty on the organization has to make a reasonable adjustment to accommodate the disability on an individual basis (Legislation). Lloyds TSB has made adjustments for around 4000 of its employees. They provided JAWS which stand for Job Access with Speech for employees who are blind and visual impairment. It is a screen reader programme that allows blind or visual impairment people to gain access to information on their computer in 2 different ways, convert text to speech and Braille.

Through the adjustment, disabled employees are given the necessary tools and assistance to work effectively. In doing so, all employees with or without disabilities can be productive in the workplace. In order for Lloyds TSB to ensure disabled employees have the same opportunities for career progression as non-disabled employees, Lloyds provide a Personal Development Programe which is a 3 days course for them (The Times 100). This is a formal training which the course is led by one of the UK’s top disability consultant.

This programe has helped to promote and retain the valuable staff (Lloyds TSB). Besides, Lloyds also provide a network called ACCESS for disabled employee, this network enable them to share information and received support on day-to-day issue that affects them. In addition, Lloyds approach to disability is to involve all employees. They provide brochure “positive about disability” and a disability resource toolkit for all staff. They also provide training for line manages so they can provide help, advice and support for disabled employees (The Times 100).

We believed the adjustment, training and development that provided by Lloyds TSB for disabled employees will lead them to develop a sense of organizational commitment. This theory means that the employees will be loyal to their organization, they willing to put more effort into the organization and also they will accept the goals and values of their organization. It is determined by a number of factors, including personal factors such as age and tenure in the organization as well as organizational factors such as the leadership style of their manager (Nortcraft and Neale, 1996).

A research shows that the disabled employees will more likely to stay with the company because they have the difficulties in getting a job (Seek). Tang and LiPing (1999) report that there is a strong correlation between job satisfaction and organizational commitment. Another research finds that organizational commitment relates to job satisfaction (Library Philosophy and Practice, 2007). We believed the disabled employees of Lloyds TSB will satisfy with the working environment such as supportive, equality and the adjustment that provide by Lloyds TSB.

When they are high job satisfaction, they will retain with company and it will lead to low turnover rate. Hence, their skills and knowledge of their fields will be keeping and it will leads to high job performance. So it will help Lloyds TSB to retain its image and increase their productivity. IBM, also known as International Business Machine Corporation, is a multinational information technology and consulting company which practices a similar approach towards their disabled employees compared to Lloyds TSB.

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