The project zip. develops a variety of models involving intercultural diversity in the workplace: training actions, training on the job, consultancy, organisational development, intercultural internships, applied research, innovative instruments and many more.
Initial situation :
The main objective of the development partnership zip (Sustainable Intercultural Human Resources Development Strategies) is the development of intercultural resources within companies (especially small and medium sized businesses) and public organisations. The project is based on the hypothesis that cultural diversity (just like gender or socio-economic differences) amongst employees can be utilised as a powerful resource if they are managed properly. Existing diversity management strategies will be acted upon and taken further. Diversity management strategies so far have been approach from an organisational viewpoint and to a lesser extent from the employee’s perspective. In particular unskilled employees with a foreign culture background in many cases have not been able to benefit from diversity management strategies. The project intents to put to test, utilises and develop diversity strategies especially for this target group
This project’s main target groups are :
(1) Employees with a foreign culture background from private companies (emphasis on small and medium sized businesses) and public organisations. Employees who are confronted with intercultural groups (colleagues, customers, etc.)
(2) Decision makers and managers in companies
Two main objectives can be distinguished :
On the one hand intercultural resources within employees should be detected, analysed and their effectiveness and scope be determined. Thereby the project aims at promoting the employability of the target group. The projects aims at testing in how far the intercultural resources can be made use of in the daily work process and how they influence employment prospects within organisations. The intercultural competencies and experiences of employees in their daily work should be translated into useful “on-the-job” trainings, or into international recognised qualifications. This should lead to improved employment perspectives, the ability to cope more effectively with phases of occupational transition, increased motivation and work satisfaction and an improved working climate. The project aims at promoting hidden competencies within employees and thereby follows a subject and resource oriented approach.
On the other hand the project addresses managers and decision makers in private (with emphasis on small and medium sized businesses) and public organisations.
Together with organisational decision makers and managers the project aims at developing strategies utilising the intercultural resources to optimise organisational structures with the aim to raise organisational efficiency and effectiveness. Thereby the project addresses the development of (passive) employability from the perspective of the organisations. The development of employability is important for companies operating under global pressure. By making managers and organisations more sensible for cultural diversity and equip them with the tools to develop their employees with a migrant background organisational structures can be improved and changed in a sustainable way (mainstreaming effect). The project explicitly aims at improving the work climate through addressing diversity issues. In the context of the horizontal mainstreaming the project aims at unfreezing organisational structures and optimise them so that a appreciation for intercultural resources is established.
The activities of zip. can be summarised under the following five points :
Cultural Diversity Audit Procedures for companies and public institutions
Development of innovative models for international vocational training („international skilled worker certificate“),
Training of decision makers, managers and disseminators in regard to the intercultural dimension within companies
Development of informal learning strategies inside and outside of the work situation
Training of intercultural transition counsellors through the use of sustainable cooperation-, network-, empowerment-, coaching-, training-, and diversity-strategies.
- Cultural Audit (a Diversity Management Tool)
- International vocational Training Concepts and Guidelines
- Intercultural Work placement concepts and many more.
The partnership zip. constitutes a number of well-known institutions in the greater Stuttgart area from sectors like vocational training, research and public management :
BBQ gGmbH (Vocational Training Institution)
Berufsbildungswerk ENAIP e. V. (Vocational Training Institution)
Deutsch-Türkisches Forum Stuttgart e.V. (Turkish migrant association)
Forum der Kulturen Stuttgart e.V. (Migrant Association)
Institut für regionale Innovation und Sozialforschung IRIS e. V. (Research Institution)
Jugendamt Stuttgart (Youth Welfare Office –Stuttgart Town Council)
Schulzentrum/Akademie Silberburg (Vocational Training Institution)