HR Management

Managing Diversity Effectively in the Workplace

Companies that boast of a highly inclusive culture have almost 2.3x more cash flow per employee.

For organizational leaders and managers, these figures present some crucial lessons – that you cannot ignore the vast diversity of the workforce to succeed in the workplace. Diversity can range from various factors like religion, ethnicity, sexual orientation, political affiliation, education, mental or physical conditions, etc. Failing to embrace and manage diversity can result in serious discrimination charges and get the company involved in a legal brawl. Organizations that understand the need to maintain and cultivate a diverse workspace hold a great advantage when it comes to recruiting the right talent.

Benefits of a diverse workplace

While building a diverse workforce involves some challenges, the advantages of having a diverse culture far outweigh the challenges. Racially and ethnically diverse companies are 35% more likely to perform better. Employing people from diverse backgrounds opens new avenues for the organization and has several benefits. Having multilingual employees from diverse backgrounds makes it a melting pot of cultures, inclusion, and prosperity. Let’s look at the top few benefits of having a  diverse workforce:

  1. A diverse background gives rise to great ideas that come out of different lived cultural experiences.
  2. Relate better with key demographics and their concerns.
  3. Broaden market insights.
  4. Improves customer experience as a diverse team has a better experience of dealing with different segments.
  5. Creates a sense of unity and solidarity in the team.

Managing a diverse workforce

It is a unique challenge for an HR manager to effectively manage a diverse workforce. The leadership has to be top-notch to manage any roadblocks and proper policies need to be set in place for guiding the time to success. While the results are highly rewarding there can be some specific pain points when it comes to managing a diverse organization. Devising a few strategies and following them through may prove to be effective in the long run:

  • Communication

Effective communication is the root of managing a diverse workforce. Be it company policies, rules, and other structural elements of behavior, it is important to communicate all the expected tenets to the individuals working in the company. Carry out training sessions for the recruits to help them acclimatize to the culture better. Aligning people to the same goal presents a unified approach to management.

  • Activate a zero-tolerance policy

It is very important to have a zero-tolerance policy in a diverse environment that disallows any employee from engaging in unparliamentary activities. Encourage employees to report any untoward incidents and take proper steps to set the right precedent. Set up a grievance redressal committee, respond quickly, and hold people accountable for their mistakes. 

  • Build a strong hiring policy

It is crucial to recruit and hire the right talent that identifies with your company’s goals and mission. Arm your managers with the requisite knowledge, incorporate a diverse hiring policy, that helps you power through the process. Educate hiring managers about the questions they can and cannot ask, and help them be empathetic towards a diverse group of people. Break the internal bias to nail the hiring policy perfectly.

  • Encourage employees to work in diverse groups

The best way to implement a diverse company policy is to make people work together in diverse groups. This creates assimilation of cultures, helps in the exchange of ideas, makes people recognize and identify with different groups of people, share their collective experiences, and brings a sense of harmony to the group. These groups are more successful and innovative than others.

  • Stay updated

It is important to remain up-to-date with employee policies and guidelines to perfectly manage a diverse team as an organization. Ensure that the HR management team is aware of all the latest rules and policies guiding the management of a diverse team. Not knowing these laws can mean unwanted harassment for your company in the long run.

  • Be open-minded

When managing a culturally diverse group of people it is very important to be open-minded and empathetic towards every person’s culture, diversity, and support each other throughout the journey. Look for ways to incorporate a diverse group of people together who bring different perspectives to the table.

The world around us no longer consists of a homogenous group of people but is equally welcoming towards a diverse set of people who have set home in different parts of the world. A workplace should be reflective of that culture and celebrate a diverse group of people working together seamlessly. While it may seem challenging initially, once you cover the basics the rewards can be quite generous. The HR department and the senior management need to enforce a strong policy that champions minorities and other ethnic groups, making them feel comfortable in their workplace.