If until a few years ago the application of a management style aimed at promoting diversity in the company was an exception for a few realities, today the use of specific policies and programs for the inclusion of people with different backgrounds has become the norm. This commitment on the part of the company not only values employees each with their own specificities and distinctive differences (including age, religion, race, ethnicity, belonging groups and sexual orientation), but also provides the resources necessary to develop and improve the capacity to deal with diversity in the workplace.
In heterogeneous work contexts, where, for example, collaborators from different areas of the world are present, a manager may find it difficult to manage peculiarities and cultural differences. This is why diversity training and development programs exist to support leaders and collaborators in consolidating those skills that foster coexistence and ensure productivity in multicultural contexts. Communication, active listening, leadership adaptation and knowledge of languages are some of the skills that managers working in culturally heterogeneous environments must develop.
A solution that allows cultural differences to be transformed into a strategic lever for the development of people and teams is constituted, for example, by intercultural coaching. In fact, highly personalized and scalable paths for all employees allow, for example, to acquire the necessary skills to overcome norms, values and cultural beliefs towards customers or colleagues, discover solutions to make the most of cultural differences and face complex situations and multi-faceted or, again, take full advantage of cultural diversity in terms of opportunities and growth.
The importance of diversity and how to promote it in the company
Having a workplace diversity and inclusion strategy can benefit a company in many ways. First of all, broadening the horizons of talent research means being able to draw on a much wider pool of candidates. This translates into the possibility of finding more qualified people and in shorter times to fill vacant positions or for new roles. Additionally, a diverse workforce fosters creative ideas and diverse perspectives, which in turn are key to streamlining decision making.
Diversity management is the responsibility of Human Resources. However, they cannot implement the processes themselves, but require the support of managers and CEOs. In other words, in order to affirm the concept of diversity, HR initiatives must be integrated into the company: thus, for example, the presence of a female leadership helps to bring balance and equality.
7 strategies to effectively manage diversity and promote multicultural management
- Identify resources and alliances : Diversity is built day by day and, in order to be lasting, it must be supported by programs and initiatives. Such an important aspect requires resources, time and will and, before structuring a strategy, it is essential to make sure that the whole team is on the same page.
- Establish processes and policies for diversity : For each phase of life in the company (from hiring to the time of resignation of each employee), the processes and policies for promoting diversity must be well defined, including policies relating to discrimination, tolerance and harassment, which will help people to feel safer and more comfortable in the workplace.
- Raise awareness of diversity : All employees must be aware of diversity, its importance and why "diversity education" should be part of company training. For diversity to be real, everyone must truly understand that differences in background, experience and culture are valuable to the company. In an emancipated company, open-mindedness and a willingness to welcome is not new and it is essential for all those companies that wish to achieve certain organizational objectives.
- Leverage effective communication to make people understand how diversity is a continuous source of inspiration. Organizations must also ensure continuous and targeted communication to avoid difficulties in understanding. This requires a great deal of neuromanagement, because in this context it is also about managing emotions, while important information must be conveyed in order to overcome cultural and linguistic barriers.
- Redefine the corporate culture :Management should be able to question and redefine the corporate culture to accommodate the needs of people with different backgrounds.
- Monitor the results to determine if the implemented initiatives have produced results. Among other things, there are performance indicators that can be used to monitor individual progress and provide the basis for a broader approach to diversity and business impact.
- Propose coaching courses aimed at spreading multicultural management : Managers play a key role in a company's success. This role requires a combination of leadership, listening, communication and relationship building skills between different team members; skills so specific that to be developed they require professional coaching that is aimed at both managers and employees. All the better if the solution for which you opt is represented by digital coaching paths, which is the most suitable in the presence of work teams that operate remotely and on a global scale.
Each company will obviously implement a tailored approach based on its objectives, but it remains essential that the programs activated are measurable, scalable and specially developed for managers throughout the organization in a coherent way.