In our global economy, diversity is everywhere. Our workplaces are diverse with differences in personality, talent, education, race, age, gender, religion, ethnicity, culture, and more. With so many different individuals as co-workers, customers, bosses, and clients, how do we all get along and work together for greater success?
Here are four tips for managers to motivate and engage a diverse workforce:
Focus on what your team has in common, versus what makes you different. Forging connections and acknowledging similarities will lead to attitudes and behaviors that capitalize on human differences for organizational success.
Diversity at work includes work experience, parental status, educational background, generation, geographic location, and more. Talk about diversity in terms of communication styles and work preferences to help your team better understand each other.
The presence of stereotypes is a normal human reaction in any environment. But when stereotypes don’t change despite disproving information, it is important to challenge existing mindsets. Constantly question attitudes regarding other groups because these attitudes often influence our behaviors.
Consider initiatives beyond diversity training such as recruitment and selection, compensation and rewards, leadership styles, career plans, and other aspects that affect organizational human behavior. Remember that discriminatory behaviors aren’t limited to 9-5 so continuous learning and self-awareness is key. These behaviors are often more prevalent in informal and non-mandatory situations such as happy hours, golf outings, and impromptu employee lunches.