How to manage diverse teams? 9 tips

Creating diverse teams is no longer just an option; it becomes a necessity. It is something that employees and the market expect. If we want to achieve good financial results and attract (and retain) talents, we cannot overlook the DEI (Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion) strategy in our actions.

What is diversity management?

DEI (diversity – różnorodność, equality – równość, inclusion – włączenie) are values that an increasing number of organizations incorporate into their strategies. Diversity refers to the differences among employees, equality is reflected in impartiality and task assignments that allow everyone to perform them, and inclusion is about making all employees part of the organization, regardless of their differences.

Diversity management is what brings these three elements together. It involves recognizing the differences between people and consciously harnessing the potential that comes from them. It is about creating a safe, inclusive space where employees feel respected and appreciated.

Recognizing the differences among people enables organizations to fully utilize their competencies, potential, and abilities. It makes employees more engaged and effective, which translates into achieving goals and financial results. There is no doubt that DEI is a strategy worth implementing, and diversity management should become a desirable skill.

As per the Deloitte report “First Steps in the Job Market,” 92 percent of the respondents would choose an employer who values diversity and promotes an inclusive organizational culture (in terms of age, gender, nationality, ethnic background, etc.).

How to manage diverse teams?

Remeber to include DEI

Focusing on diversity, we often forget about inclusion. Only by addressing all the components of DEI can we create an inclusive environment. If we hire different individuals, representing various genders, ages, etc., but do not give them a voice or ignore their opinions, the workplace will be diverse, but that should not be our sole goal.

Combat discrimination, but not only that

The diversity policy is based on combating discrimination, but it is not the only factor that matters for creating a diverse work environment. We must ensure safe and friendly relationships between employees and between employees and supervisors. We need to create an atmosphere where no one is afraid to take initiative, express their opinions (including criticism), share experiences, etc. A diverse team is not just one where there is no marginalization but also one where everyone genuinely supports each other.

Every voice should be heard

Ensure that employees know that their opinions matter. They are a part of the organization, and their knowledge and ideas are appreciated and taken into consideration. They should be aware that diverse opinions also hold significance; they do not have to agree with everything and accept decisions without reflection. Discussions can take place, and they can share their uncertainties without their difficulties being overlooked.

Recognise talent

According to the Deloitte “Global 2022 Gen Z & Millennial Survey,” individuals who are satisfied with their employer’s efforts to create a diverse and inclusive environment are more likely to stay with the employer for more than five years. By prioritizing DEI, you take care of specialists. This is something that not only current employees appreciate but also job seekers. And the more talents you have, the stronger your position in the market.

Be flexible

Use proven tools, but adapt them to the current situation. You must be aware that nothing is permanent; for example, employees’ needs change over time. It involves not only changes in work organization (remote/hybrid mode), requirements for non-monetary benefits, etc., but also creating a work environment that fosters neurodiversity. Consider that not everyone is suited to the same chair forever; some may need a different model, and seemingly small changes can significantly impact their work.

Take care of generations

In today’s job market, representatives of several generations come together, and you need to take care of their diverse needs. How? Among other things, focus on competencies, not positions; allow for knowledge and idea exchange; leverage unique skills of employees. Ensure that age is not the most important factor.

Educate

When planning training, think not only about the managerial staff but about all employees. Focus not only on developing competencies that are useful for daily tasks but also invest in courses that highlight the significant impact of our differences and how they can be utilized in teamwork.

Recognise the leader

Managing a diverse team is not an easy task, and a leader should be aware of the challenges ahead. Inclusive leadership involves treating people fairly, appreciating individual employee traits, and leveraging the thinking and perspectives of various groups. Not every leader automatically becomes inclusive, partly due to their own beliefs and barriers. Training can be helpful in raising awareness of biases and tendencies in their behavior that may influence how they perceive others.

Take care of “S”

Diversity, equality, and inclusion are not new concepts; they have been part of many organizations for a long time, especially those operating internationally and seeking employees from various backgrounds. However, until recently, these ideas were seen as something ‘extra,’ and not every employer considered them. Nowadays, they have become essential, not just due to ESG reporting (where DEI is a crucial part of social responsibility) but also because of market demands. Embracing DEI will not only make us more competitive but also more appealing to employees. As a new generation enters the job market, which values more than just financial factors, DEI becomes invaluable.

 

If you find DEI important but unsure how to implement it in your organization, we, at Helping Hand, have the knowledge and tools to assist you. We will help identify the essential aspects to focus on, enhance the leadership skills, emphasize the significance of well-being, and provide training on diversity and inclusion. We understand how vital human capital management is for ESG, and we will help you understand and implement strategies that positively impact your employees.

Sources:

  1. Deloitte, Raport: Pierwsze kroki na rynku pracy 2021. First Steps into the Labour Market – wyniki badania przeprowadzonego wśród studentów i absolwentów w Europie, czerwiec 2021
  2. Deloitte, Global 2022 Gen Z & Millennial Survey, czerwiec 2022

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