5 Ways a Leadership Team Can Encourage Diversity in the Workplace

Points to consider for workplace diversity

Businesses today have much greater access to international or global talent. In order to lure and also retain the best people from around the globe, leadership teams must have a deeper understanding of what it really means for an employee to feel appreciated, valued, and more importantly, respected.

What’s really important is for a company leader to manage diversity in the workplace, and to nurture understanding as well as an appreciation of every individual’s differences. Below are some tips and strategies that can help business leaders foster a workplace that embraces diversity:

1. Coach or mentor high-potential workers.

Formal mentoring programs are utilized by companies that are successful in diversity management in order to determine and then nurture employees with true potential. Through the development of a pool of future leaders that consists of diverse cultures, races, values, religious beliefs, and sexual orientation, the future leadership team can influence the present leadership team to come up with programs and processes that will enhance employee loyalty and engagement.


2. Give high-potential employees enough exposure to varying business situations.

According to studies, diverse teams are likely to be very creative and they have the ability to think outside the box. However, leadership teams are often challenged by the fact that diverse teams could be more complicated to manage, so leaders need to be culturally sensitive and flexible. By giving high-potential employees opportunities to experience different business situations, they are better prepared for what’s to come that may challenge their own beliefs.


3. Allow for more flexible working arrangements.

Flexible work practices and arrangements are very attractive to employees, especially because these can accommodate their unique and particular needs. Today, more and more companies are implementing systems on part-time schedules, modified work start and end times, telecommuting, a compressed work week, as well as job sharing. Through all these, employees are given the choice of how they will be able to accomplish their tasks without having to compromise their work-life balance.


4. Offer opportunities for an international career.

Diversity is also about giving employees opportunities to develop an international career that would involve working and living in various countries. Without a doubt, this kind of opportunity is life-changing, which is something that almost all employees are looking forward to having.


5. Encourage diverse teams to try to address certain business challenges.

When working with diverse teams, the leadership team should expect conflict. It’s normal, particularly when certain values are thought of as something detracting from the main goal of the company. When this kind of situation happens, it’s vital for HR leaders to equip team members with tools they can use to resolve issues on their own. By allowing them to negotiate and plan, for instance, they develop an important ability to support and contribute to the success of the team.