Managing Workplace Diversity (A Strategy Guide)

diverse team
Alex Mikaelian
February 16 2023

Diversity in the workplace goes beyond a positive brand image; there are many benefits to having employees of different races, nationalities, religions, economic backgrounds, age groups, and genders. In addition, a diverse workplace offers unique perspectives and solutions to common problems.

In more ways than one, your company or business’s success may be determined by your workforce’s diversity. This reality is why managing workplace diversity through effective strategies can positively impact employee performance.

Diversity Training

Successful communication is the cornerstone of any successful operation. However, if there are language or cultural barriers in the workplace, a problem that typically takes a few minutes to solve may take much longer. These barriers could stem from the fact that employees from diverse backgrounds may need to learn how to communicate effectively with one another.

Diversity training prepares employees for interaction with other employees of diverse backgrounds. Many misunderstandings can be avoided through diversity training, leading to a more steady and efficient workflow, as everyone is aware of each other’s boundaries.

Organize training sessions where employees are briefed on respectful language and communication with people of different cultural or racial backgrounds. Aside from training, you can also celebrate the diversity in your workplace by organizing events on important holidays to make the individuals celebrating them feel more included in the workplace. 

Encourage Diverse Recruitment

Focusing on diversity when recruiting new employees doesn’t mean having a checklist of nationalities, religions, or cultures you’d like to hire. Encouraging diversity during employee recruitment is not about prioritizing the diversity of candidates but instead taking it into account during the hiring process.

Improving recruitment diversity is looking at diverse traits, personalities, and backgrounds as soft skills. For example, if one of your candidates has a Hispanic background and speaks fluent Spanish, hiring them could greatly contribute to your expansion into Spanish-speaking demographics. 

Another great example of diverse recruitment is paying attention to age groups. Employees of different generations offer unique perspectives and knowledge, which could be instrumental in new marketing campaigns that target a large variety of audiences. This variety is impossible if your company has too much generational homogeneity.

Therefore, it’s important to consider diversity during your hiring process. Consider organizing your hiring process with recruitment tracking. This will give you a better overview of the candidates and their professional and cultural backgrounds.

Don’t hire someone because of their race, gender, cultural background, or ethnicity; hire them because they’re good candidates and have unique knowledge and experience because of their race, gender, cultural background, or ethnicity.

Diversify the Teams

We’ve already established the benefits of having diverse people working together. Each of them brings a unique skill, knowledge, and experience to the table. On top of having diversity as a part of the recruitment process, it’s also important to encourage employees to work in diverse teams.

Ensure diverse team development so that each employee has an equal opportunity to shine in their own way. Going back to the example of a marketing team; you can have younger workers, who are typically more in tune with cultural trends, come up with a new catchy advertisement slogan. Meanwhile, the older, more experienced marketing specialists can plan the distribution of the advertisement itself.

But this is just one very basic example of how diversity helps improve workplace synergy, which in turn boosts performance. Keep your teams diverse and the strength of each member will be that much more noticeable.

No Tolerance for Prejudice

We live in a world where many individuals, unfortunately, are faced with prejudice. Often, workplace prejudice happens due to little to no precautions taken to combat it. Employers are responsible for ensuring that all their workers are safe and that prejudice of any kind is punished accordingly.

A key component of successful workplace diversity and inclusion management is safety. Your company must demonstrate that it finds prejudice against one’s gender, nationality, religion, age, economic background, or any other factor unacceptable.

This demonstration can be done on paper with a zero-tolerance policy for prejudice against employees. Most companies implement these policies as a form of workplace ethical code and rules by which every single employee of a company must abide. This method ensures all employees can feel safe knowing there won’t be any prejudice against them, and if there is, it’s punished accordingly.

Offer Flexibility

Managing employee diversity requires flexibility in terms of working hours, remote or hybrid work options, and any other necessity to help your employees feel comfortable. Conversely, the more rigid your work policy is, the less room it gives employees to thrive. For example, if you have an employee who is also studying, coordinate a flexible working schedule so that their work does not get in the way of their education and vice versa.

Flexibility is essential for individuals with mental or physical limitations, as you need to provide them with all the necessities to help them feel comfortable at work. Implementing a flexible workflow gives everyone equal opportunities to grow as professionals, leveling the playing field and also including those who cannot perform with common working habits.

Structure is still important in a work environment; however, keeping the workflow of your company too strict may alienate individuals who, for personal, cultural, or medical reasons, are unable to work with the same schedule as others. Introduce more flexible hours and remote working options to be more inclusive.

Keep an Open Mind

A crucial aspect of any diversity management strategy is understanding that you deal with individuals. It’s so easy to separate people into groups that we forget how diverse we are. The key to synergy and harmony in the workplace is understanding and, more importantly, accepting that everyone comes from a different background.

Diversity management stems from the ability to keep an open mind. So long as you understand and accept the many differences (and commonalities) of the people you’re working with, diversity in your company should not be difficult to manage.

Alex Mikaelian 

Alex is a content and copywriter with a focus on digital marketing and the freelance lifestyle. With the rising popularity of freelancing, he enjoys sharing useful tips and healthy habits for remote workers.

Related articles

How to Write a Self-Performance Review (With Examples)

Self-assessments help you identify your own strengths and areas of improvement for a more effective performance management process. Here is everything you need to know to write the best self-review.

Read more
30 Employee Onboarding Statistics for 2024

We all know that employee onboarding programs are a crucial part of your HR strategy… right? Sometimes, you need numbers to realize how vital a strong onboarding process and a good employee experience are for your company culture.

Read more
5 Ways to Manage Employee Overtime Effectively

Having the right strategies and tools in place can help streamline your overtime management, keep your budget in check, and above all, increase workplace productivity and improve employees’ mental health.

Read more
Human Resources Today