How to Manage Diverse Teams in the Workplace

If you manage a large team of employees, you know just how hard it can be to avoid confrontations, fallouts, segregation, and other disputes between workers. Cliques form, rumors spread, animosities build, and feelings get hurt. It’s just the way of the world, but there’s plenty you can do as a leader to keep your business moving in a productive direction, and hold your employees accountable for handling their personal problems on their own time. These days it seems like every day their is a new story in the news about racial or religious prejudice and it is making a lot of people hypersensitive to one another. As the owner or manager of a company, you may not be in control of these outside tensions, but you need to learn how to handle them once they’re in your place of business. Here are a few pointers on how to manage diverse teams in the workplace. For more click here

  1. Mix up your teams. Working with the same person each day can be a very nice thing if you get along with that person, but what if those people don’t get along? What if those people get along so well that they are far more loyal to each other than the company? What happens when those people spend so little time communicating with other employees that they start to make false assumptions about their colleagues? If you don’t mix your teams up from time to time, then you don’t really have workplace diversity. You have a diverse workforce that happens to be segregated.
  2. Nip problematic behavior in the bud. If you notice animosities building between people on your workforce, you need to send the message that this concerns you. The only way to do that is to meet with those people and hear them out. If you have the time, it’s always best to meet with them one at a time so that they feel safe enough to disclose the situation fully, and then meet with them all together so that you can mediate the conversation. It may feel like a waste of time, but if animosities build for too long the consequences could be disastrous.
  3. Hold regular meetings. You want everyone in your company to feel as though their voices are heard and appreciated. You can do this by holding regular meetings with your employees so that they have the opportunity to speak their minds candidly with everyone else. Just be sure that you set some ground rules for raising hands and taking the floor, otherwise, the plan could backfire. If facilitated well, these meetings could actually help you to tighten up your business and become far more productive.
  4. Treat everyone equally. You may think that you treat everyone equally, but when confronted with two completely different people who exhibit the same kind of misconduct, you may feel inclined to treat them differently. This may be because you favor one over the other, or it may be because you know that each person will respond differently to the same punishment. Either way, it’s important that you make the boundaries and the consequences clear and consistent. Otherwise, it won’t be long before you are accused of prejudice. If you need more help, you can read online magazines like DiversityInc to tune into what is and isn’t working for other companies.

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