Managing diversity for a globally inclusive workplace is an ongoing process—and diversity includes more than race. Other diversity considerations are age, gender, disabilities, orientation, and culture. Globally speaking, becoming an inclusive workplace requires knowledge and tolerance of different cultures and lifestyles. Managers should begin by evaluating their current staff conditions, creating policies that promote harmony among workers, and seek expert insight to better manage diversity toward a globally inclusive workplace.
Below are Dr. Mac Powell's three tips for managing diversity for a global workforce:
Manage diversity efforts from within your corporate culture. Look at the diversity of your current staff and evaluate where you want to be as an organization. Consider how well your workplace reflects the global world – and how potential employees and customers see your company. Attempt to intertwine the cultural backgrounds of your team with workplace entertainment. Give employees opportunities to share their cultures, families, and values – such as potlucks, picnics, and bring your kids to work days, as well as hosting speakers, movies, and musicians that can expand the cultural awareness of your team. Sometimes, the simple act of sharing their favorite dish can spark a conversation.
Create policies at the office using the human resources department to help promote equity and diversity. As the company grows with a global workforce, respecting and managing time-off requests for special religious or cultural observances is critical. Managers must become more aware of employees' background without invading their privacy. The best way is to establish a welcome aboard questionnaire that allows the employees to share important values they hold and to respect the range of privacy expectations employees have. Be curious and open, but avoid invasiveness and be aware that you may accidentally cross boundaries that aren't explicitly stated. Like all relationship building, trust comes with respect and active communication.
Get the workplace involved in the diversity inclusion effort. Managers should be trained from respected experts in the field, like Michàlle Mor Barak, Ph.D. Her website includes a variety of resources to help companies manage diversity toward a globally inclusive workplace. Each worker should be required to learn about diversity and about how to treat people respectfully. In some cultures, a handshake may be seen as inappropriate, so it is vital that everyone understands what to do as an alternative (i.e., bow).
In conclusion, you should consider using expert knowledge and taking time to learn about the world around you. Looking at the cultures that make up your staff, creating policies that reflect awareness and including the entire company are strategic tips to ensure that your business embraces a global work environment. Continue to gain more expert insight through online research as well as reaching out to your local community.
About Dr. Mac Powell:
Dr. Mac Powell is an executive in the world of higher education and is passionate about developing strategies for the growth and development of the community. He has a Ph.D. in Sociology from the University of Missouri and has taken his skill in helping people to roles of leadership which have helped countless numbers of people. He is the Chair of the ACE Commission on Education Attainment and Innovation and Council of Applied Master's Programs in Psychology. When Dr. Powell isn't pouring his heart into his work, he enjoys spending time with his partner, Tuan and their dog, Maximillian or playing a little golf as a Master Professional in the PGA.