Four Drivers for Diversity Management
For businesses to continue to grow, it is becoming increasingly important to expand beyond national boundaries. In order to operate across borders effectively, individuals in those organizations must be able to understand, appreciate, and celebrate differences among genders, races, cultures, and geographies. The organization will have the ability to create global products that increase access to a global clientele through a multicultural advantage provided by diversity management. To build global brands that last a lifetime, organizations have begun embracing diversity. However, diversity can also pose several challenges.
Being adaptable to differences.
It is imperative that the new generation of employees understand cultural, linguistic, and gender differences. It is possible to appreciate and adapt to differences only when one has a deep understanding of oneself. Self-awareness can be developed through assessments such as DISC. It is then important to utilize the skills and competencies of each individual to overcome the challenges and obstacles posed by diversity.
Communication that bridges diversity takes place across a shared set of values and beliefs transcending language and cultural barriers. In order to communicate effectively, it is imperative that your people understand themselves as well as their colleagues.
Cultural nuances play a key role in devising the marketing strategy and in selling effectively to global markets. Knowing what works where can be important in avoiding communication mistakes when communicating across cultures since gestures, signs, or even slang have different interpretations in different cultures.
Resistance to change
One of the most challenging aspects of diversity management for businesses is managing resistance to change. Whenever people are forced to accept diversity norms, it is difficult for them to internalize the changes. Adapting to new and changing situations and accepting other cultures may mean moving away from practices and norms that they have become accustomed to overtime. Diversity management also entails being open to communicating across time zones and languages, which is not easy for those who have become accustomed to certain cultures and work environments. As a consequence, the immediate reaction is resistance, which will require much deliberation to overcome.
Training for Diversity
As organizations prepare to embrace diversity, training personnel is critical. Appropriate inclusion of training will be required in order to improve cross-cultural awareness, knowledge, and skills that will permit the inclusion of diverse identity groups. In order to maintain a positive work culture, it is crucial to redefine corporate boundaries in new dimensions where similarities and differences between employees are understood and appreciated. Employees need to have focused training to help them learn how to successfully overcome the racial, cultural, linguistic, and political barriers that segregate people in the workplace.
Contact us if you are interested in a diversity and inclusion program that is tailored to the needs of your organization or team.