There are plenty of job specific competencies that can help you in managing diversity effectively. But before you find out more about these competencies, you need to understand that graduate recruiters are always looking for specific job competencies in people they interview for certain job positions. Typically, these competencies are what the candidates are judged by to get the job in their organization and work in them. Interestingly, there are quite a few of these competencies that may seem obvious or straightforward to you. However, they’re not. Some of these competencies are –  problem-solving, teamwork, and communication.

If you’re a manager who is responsible for leading a team of people with a diverse background, for example, then among different competencies you’re required to have, is managing diversity. When you don’t have this competency, it becomes extremely difficult to handle people and extract the best output from them. Also, in such situations, problems, as and when they crop up become extremely difficult to handle.

Managing diversity is a key competency young managers need to watch out for:

There are many reasons why managers need to have a competency like managing diversity in their portfolio. For example, in having this competency, managers are able to drive innovation better. Remember, when everybody in the workforce has a background that is similar, the processes that surround problem-solving and innovation become somewhat similar. Therefore, when there is diversity in the group and a manager that is capable of handling it better, innovation can get kick-started efficiently and easily.

Also, it has been seen in the recent years that customers like to buy services and goods from companies that are diverse as it assures them of value for money in return for their faith. Therefore, when companies hire managers that are able to handle diversity in workforce better, it does a world of good to them, both in short and long-term.

There are different strategies available for managers to effectively deal with diversity in the workplace. First, they need to acknowledge that people may have differences, be it cultural, generational, or physical. As a manager, you need to encourage your employees to bring out their individuality.

Next, you need to act fairly and uniformly with all. In other words, you need to respect diversity. Also, it is important that you focus on yourself. Sometimes, you need to manage your behavior and attitude before you get on with managing people with different backgrounds.

As a manager, you may find yourself struggling to cope with diversity at your workplace when you’re assigned a team that is really different from you.  Also, you’ll struggle a lot when you try to avoid conflict and try to stay away from differing agendas and views. Difficulties could also arise when, as a manager, you’re ethnocentric and narrow.

There are some behavioral indicators managers can pay heed to improve their ability to manage diversity. You may have come across some of these as job specific competencies examples. As a manager, when you’re able to manage all classes and kinds of people, deal effectively with people belonging to different nationalities, cultures, and races, and when you hire diversity and variety irrespective of their class – then you become effective in managing diversity.