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5 Strategies for Managing Diversity in Your Organization

by | Oct 5, 2022 | Diversity Training

Table of Contents

  1. Identify and Understand Diverse Backgrounds
  2. Set D&I Targets and Goals
  3. Foster Positive Attitudes towards D&I
  4. Diversify Teams
  5. Identify The Best DEI Tools for You

When it comes to business success, managing diversity is key. And if you want your company to grow, being able to unite people of different backgrounds, abilities and viewpoints is a must. A few simple strategies can help you create cohesion within your organization. 

This can be achieved through identifying diverse backgrounds and setting targets for inclusivity. Methods that focus on educating employees, fostering on one-on-one relationships and using the best tools for your unique organizational needs are vital to managing diversity successfully.

Read on to learn more about our top 5 strategies for managing diversity in your organization.

1. Identify and Understand the Diverse Backgrounds Within Your Organization

Diversity management is nothing new. But as the workforce continues to become more diverse in so many aspects, it’s essential for managers to understand the different cultures, backgrounds, gender identities and experiences of their employees. 

When managing diversity, it’s important to consider all aspects of an individual’s identity. This includes gender, race, sexual orientation, age, abilities, socioeconomic status and more. By valuing and making space for the unique perspective that each employee brings to the workplace, you can create a supportive environment where everyone feels respected.

To effectively manage diversity in the workplace, it’s essential to address unconscious bias and how it affects teams. Unconscious bias is one of the largest threats to workplace diversity. It prevents employees of different genders, ethnicities and even ages from interacting with each other and learning more about varying cultures. Mixing up your team members allows employees to get rich and contrasting perspectives on various issues and sparks creativity among the group.

By taking the time to understand the diverse backgrounds of your employees and addressing the biases you and your team hold, you can create a more inclusive workplace culture where everyone feels supported and respected. This, in turn, will lead to greater productivity and success for your organization as a whole.

2. Set Targets for Diversity and Inclusivity

One of the best ways to manage diversity is to have a team that’s already diverse.  But if you’re starting with a team that isn’t as diverse as you’d like, don’t despair – there are things you can do to change that. One great way to increase workforce diversity is to set targets for hiring and promotion.

For example, if you have a gender diversity goal for your team to be comprised of 50% women, you can set a target that half of all new hires and promotions must be women within a year or two. This will help ensure that your team becomes more diverse over time.

Another way to increase diversity is to create an inclusive environment where everyone feels welcome by recognizing and providing time off for culturally diverse holidays and offering flexible working arrangements. This will not only help with the retention of existing diverse staff, but also make your company attractive to prospective new hires.

3. Develop Positive Attitudes Toward DE&I

It’s essential that you unite your team towards your shared goals of diversity, equity and inclusion. 

Using internal communications that highlight the benefits of diversity, inclusion and equity can help maintain a company culture that is genuinely welcoming to all.

This means working together to find solutions that benefit everyone and having attitudes open to new or unfamiliar pathways of thought. 

Communication that can broach the topics of diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) with the sensitivity necessary to address defensiveness can galvanize your team towards a more productive, more inclusive identity.

When it comes to promoting a culture of DEI in the workplace, it’s important to remember that we all have inherent unconscious biases. These biases don’t mean someone is a bad person but they can impact how we think, feel and act towards others. 

That’s why it’s so important to have a subject matter expert on hand to help explain this sensitive issue in a disarming and effective way. Hiring a D&I consultant or speaker can increase the chances of your entire audience being more open and receptive. And when it comes to moving forward together, that’s essential.

4. Diversify Teams and Focus on One-on-One Relationships

It’s no secret that homogenous teams are the antithesis of D&I at work. Lack of variety in experience and perspective prevents groups from learning more about how others see the world and interact with their environments.. Mixing up your teams allows each employee to consider new ways of thinking on various issues and can quickly spark innovation through their common ground.

But it’s not just about putting people of different genders, ethnic backgrounds and even ages on the same team. It’s also important to focus on one-on-one relationships. Having regular check-ins (coffee, lunch, or post-work drinks!) with employees from different backgrounds helps to build trust and understanding.

Building relationships outside of natural grouping to support inclusivity shows that you’re interested in developing genuine relationships with people, and this will lead to  a more diverse and inclusive workplace.

One way to do this is by hosting social events or projects that require collaboration across teams. This allows employees to work cohesively and get to know each other better while accomplishing something together. It’s a win-win!

So if you want to create a more DEI-friendly workplace, remember to diversify your teams and focus on one-on-one relationships. It’ll make a world of difference.

5. Identify Tools to Help You Manage Diversity Effectively

There are several different tools you can use to manage diverse teams effectively. Here are a few:

  • Culture Commitment Statement: A Culture Commitment statement is a formalized commitment from an organization or a team to foster a more inclusive environment. This could include ensuring equal opportunities in hiring, advancement or standards for equal pay.
  • Inclusive Language Guidelines: Inclusive language guidelines provide tips and best practices for using respectful language for all individuals, regardless of their background or identity. This can help manage diversity by ensuring that everyone feels comfortable and respected in the workplace.
  • Unconscious Bias Training: Unconscious bias training can help individuals identify their own personal biases and work to challenge them. This type of training is a non-negotiable when working to effectively manage diverse teams.
  • Employee Resource Groups: These teams of individuals are charged with developing and implementing policies and initiatives to promote DEI within an organization. This could include developing training programs, conducting research, or recommending recruitment strategies to your Human Resources department.

Organizations and teams that don’t commit to leading with D&I in mind are missing out. Using the available tools, you can effectively manage diversity to create immediate results that can be built upon over time.

Training for Diverse Teams

Diversity is a complicated topic, but it’s also one that can make a team stronger and help it thrive. Risha Grant, diversity and inclusion expert, has developed a diversity training program that covers unconscious bias, allyship, inclusion and more in a series of modules to develop a more cohesive and dynamic team in any organization. 

This training will help your team communicate and work better together while understanding and appreciating the individual differences that make everyone unique. The goal is to ensure that everyone feels valued, so they will bring their full selves to work each day. The Learn with Risha Grant training program encourages inclusion and diversity in your organization and sets your team up for success by fostering an inclusive work environment. Purchase this set of research-backed DEI training modules for your business to boost your company’s culture of cohesion today.

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