Do Your Managers Know How to Cultivate Diversity in the Workplace?

Picture a manager’s day: back-to-back meetings, urgent emails, and pressures to meet project deadlines. They are managing up as much as they are managing down, trying to keep all sides engaged and driving towards the company’s goals.

The chaos doesn’t stop there. In recent years, HR studies have documented increasing stress on managers. Gallup pointed out that, in addition to these challenges, managers now are forced to deal with increased responsibilities, tighter budgets, and new teams.

Amid this hustle, organizations also expect managers to know how to cultivate diversity in the workplace. While most organizations value diversity, for managers it can feel like adding another huge item to their ever-growing list of tasks. Managers, who are out of their comfort zones already, get frustrated and may think to themselves: “Who has the time? Are we really doing anything productive? What is the point?”

Overworked managers are less likely to know how to cultivate diversity in the workplace, and are more likely to leave.

Via Gallup

Like any skill, knowing how to cultivate diversity in the workplace is something that can be learned and mastered. Organizational leaders who prioritize this skill will see real, tangible improvements in their internal talent pipelines.

In this article, we dive into the practical strategies for empowering managers to not only embrace, but champion, diverse talent in the workplace. 

Arm Leaders with Feedback, Tools, and Support

Many issues in the workplace, from management challenges to low employee engagement, are rooted in poor communication and a lack of tools. Leadership today is about more than just overseeing teams. Modern managers are now tasked with understanding the holistic elements of the person they manage. 

For example, when thinking about how to cultivate diversity in the workplace, do your managers even know where to begin? Concepts surrounding DEI and employee development require a thoughtful approach rooted in research and a genuine desire to improve their employees’ standing.

That’s why it’s unreasonable for organizations to ask managers to prioritize DEI or leadership development initiatives without providing them training to understand of what that looks like in practice. 

“Many managers don't help employees set and achieve goals.”

Marco Ink, Senior Practice Expert at Gallup

To cultivate diversity in your organization, start with manager training and development. This can include proper training on how to cultivate diversity in the workplace. 

Think of employee coaching training and employee development plans. Do your managers know how to have a career development conversation with your employees?

Another key action is to give your employees role models or encourage them to become one themselves. People inspire people, and action inspires action. Forbes highlights that “75% of executive-level professionals say that a mentor played an important role in their development,” and that mentoring leads to increased retention and productivity.

Get the Complimentary eBook: Five Real Ways to Create Employee Development for Everyone

Reward Managers and Also Hold Them Accountable

Action and accountability go hand in hand. Managers who actively promote and understand how to cultivate diversity in the workplace should be rewarded. Think bonuses, promotions, and public recognition. These incentives speak louder than mere words of appreciation.

However, managers who lag behind in this area need to feel the impact too, and sometimes tangible consequences are the most effective way to reach someone. Don’t jump to termination. Understand this is an area that can be improved and give your managers the chance to do so. Use lower performance ratings or reduce their bonuses. Trust us, you’ll get their attention. Then, utilize the opportunity to talk with them through their challenges.

The most important thing is to move the needle. When your managers have clear, specific steps towards improvement, they are finally prepared to drive real change. Remember—organizations that are diverse in gender, ethnicity, age, abilities, and race are more likely to outperform their peers.

How to cultivate diversity in the workplace means inspiring trust with employees through harmony of change, confidence, and communication.

Via Gallup

Inspire Managers to Build Diversity for a Noble Purpose

HR initiatives can sometimes get lost in numbers, checkboxes, and evaluations. But are you remembering the human element? Remember, these initiatives have the opportunity to make a real difference in the lives of employees.

Creating a level playing field where opportunities are accessible to all, regardless of background, can touch lives beyond the company walls. You can genuinely alter the course of someone’s career and even their whole life. Imagine helping give someone access to opportunities that their families have never had, mayve even the first real chance that they have had to get a fair shot and build their own wealth.

That’s a noble goal, and it’s so much more important than just checking boxes or filling out reports. Reminding your managers of this broader perspective can ignite a genuine passion for diversity initiatives. 

Further, managers who recognize that their actions contribute to a larger societal good start building a community within the organization that mirrors the diversity and richness of the world outside. 

You gain knowledge. You gain perspectives. You gain opinions. You gain strategic advantage.

Provide Tools, Measure Results, and Sail Towards the Future

The workplace looks different than it did a decade ago, and that evolution will only continue. Equipping your managers with the right tools so they know how to cultivate diversity in the workplace is a step in the right direction. But that’s just the beginning of the process. 

Are you checking their work and helping them stay afloat? Do you measure and discuss their success? Are these results being rewarded

Don’t fall into the trap of setting up plans for your managers without any real action or follow-through. If you’re not sure where to start, the PILOT program provides real tools that inspire leaders to overcome their challenges. 

Let’s discuss how to implement a virtual group coaching and development program that builds the diversity of your internal talent pipelines.

Book a demo with PILOT today!


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