Strategies for Growing a Multicultural Team

Check out these tips on how to succeed in expanding your business by growing a multicultural team.

Workplace diversity can be achieved in businesses despite the nature, size or budget of the company. Not only can it revolutionize the way we do business today, it can help us manage diversity in the workplace. One thing it requires? Involvement in every level of leadership in a company.

This collective effort should be clear to every employee so they can adopt an open attitude to create and promote a diverse workplace. Future creativity and innovation will be built on this foundation. One of the best ways to achieve a productive and diverse environment is through leadership by example as well as the following strategies, according to Forbes:

• Set up small teams that will get all members actively involved and fully integrated into the corporate culture: Create open communication lines where everyone can collaboratively address issues.
• Create learning and development programs that help to build relationships and skills: Reward employees based on their performance, giving them the proper resources and an environment that helps them thrive as each individual grows and develops.
• Schedule activities outside of work: Fun gatherings outside the workplace will encourage communication and interaction. They will also help in promoting healthy relationships and friendships among colleagues via social and community involvement. This doesn’t mean you need to include party inflatables and games, but just focus activities on those that will help everyone come closer. If not everyone speaks the same language readily, go see a foreign film or take in a play.
• Offer diversity training so employees know the components of a diverse workplace: Demonstrate how each contributes to the company’s success.
• Make communication lines open across different generations, backgrounds and languages: Use technology to encourage participation to create a truly diverse and multi-generational workplace that is satisfying and productive.
• Celebrate important events and holidays that are important to your staff: These can include International Day to End Racism, Gay Pride celebrations in June, International Women’s Day in March and International Day of Persons with Disabilities. Come up with a calendar so you can easily refer to it and keep track of it throughout the year. As a leader, you’re showing that you are committed to valuing and recognizing diversity.
• Be sensitive to cultural issues: Bear in mind there are culture differences in communication styles that everyone should adjust to. Some people hailing from more reserved cultures may appreciate higher levels of discretion, for example.
• Utilize various modes of communication: This is so each team member will know what’s going on. They will have a better chance of coming together as a cohesive unit, building strong relationships over time in support of each other. Encourage teams to work together to overcome roadblocks. For example, if a multinational company decides to implement a new software system, include people on the roll-out team from the U.S., Europe and Asia. This will establish levels of trust and collaboration, helping the team push through rough spots effectively.
• Use language software systems like BRIC to help your team learn the language as well as culture of those on their team to promote cultural sensitivity and efficiency.