The problem with “cookie cutter” advice on effective management is the overarching assumption that your team is located in a single office with a homogenous skill set and the same demographic background. With the rise of telecommuting, and the recognition that diversity brings strength and innovation to organizations, you may need to adapt your management style and philosophies.
Customize your communication. People comprehend and retain information differently. Vary your communication methods to accommodate various listening and learning styles. Confirm your message by following a call or video conference with an email detailing takeaway points.
Build a sense of team. Choose activities in which all team members can participate to avoid leaving any individuals out. If you have contests, ensure that everyone is eligible and can easily join in. Conduct virtual team meetings regularly to keep everyone on the same page.
Focus on results. When you employ a diverse workforce, people may have different ways of achieving their goals or reaching metrics. Focus less on the process and more on the desired outcome to offer more individual freedom. If an employee’s work style does not produce optimal results, you can offer guidance on more productive methods.
Don’t leave anyone out. It’s easy to focus on just the team members in front of you. To get the best results from everyone on the team, it’s critical that you communicate well and often with remote workers. If you neglect any one person, they may feel they are not valued as an employee and are more likely to look for new employment opportunities.
Be sensitive to cultural diversity. Don’t plan team events when some team members may be absent due to religious observations. Provide meals or gifts that take into account dietary or other restrictions. If you don’t understand a particular culture, do some research or discuss with your HR what you can do to make each individual feel respected.
Don’t be a one-size-fits-all manager. Your team members are individuals and should be treated as such. Going out of your way to recognize and reward differences will increase employee satisfaction and improve retention rates.
When you need to recruit new team members, enlist the help of a recruiter who understands your current team and diversity goals. The executive search consultants at BrainWorks can help you build and nurture a diverse team of individuals, whether you are looking for local candidates or must recruit remotely. To learn more, contact us today.