02 Nov What is “diversity management” all about?
If the company language is English (even if it is a German company with headquarters in Munich) and both light-skinned and dark-skinned employees are visible in the offices, if vegetarian and halal food is available in the canteen, if both men and women are in higher management positions, if younger staff can exchange with older employees and accessibility for wheelchair users is guaranteed, then this is already a big step towards “diversity in the workplace”.
This kind of diversity brings not only enormous benefits, but also many challenges. Not everyone speaks absolutely fluent English, others have very strong accents (e.g. Australian accent), some misunderstand each other and do not know whether it has to do with the personality, the professional competence or the cultural background of the colleague.
Some people build trust exclusively by fulfilling their professional tasks correctly and according to plan, while others are more interested in knowing the whole person better in order to build up a good relationship. For some, this is the only way to create trust that is the basis of every really good working relationship.
Here is a brief video on “Diversity Management”:
These different approaches to how people interact worldwide need a lot of attention, knowledge, experience and above all awareness. It initially takes more time and energy to allow multicultural teams at different locations to work efficiently together, sometimes across time zones, but those companies that invest in a well-functioning “management of diversity at the workplace”, meaning: in a professional “diversity management”, will be globally more successful in the long term and will be able to find far more innovative solutions for their work processes. Last but not least, good diversity management also leads to fewer conflicts, more trust and thus greater job satisfaction in international teams.