diverse workforce

Diversity in a workplace is a great asset. Having people with different backgrounds, ethnicities and sexual orientation is a boon as it bring a wider range of experiences, ideas and sensitivities to the table. Diversity encompasses other elements that you might not think about when you think about workplace diversity, such as different education, socio-economic backgrounds, ways of thinking, and so on.

As workplaces move away from homogeneous settings, organisations need to pride themselves on the differences within their team and understand what methods work best to deliver results in diverse settings. Working with people from a wide range of backgrounds is stimulating and educational. To make the best of a diverse workforce, here are five simple tips:

Encourage open communication

Diverse teams may consist of people from different parts of the world. People from different backgrounds are likely to have differing nuanced and unique viewpoints.This is definitely an asset for any team, but to make the most out of the varying viewpoints, it is important to make sure all channels of communication are open in order to avoid any miscommunication and misinterpretation.

Each culture and language is filled with nuances that might not translate accurately into another culture or language. This even goes for body language. Learning to understand different ways of communicating and keeping an open dialogue so avoid any confusion and mishaps will help foster better teamwork in the long run.

Leave preconceived notions at the front door

The world we live in now is a truly globalized place. Through technology and communication, we have exposure and access to so many different cultures, languages and people. Despite this, we still harbor preconceived notions and stereotypes about certain people or cultures. When it comes to managing a diverse teams, these stereotypes need to be eliminated by managers and team members alike.

Build a culture of trust and teamwork

Bring people together with different backgrounds, qualifications or experiences can be a great way to foster personal development and learn new skills. Discussions and conversations between team members from varying backgrounds can create new and improved ideas about how to do things. This social aspect of teamwork can lead to company success.When you encourage teams to work together and inspire each other, it will build rapport and trust. Building trust is crucial to enhancing communication and higher levels of tolerance for different backgrounds.

Develop conflict resolution skills in your team

Even a homogenous team is bound to have conflict, so when you bring a group of people together from all over, this is a recipe for disagreements and disputes. However, this isn’t a bad thing as long as you instil conflict resolution skills in your team members. Provide conflict resolution training so your team members know how to listen to different perspectives as well as deal with problems cordially and effectively.

Get constant feedback

This is a MUST when dealing with a diverse team. Get constant feedback from your team members to see how you are performing and how you can improve. Encourage your team to be honest and open. There’s no better way to learn how to manage a diverse team than by getting tips from your diverse workforce!

-5WPR CEO Ronn Torossian

Ronn Torossian

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Ronn Torossian is the Founder, President and CEO of New York-based 5W Public Relations. He has overseen the company's rapid growth and expansion to the Inc. 500 list, as well as provided counsel to hundreds of companies, including members of the Fortune 500, Inc. 500 and Forbes 400. His work spans global interests, corporate entities, high-profile individuals, regional business entities, government agencies and academic institutions - both on routine public relations matters and extremely sensitive issues. One of the foremost public relations experts in the U.S., Torossian is known for his aggressive, results-focused orientation, as well as his close working relationships with members of the media, influencers, decision makers, politicians and celebrities. At 5W Public Relations, Torossian's client experience has included programs for Coca-Cola, Microsoft, Anheuser-Busch, Barnes & Noble, Cantor Fitzgerald, IHOP, McDonald's, Evian, EDS, VeriSign, XM Radio, Seagram's, The Loews Regency, Bad Boy Worldwide Entertainment, Marriott Hotels, Vail Resorts, Pamela Anderson, Snoop Dogg, the Government of Israel, and others. Referred to by The New York Post as a "publicity guru," by Fox News as a "high-powered PR CEO," by Tyra Banks as a "crisis management guru," and by CNN as "a leading PR expert," Torossian is regularly featured in and quoted by the media, including by CNN, Fox News Channel, MSNBC, NBC, The New York Times, and others. CBS National News said "Ronn Torossian knows spin," and a New York Times feature story on Torossian referred to him as "The consummate hard-driving, scrappy NY publicist." Earlier in his career, Torossian was a Vice President/Group Director for one of The InterPublic Group's (IPG) largest PR agencies, where he was responsible for significant client growth and successful client programs, including work for Clinique, Fox News Channel, DHL, Hard Rock Café and others. A resident of Manhattan’s Upper West Side, Torossian was named to the Advertising Age "40 Under 40" list, PR Week's "40 Under 40" List, is a regular lecturer at universities and conferences, a member of Young Presidents Organization (YPO) and a board member of numerous non-profit organizations.