leadership training for a diverse workforce

Why is leadership training essential for a diverse workforce?

Leadership training has assumed an important role in society so that people of all backgrounds have these jobs. This is important so that people can become leaders despite different ethnicities and genders. There is an underrepresentation of minorities when it comes to leaders.

A poll found that although African Americans are 12% of the population of this country, their representation in leadership roles is less. They have only 3.2% of these roles. How to fill this gap?

A company can gain a considerable advantage when it has diverse people in the company, especially when it comes to succeeding in the overseas market. With distinct people at the top, it knows all about the culture and customs of the place.

It also has no trouble comprehending the language and can make sure that the employees grasp the language, thanks to the native employees of the company who know everything. A company can also get insight from diverse people into whether the product it plans to launch will succeed in their market.

Benefits of having a diverse workforce:

  • Launch products in foreign markets with ease

When it comes to launching new products in the foreign market, the most important thing is branding them right. With wrong branding, the customers cannot understand the product’s USP and why they should get it.

For example, when translated, any tagline that works in the US may fail to work in a foreign country. Hence, foreign people in top management who can suggest their versions of the tagline and the product are necessary.

  • Hire foreign talent at lower rates. 

When a company hires from a foreign talent pool, it means hiring talented employees who are not available in its own country. There is also a shortage of local employees unwilling to do some kind of work for which foreign employees are easily available.

Sometimes, having a diverse pool of employees is simply cost-saving. Therefore, leadership training is important so foreign employees can be promoted to top ranks because they are cheaper than their local counterparts.

  • Easily expand into foreign markets. 

When the business has a better talent base thanks to a foreign workforce, it can adapt to any situation, which is necessary for the unpredictable environment. You also gain a comparative advantage in this regard. For example, a company that cannot sell goods in the local markets can definitely head toward foreign shores. This is all possible due to the foreign workforce, which can detect a need in their markets. Once such a need is found, the management consisting of foreign employees can understand how to adapt the product to meet the demand. For example, due to the global recession, many companies move to foreign markets when they don’t have local demand. That’s where having foreign people in top management helps them significantly customize the product.

How to manage a diverse workforce?

  • Proper communication by a certain group: Companies face challenges hiring people from diverse backgrounds. It has to ensure that everyone feels their voices are heard. Some people are also shy to speak up, particularly those from the East Asian cultures.

So, they must be encouraged to speak up and share their opinions with the rest of the team. Hence, leadership training is important to have assertive employees who know when to express their opinions when needed. Companies need to ensure that although they have people from diverse backgrounds, everyone expresses their opinion.

  • Interaction between teams: 

The companies also have to ensure communication among different teams so that they talk to each other. There should be no communication gap between teams because of their inherent prejudices. For example, there can be stereotypes in the workplace which can also prevent development. So, the morale of other people working in the company can be reduced.

There can also be hatred between different groups; only leadership training can eliminate it.

This hatred has to be mitigated so that people from these ethnicities openly talk to each other and knowledge transfer happens. For example, the biggest stereotype is that all Asians are very intelligent, which is untrue.  The top management’s job is to see that this does not happen.

How can leadership training help? 

  • Inculcate Respect for each other’s values:

It’s the leader’s job to see that the employees respect the diverse values of each other. A communication policy should be in place so that employees know that they can’t avoid communication with people of a certain race. The employees should be told the advantages of diversity so that they don’t resent talking to the other person or mingling with him.

  • Ensure the following rules:

It’s the leader’s job to see that employees follow the right strategy for diversity. The upper management can set down the rules, but it’s the leader’s job to ensure that they are followed. Leadership should hence display a model behavior regarding diversity that all employees can follow.

Employees can’t negate any rules set by their leaders. Hence when a leader respects people of other backgrounds, the employees will follow suit. Leadership training can serve the purpose of teaching the model behavior to a leader. Hiring an employee from a different background can also command respect for diverse people.

  • Create a strategy for diversity: 

It’s the leader’s job to devise a strategy for diversity in the workplace. The upper management then decides the goals so that strategy is attained. When such goals are correctly devised, the leadership can ensure that the strategy is implemented and employees follow the company’s diversity philosophy.

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