As a boss leading a diverse team, you will likely come to notice that each department has its own personality, and when those personalities interact, relationship problems can arise. A diverse work group is a natural part of having a larger business.
Often there is a pattern; the creatives tend to act a certain way that’s very different from sales or accounting or IT or marketing. The pattern could be that every department has its own vibe, or it could be that the people within the same department aren’t vibing. Whatever your office dynamic is, keeping a positive atmosphere is key to encourage productivity, efficiency and lower the turnover rate.
Balancing cash flow is just one part of managing a business; balancing employees is the other. These 5 tips can help you with leading a diverse team.
Check In With Them As People
Learning the statuses of multiple projects and initiatives can fill your brain with nothing but work related material and cause a tunnel vision for focused leaders. While this drive is an important quality to have, make sure you’re taking the time to step back and ask employees about themselves. What are they doing this weekend? How is their new pet adjusting? Have they tried any great restaurants lately? Humanizing questions can build a better relationship and open up the dialogue for other important conversations to be had. Knowing if your employees are going through something tough can help you help them in the workplace.
Take Note Of How They Like Feedback And Recognition
Emotional intelligence is key for leading a diverse team. One person might handle constructive criticism with no problems while another employee might need it more delicately worded. Someone might feel under-appreciated if they aren’t publicly recognized for a great achievement, while someone else might prefer to silently accept a new promotion. Learning and implementing these preferred styles of interaction can help you create a thriving work environment where everyone feels they are at their best.
Encourage Speaking Up
Back to creating an open dialogue. You want your employees to feel as if they can approach you. It could be for something like a performance review and a raise, or to express a conflict with another coworker. If the company doesn’t have someone to listen to their concerns or ideas, the problems will fester and lead to hostility or resentment, and eventually quitting or passive aggressive behavior. Always listen to how someone feels, they might not be alone.
Team Building Is For All Ages
You started a business to make money, not play therapist. However, bickering employees is nearly inevitable. When personalities collide, your human resources department might suggest team building activities to encourage strengthening relationships amongst coworkers. This doesn’t have to be a cheesy ice breaker you played at summer camp. Outside of work team building could be a happy hour in the office, 5k race/walk, park clean up or other socializing opportunity. Two people might not work well together, but they might find they have more in common in their personal lives.
Learning To Play Nicely With Others
We all were forced into group projects in school. On occasion, we learned people skills about working with others, but for the most part, students learn to lead or slack or never join a group with certain people again. In the adult working world, you can’t always choose a different partner. You’ll have to work with the same people who irritate you for as long as you work for that company. If you notice two or more coworkers are clashing when they need to be collaborating, get to the root of why. It could be they have different visions for a project and would each like an opportunity to see their idea come to life. It could be that communication is poor and responsibilities and deadlines are not clearly defined. If communication is the issue for leading a diverse team, a director of operations could help bridge that gap between departments.