With Top CEO drawing near, a topic that most managers and CEOs take lightly is diversity.
The most important mistake managers make even today is a sort of bias towards their workforce.
Management: Principles and Practices, by Ricky W. Griffin, in one of its chapters, details how one might avoid such a crucial mistake.
Whether its gender ratios, race, age, religion, or even disabilities/abilities. all of which are stereotypes many managers make when hiring or interacting with their employees.
Why is it important?
A diverse company with different groups of people is proven to increase sales and customer interaction; an employee who is accustomed to an African-American would have an easier time interacting with a client of the same race, so having diversity at the workplace offers many mores chances with other nationalities.
Strategically it helps a company acquire people from around the country as clients; since everyone sticks to a group they are used to. Whether you are a young adult, or are from a different religion, you can in a moment’s notice find a person who will certainly want to buy your product.
This is both important inside and outside of an organization.
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What are the fears associated with diversity?
One of the most common fears is that disabled people can’t perform a job as good as their colleagues, with the emergence of technology this has recently changed. A lot of employees who are disabled have proven to be more creative and in fact, a lot more dedicated to the job or task they are given.
Another fear would be hiring an inexperienced employee. It’s becoming increasingly unavoidable. Statistics show that children outnumber the majority of adults, for the time being. For the first time in history, a statistics report from Bank of America Merrill Lynch says, people aged 65 and above will outnumber the younger generations; leaving a huge gap in the job industry when they retire.
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What can employers do?
Companies can implement “Diversity Skill Training”, which in theory is specialized in providing employees with training and education in the importance of diversity, while also teaching them skills to work in a diverse workplace.
A company can also implement a process where an experienced organizational member (often times called a mentor) provides advice and guidance to a less-experienced member (a protégé).
But, there is a huge difference between being a “mentor” and a “boss”.
What makes a good mentor
A good ‘mentor’ offers advice and instructions in order for a ‘protégé’ to excel in certain tasks he or she is struggling in.
Mentors usually build a close relationship with a protégé keeping lines of communication open for when a protégé might need extra advice in certain areas even if they are personal and not only work-related.
Mentors should also share technical expertise while also helping a protégé build their own appropriate skills.
But the most important thing is for a mentor to know when to “let go” and let a protégé prove what he/she can do on their own.
Join us at Top CEO, the biggest conference and awards to meet the best CEOs in the GCC, on April 10 and 11 to touch on this topic and much more.