Training Supervisors to Handle the Challenges of a Diverse Workforce
Manufacturing Supervisor Training
Multicultural workforces are commonplace in many businesses today. Though such diversity is positive in many ways, it can also create challenges for manufacturers. Differences in culture and language may cause tension among employees, discomfort among minority groups or strained relations between employees and supervisors. Managers and supervisors should be trained on communicating effectively with workers of other cultural and ethnic backgrounds. Not only do managers play an important role in verbally communicating information, but their non-verbal actions can also have a big impact.
Tips for Your Managers and Supervisors
As an organizational leader, make it a priority to ensure all supervisors and managers receive diversity training and display the same attitude toward all employees regardless of race, gender or ethnicity. Any difference in mood or attitude, whether real or perceived, can make a minority group feel isolated or unimportant and expose the company to discrimination lawsuits. Here are 7 important points to discuss with supervisors and managers at your manufacturing company:
- Treat all employees equally despite any language barriers.
- Don’t make comments about a specific group of employees even if you think it’s complimentary.
- Don't overcompensate any specific group of employees with the belief extra money will alleviate communication barriers.
- Be patient with workers who may have a hard time understanding the English language or who struggle to adapt to certain communication methods or working styles.
- Never assume all employees of one group feel the same; it’s important to learn about broad cultural differences, but always think of employees as individuals with unique feelings and needs.
- Promote open, honest communication and empower employees to lead by example.
- Promote and support diversity and equal opportunity as a core value of the organization.
If Conflict Does Occur
If you’ve already noticed cultural conflict within your manufacturing company, consider hiring a culture-change consultant. These consultants focus on solving multicultural management problems. The most successful ones have programs that extend over a period of weeks or months to guide management in understanding the diversity of culture in today's workforce. While some of these programs can be expensive, the long-term rewards will be well worth the cost. Remember to check references and try to attend a few seminars to determine which consultant's approach will fit best with your company.
Coverage in the Event of a Lawsuit
For more information on how to minimize this organizational risk, contact a member of the ‘A’ Team today.
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