5 Ways to Develop and Groom Executive Leaders With Diverse Backgrounds

5 Ways to Develop and Groom Executive Leaders With Diverse Backgrounds

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Embracing diversity isn’t just for making your company look good in the public eye. It encourages creativity, creates room for different views, and makes it easier to solve problems.

Creating a diverse executive team is a perfect way to make employees feel empowered and more comfortable. Still, grooming such leaders can be challenging. You have to create an inclusive environment and zone in on each leader’s strengths. Further, you must invest in mentorship and help each leader feel comfortable around colleagues.

Are you wondering how you can improve diversity and develop better executive leaders? Let’s explore five helpful tips.


1️⃣ Create an Inclusive Culture at Your Workplace

Inclusivity and diversity are separate yet related concepts. Diversity is more about bringing in different kinds of employees based on aspects like race, culture, and gender. On the other hand, inclusivity is all about respecting and valuing people from different backgrounds.

Despite these different concepts, you need to foster an inclusive culture if you want effective leadership. One way to do this is by practicing inclusivity when addressing employees. It may seem like a small gesture, but it goes a long way in making everyone feel valued. Use genderless terms like business executives instead of salesmen. Similarly, avoid gendered assumptions and use acceptable phrases in all cultures.

Here are other ways you can create an inclusive culture:

  • Be open to feedback from everyone
  • Implement a non-discriminatory policy
  • Encourage cross-cultural interaction
  • Create safe spaces for all employees

If you want to groom leaders from diverse environments, you will need your entire team on board. Diversity training is a great way to get rid of stereotypes. It allows your employees to cooperate with people from different backgrounds, giving them room for growth. Likewise, it avoids unconscious bias and ensures you give every employee an equal chance at leadership.


2️⃣ Mentor the Right Candidates

Per human nature, it’s normal to connect better with some people and not others. You may find that you like some of your employees more based on factors that aren’t work-related. Such may include sharing a hobby or rooting for the same sports team.

While it’s tempting to mentor your favorite employees into leaders, it’s always important to focus on skills. Make sure that you are grooming the right candidates without favoritism.

Identify the skills you want in your executives, then point out high-potential talent. Mentor each by providing the resources they need to be great leaders. While at it, ensure you aren’t overly critical and focus on improving each candidate’s soft skills.

You will prevent underrepresenting your brand by identifying and mentoring the right talent. Besides, you can give every employee a fair opportunity for career growth.


3️⃣ Celebrate Achievements With Diversity in Mind

Many employees, especially those from minority groups, often feel unappreciated at work. Their efforts may receive less recognition, causing them to miss out on leadership opportunities. If you want to create a diverse executive team, it’s advisable to celebrate everyone regardless of their background.

Acknowledge employees whenever they make good decisions or take initiative. You can simply give them a gift card or a shoutout during a work meeting. Alternatively, reward their effort by adding them to fun projects. You can also provide them with access to opportunities to build their skills. Sponsor them for a continuing education class or pay for their trip to a career conference.

Recognition doesn’t always have to come from bosses. Sometimes, it’s more appreciated if it’s from someone at our level. Involve everyone in the recognition process when grooming your executives. Encourage peers to shout out their colleagues whenever they make a great step.

Acknowledging employees on social media is also a powerful way to groom them into the executives you want. That aside, it builds their brand, which can be helpful in future career moves. Celebrate employees by writing them LinkedIn recommendations. You can also highlight them as employees of the week on your company’s social media pages. This type of public recognition will go a long way toward shaping them into great leaders.

Celebrating accomplishments in the right way grooms and retains better executives. Create an inclusion committee with representatives from all departments in your company. This team should also include employees from the lowest to the highest rank. With such a committee, you can easily acknowledge accomplishments without bias. Besides, you get creative ideas on the kind of recognition someone prefers.


4️⃣ Diversity Your Teams

A diverse executive team will only exist if you have employees from different backgrounds. Review your recruitment policy to reduce bias in all steps. Ensure your screening process is fair, and have a diverse hiring board to give every candidate an equal chance. You should also review your interview questions and include case studies people from different cultures can understand.

Different cultural and ethnic backgrounds are vital in a workplace, but so is acquired diversity. This aspect refers to how people think or view different situations based on their experience.

When grooming executive leaders, it’s vital to factor in acquired diversity. Focus on developing individuals with varying opinions of different matters. However, their stand has to align with the brand’s beliefs and mission. Once you embrace this form of diversity, you will create a better company culture and an admirable executive team.


5️⃣ Uphold Strong Company Values

Molding executive leaders with diverse backgrounds will be easier if you have strong moral values. It’s possible to groom people whose culture and opinion differ from yours if you respect them. Additionally, you can easily influence other leaders by role-modeling the correct values.

Enforce diversity by embedding it in different company aspects. Such include:

  • Performance evaluation
  • Decision making
  • Holiday celebrations
  • Corporate training

Encouraging collaboration will help you develop leaders from varying backgrounds. When assigning team projects, don’t leave anyone out. Improve the dynamics by grouping people of different cultures, genders, and ethnicities.

Likewise, ensure each group shares roles fairly to avoid sidelining some people. This way, everyone gets a fair chance to develop and showcase their skills for leadership positions.


Achieve Diversity in Corporate Leadership


Mentoring executives with diverse backgrounds transform your company both internally and externally. It allows you to appreciate unique experiences and their contribution to the workplace. By employing the discussed tips, you can achieve inclusion and enjoy the benefits of diversity in company leadership.

If you need other helpful career tips, register with Ivy Exec today!

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