More and more, companies and organizations are hiring Chief Diversity Officers, building out their strategies to retain diverse talent, and acknowledging the importance of developing teams that are comprised of individuals from different backgrounds. In fact, it’s gotten to the point where scrolling through the headshots of the leadership team on a company’s website and realizing that they’re all white men actually makes you scratch your head and wonder how they missed the boat. But it’s not enough to prioritize diversity hiring efforts. Truthfully, diversity efforts without well thought out and executed inclusion efforts can cause more harm than good to minority employees who end up feeling tokenized and isolated.
Managing across lines of racial difference isn’t just about white managers overseeing their minority direct reports, though. It’s also about the increasing number of Black managers who lead teams of white employees. Without either party developing a true understanding and comfort level with nuanced cultural differences, preferences and norms, employees on both ends can feel like they’re not being developed, supported or invested in the ways that they need to be, leaving no one happy. Here are a few tips for building stronger manager relationships with this in mind: