Managing Diverse Work Teams

This one-day workshop is designed to address the factors that create diversity in the workplace and provide managers with an understanding of those differences and tools for enhancing organization performance.  It is also intended to give managers tools for employing that diversity to enhance organizational innovation and organizational effectiveness.

Course Outline

Module 1: Introduction to the workshop
-In this module, we will detail the course objectives and schedule and identify participant interests and concerns.  We will also engage participants in an exercise designed to elicit their opinions and feelings about managing a diverse workforce.
Module 2: The types of diversity in the workplace and the challenges and risks of managing a diverse workforce
-In this module, we will identify the various forms of diversity in the workplace and broaden our definitions of diversity.  We’ll also identify the challenges and risks of managing a diverse workforce.
-Module 3: Diversity in outlook and approach to work
-In this module, we’ll examine the differences that characterize employee approaches to work.  We’ll examine a model for characterizing those differences and identify tools for managing each and attempting to create a mix that is optimal for the circumstances of the organization.
Module 4: Differences in communications styles
-In this module, we’ll examine a simple model for characterizing the communication style of the individual.  We’ll also assess the communications and management challenges created by those differences in style and describe tools for managing across those differences.
Module 5: Cultural diversity
-In this module, we’ll examine some of the most prevalent types of behavioral diversity caused by cultural factors.  We’ll focus on differences with regard to approaches toward time, group versus individual accomplishment, group and individual communications, and other social norms.  We’ll identify tools for coping with those differences and avoiding problems.
Module 6: Geeks versus geezers
-In this module, we’ll examine the differences in employee behavior related to age.  We’ll look at the differences in philosophy and behavior between young and old workers and the range of possible behaviors in between.  We’ll also examine tools for understanding and coping with both groups.
Module 7: Enhancing organizational innovation by harnessing diversity and workshop wrap-up
-In this module, we’ll wrap up the workshop and review what we’ve learned.  We’ll build an agenda for each participant for improving how they communicate with diverse teams and assess methods for optimizing the contributions of a diverse workgroup to improve operations and innovation.


The target student for this workshop is a manager responsible for operating units, projects, or support functions.