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Make or Break - How middle managers and executives can build immigrant-inclusive teams (2021)

Posted on:
August 20, 2021

Overview

"This study looks at how executives can support middle management to be more inclusive – and what middle managers can do to pave the way for immigrant success in their teams...

Middle managers have a significant influence on what happens after an immigrant is hired. It is middle managers who determine: do immigrant employees feel part of their team? Do they get the feedback they need? Do they get assigned strategic projects and responsibilities on a par with their non-immigrant colleagues? Through their day-to-day decisions and actions, middle managers make or break an immigrant’s sense of inclusion and therefore their performance – whether they will thrive or flounder.

The other key puzzle piece is executives, who set the vision and the strategy for the organization. Their commitment to and understanding of what is required for an organization to not only successfully embark on, but also sustain the inclusion journey is critical. However, exactly what executives need to do organizationally to support middle managers is less frequently discussed."

Findings

Based on the research findings, these are the top takeaways for executives and middle managers to advance immigrant inclusion within their organizations and teams:

Middle Managers

  • Commit to creating a “bubble of inclusivity” – talk to team members about their working styles and experiences and ensure that the team dynamics work for everyone
  • Assess how behaviours are being valued and how cultural norms affect those judgements
  • Adjust hiring practices to uncover biases that diminish the value of international education and work experience
  • Promote a mentorship culture by connecting newcomers and established immigrant employees to a mentor

Executives

  • Understand what kind of challenges immigrants face in the labour market and in the workplace, and collect data on your organization’s diversity and inclusion efforts
  • Hold middle managers accountable for diversity and inclusion, and set aside time, learning opportunities and budget for them to work towards diversity and inclusion goals and targets
  • Create incentives for demonstrating inclusive behavior, whether eligibility for promotions or formal recognition
  • Live up to the inclusion standards that you set for middle managers – show vulnerability, empathy and humility
Make or Break - How middle managers and executives can build immigrant-inclusive teams (2021)

Summary

This study looks at how executives can support middle management to be more inclusive – and what middle managers can do to pave the way for immigrant success in their teams.
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