How to Manage and Motivate a Multicultural Workforce


The multicultural workforce is here to stay. Therefore, it is in a company’s best interest to learn how to create an environment where men and women of all ages who come from a variety of ethnic, racial and religious backgrounds can thrive.


Here, the career experts at, the Middle East’s leading job site, suggest five tips to help you manage and motivate a multicultural workforce:


1.Promote employee engagement. Employee engagement is a hot topic in today’s multicultural workplace with good reason: employees engaged in their work are likely to be motivated, to remain loyal to their employer and to stay focused on achieving the company’s business goals and driving its future. Disengaged employees can drag down others and impact critical business areas. Companies that realize the importance of employee engagement understand that encouraging high performance and aligning talent with business strategy requires getting to the heart of what matters to employees. According to the ‘Employee Engagement in the MENA’ poll, March 2014, 82% of professionals in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region feel very engaged in the workplace.


2.Encourage camaraderie and teamwork. One way to ensure that your employees are active team players – regardless of their background – is by engaging them in social activities. Social skills are like any other set of skills that can be acquired by time and practice. You can hold monthly cultural events for the company’s employees, or those belonging to a specific department, in which they can bring their families and perform group activities altogether. The idea is not to force the employee to engage in a social activity with other team members, but rather to make them more comfortable when dealing with their coworkers. Ideally, this will encourage interaction and, in turn, promote camaraderie and teamwork among employees.


3.Be fair. Little does more to reduce motivation levels than the feeling of working in an unfair environment where growth and progress is determined not on merit but on other subjective criteria. Make sure employees are competing on a level playing field with equal opportunities for progress and advancement and that the company’s expectations, goals, values, and vision are clearly defined and transparent to all. A fair environment where driven, career-minded professionals earn the rewards and recognition they deserve for their special efforts – regardless of their gender, race or ethnicity – is one that will be most successful in retaining key personnel over the long-term. According to the ‘Values, Ethics and Integrity in the MENA Workplace’ poll, June 2014, 68% of MENA professionals feel their company is ‘very transparent’ about its values. Focusing on fairness and equal treatment to all will cut down concerns and fears that employees in a multicultural workplace tend to have. Equality allows everyone to be able to focus on their work, inspiring people to think creatively and motivating them to execute their work efficiently.


4.Ensure transparency and honest communication. Good communication is absolutely vital for smooth sailing in a multicultural workplace. 70% of respondents in the ‘Work Satisfaction in the MENA Region’ poll, November 2012, said that communication channels in their company were open. One way for you to promote open communication would be by holding regular meetings in which all employees are encouraged to voice their ideas and ask questions. Having an open-door policy that encourages employees to speak frankly with their managers without fear of repercussion is also a good way to foster open communication in the workplace.


5.Listen and learn. Solicit feedback from employees on what they expect from the job and their management as well as what they have planned for their careers. Listening to employees’ opinions and feedback is a surefire way to communicate your respect. Learn from them what they hope to contribute to the business, how they see the business moving and improving, and where they see themselves down the line. Having the opportunity to share their thoughts and ideas and the authority to take decisions that relate directly to their roles are great boosters for both self-esteem and job loyalty.


Creating a workplace where employees of all backgrounds feel accepted takes time and lots of effort. Be patient and willing to learn from the mistakes you make along the way. Celebrate when you achieve certain milestones and remember that every day you are getting closer to achieving a workplace where the word ‘diversity’ becomes a natural part of your day-to-day business.



About is the number 1 job site in the Middle East with more than 40,000 employers and over 17,750,000 registered job seekers from across the Middle East, North Africa and the globe, representing all industries, nationalities and career levels. Post a job or find jobs on today and access the leading resource for job seekers and employers in the region.


Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *