Workplace Diversity Builds Effective Teams

How Workplace Diversity Builds Effective Teams

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There are many factors that go into creating effective teams. Clear communication, proper distribution of tasks and capable members are all part of what makes a team effective. However, another element of effective teams is workplace diversity. Workplace diversity provides a number of benefits for teams.

Diverse Teams Offer a Variety of Perspectives

One benefit of diverse teams is that they provide several different perspectives. These perspectives can help the team be more creative in its approach. A team that lacks diversity may only have a few perspectives and, therefore, will approach challenges or issues in only a few ways.

Additionally, a diverse team with many different perspectives may be able to figure out unique solutions to issues. The variety of perspectives a diverse team provides also enables better feedback on ideas, decisions, initiatives and programs. More perspectives certainly improve the effectiveness of the team.

Diverse Teams Can Draw From Different Life Experiences

Another benefit that workplace diversity provides is a variety of life experiences that they can draw on whenever necessary. A team that is not diverse may have quite similar life experiences, and that means that these experiences aren’t as useful.

Diverse life experiences could range from struggles with racial discrimination and racial insensitivity to challenges such as more opposition to career advancement and a lack of diversity in management positions.

In any case, this wealth of life experiences gives the team an increased ability to deal with challenges, since there is a greater chance a member of the team has faced similar challenges in the past.

Diverse Teams Can Connect With Diverse Customers

Forming a connection with customers is one of the hallmarks of an effective team. However, it can certainly prove challenging to accomplish. Diverse teams make this easier since they can more easily connect with diverse customers.

Diverse teams and diverse customers may have similar backgrounds, similar life experiences and similar challenges throughout their lives. As a result, a diverse team can relate to and connect with diverse customers on a deeper and more meaningful level.

Diversity Improves the Company’s Image

Diversity does more than just improve the effectiveness of the team, though. Having a diverse team can also greatly improve the image of the company. A lack of diversity can have serious negative consequences on a company’s image, especially if there is a lack of diversity in leadership positions.

On the other hand, a diverse team improves the company’s image by providing evidence that the company values inclusion and diversity in its team. Additionally, a diverse team can help the company attract future employees from diverse backgrounds, too.

How to Create Diverse Teams

There are many steps to creating a diverse team. One of them is to carefully consider the meaning of diversity as it pertains to the company and address all of its aspects. When one thinks about the idea of diversity, it is common to first consider some types of inherent diversity such as ethnicity, race and gender.

As the term would suggest, inherent diversity involves inherent attributes that a person has when they are born. However, inherent diversity is certainly not the only kind of diversity that exists. Acquired diversity is another kind of diversity that one can gain through experience.

Diversity can mean that the team experiences internal conflicts. Differences in socio-economic backgrounds and age can lead to such conflicts. That is why it is important to address all the aspects of diversity. This helps improve team cooperation and team dynamics.

Creating an inclusive workplace culture also plays a part in creating diverse teams. A zero-tolerance policy when it comes to harassment can help. The company can also make necessary accommodations for people who have physical impairments.

Changing the recruiting strategy can aid in creating a diverse team. Choose your language carefully when creating job postings. Certain words can decrease applicants’ interest in the job. For example, the use of masculine language such as “dominant” or “hardy” might not appeal to female applicants.

Offering flexible work schedules and providing a good work-life balance is also a part of creating diverse teams. Personality assessment tools can prove useful since they help one determine an applicant’s skills, motivation, strengths and more. Using job boards and third-party websites is another good way to build a diverse team.

It is also essential to discover and get rid of any bias that might exist in the company. Biases complicate the task of building a diverse team, regardless of whether the bias is in the leadership style or in the process of recruitment. Take the necessary action to figure out what these biases could be and implement policies to deal with them. These are some of the steps one can take to build a diverse team. Doing so provides tangible benefits for the team and the company.

Also Read: HR Strategies: What is Employee Retention?



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