Diverse Teams: 5 Ways To Build Diverse Teams

Team diversity combines a variety of skills, backgrounds, experiences, ideas, thoughts, abilities, and perspectives individuals bring to their team. The differences between the members are based on age, nationality, religion, sexual orientation, etc. 

Diverse groups bring new ideas and broader perspectives to the table. They will be more productive. It helps to retain top talent, strengthen the company’s image and reputation, and boosts profits. Working with people who are different from the challenges of their notions, views, and perspectives forces them to step out of their comfort zones and think out of the box. This will help them to develop new thought processes. 

Benefits Of A Diverse Team In The Workplace

  1. Breeds Creativity And Innovation 

Diverse teams lead to diverse perspectives. This allows out of their box thinking and generates better ideas. It motivates others to think from another perspective, and they try to understand what their co worker’s perspective is. By putting their heads together for new ideas, the management gains a lot of pictures due to diversity in the team. It helps the company grow in the market as new ideas can be developed, increasing innovation of the products they offer.

  1. Better Employee Retention And Recruitment 

A survey conducted by Glassdoor states that 76% of job seekers look for a diverse workplace while evaluating job offers and considering companies. By having various employees, the company conducts better recruitment, leading to a more excellent pool of talents for the company, unlike a homogeneous team. Companies with great diversity have lower turnover rates, leading to less training costs and recruitment. 

  1. Better Decision Making And Problem-Solving 

Diverse teams bring diverse solutions to a problem. It brings a wide range of thought processes and perspectives. Problems can be solved easily when many views are taken into account. This makes problem-solving easy for the management, and they reach more informed decisions regarding organizational activities.

  1. Higher Employee Engagement 

When employees feel included, they will be more engaged in organizational activities. Deloitte Australia’s research has found that teams that focus more on diversity and inclusion tend to deliver the highest levels of engagement. When employees feel valued, empowered, and accepted in the organization, they are happier and motivated. Thus, they can be more productive. 

  1. Better Reputation 

Diversity within the team improves the company’s image and reputation. It attracts better talent. Businesses with variety are seen to be more ethical and socially responsible, making it easier for people to relate to them. This opens doors for new markets and customers. 

  1. Make Everyone Feel Valued 

Companies that give importance to diversity and inclusion in the workplace must put in efforts to make their team members feel valued and appreciated. If not, this will affect employee performance as they think they are unimportant and not accepted. This will hurt the financial performance of the company. The employers can ensure employee appreciation by: 

  • The employee recognition program must be implemented throughout all ranks and departments equally. 
  • Leaders must recognize their team, and the employees should recognize their peers. This promotes belongingness and connection. 
  • Employee performance must be measured and rewarded using the same set of standards.

How To Build Diverse Teams 

  1. Think About Diversity From The Start

Diversity in race, gender, age, or other factors is equally important. In addition to variations on these grounds, the management must also consider cognitive and personal diversity. 

  1. Address All Aspects Of Diversity 

The management must address all aspects of diversity. Most of them think variety is only based on the grounds of gender, race, or religion. But the administration must also consider and address diversity on the grounds of age, disability, language, personality, and sexual orientation. 

  1. Improve Recruitment Strategy 

The recruitment strategy of the organization can be improved by: 

  • Rethink the language while posting jobs: Avoid using masculine forms of words while communicating to female applicants. Terms like “aggressive” and “outspoken” are perceived as masculine terms. These might prevent female people from applying to the posts.
  • Offer appealing workplace policies: Offer policies that include flexibility and help them gain a work-life balance.
  • Use a personality assessment: By conducting personality assessments, the management can understand and measure the candidates’ personality traits, motivations, and skills. 
  • Cast a wider net: Instead of using the routine recruitment of people, the management can look for candidates through third-party apps and other online platforms. They can look for candidates in trade schools and community colleges. 
  • Use technology: Use artificial intelligence and phone screenings to shortlist candidates based on qualifications.
  • Check the qualifications: Stay focused on the essential requirements of the job position. 
  • Show and prove diversity: 74% of the companies purposely include images of diverse people in their recruitment materials, but only 28% of the people have incorporated it into their mission statement. 
  1. Rethink Culture Fit 

Many employees have used this for evaluating applicants to find the right ones that fit well in that environment with the team. However, hiring on this basis is biased, subjective and would lead to a homogeneous team. In a survey conducted in 2013, 82% of the people thought that this was an essential consideration, while 54% of them said that the organization had a clearly-defined culture. Instead of relying on this concept, the management can ask what the person would add to their existing culture and what values they are aligned with. 

  1. Do Not Forget About Inclusion 

The team should not feel that they are not valued and accepted in their workplace. This would affect the productivity of the employees and the organization’s financial performance. The management can ensure inclusion in the workplace by: 

  • Regularly asking for feedback from the team members: The employees must be asked for their opinions. Even if it is not good enough, employers can provide constructive criticism to excel and grow. However, 34% of the employees feel that the companies fail to listen to their ideas to improve the business.
  • Establish employee resource groups: This enables deeper connections and gives the employees a sense of belonging.
  • Promotion of clear paths for advancement: It helps to reduce bias. 
  • Implementation of a Diversity and Inclusivity Committee: The employees must be given opportunities to join such a committee where they can put in their efforts to make the work environment more inclusive. They will build bonds with others with whom they have not interacted yet. 

Conclusion

It is very complex to build a diverse team. It is less challenging to work with similar people and is way more comfortable. But this comfort comes with a considerable cost, a decreased team performance. By becoming more diverse and inclusive, the team can achieve greater engagement, creativity, and innovation. Diversity helps the team to become better communicators and collaborators. When the team members feel valued, accepted, and their individuality is nurtured, their morale increases, and the workplace is more productive than before. While working with diverse teams, the management conducts open discussions, encourages feedback, listens to them actively, and practices good decision-making.

Related Content

IMPACTFUL COMPLIANCE & PREVENTION TRAINING

Impactly’s online sexual harassment and diversity, equity & inclusion training packages are used by hundreds of organizations across the country. Impactly is powered by Get Inclusive, one of the largest providers of prevention and compliance training for colleges and universities.