The Importance Of Building A Diverse Team

Building and sustaining a diverse team has become an essential aspect of increasing business success and performance. A diverse workforce not only brings together a variety of perspectives, experiences, and skills, but also fosters greater innovation, creativity, and adaptability. This article will explore the importance of diversity in team composition and how it positively impacts productivity, problem-solving, and overall performance.

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Innovation And Productivity

Innovation is the driving force behind business growth and success in today’s competitive landscape. A team with diverse backgrounds and ways of thinking will help your workforce solve these problems more creatively and effectively, making better use of individual skills and resources.

This correlates directly with improved financial performance. According to a study conducted by McKinsey & Company, companies in the top quartile for racial and ethnic diversity are 35% more likely to have financial returns above their respective national industry medians, while those in the top quartile for gender diversity are 15% more likely to outperform.

Similarly, a report from the Harvard Business Review found that cognitively diverse teams can solve problems faster than cognitively similar teams, as they bring unique ideas and viewpoints to the table. This diversity in thought leads to a more comprehensive understanding of the team’s challenges and lays the foundation for more innovative solutions.

Skills And Communication

A team with differing communication styles, approaches to tasks, and contrasting walks of life will have a broad and potent mix of skill sets. The challenge for business leaders is to establish the appropriate framework to allow members of the team to collaborate, share information and ideas, and work together effectively towards a common goal without descending into miscommunications and conflict.

To streamline team communication, it is essential for diverse teams to have a transparent and open policy where all members feel comfortable expressing their ideas and opinions. If these challenges are navigated successfully, the presence of a diverse skill set and multilevel competencies can help teams develop a deeper sense of belonging, strengthen relationships, solve problems more quickly and efficiently, and increase productivity.

Competitive Advantages

Effectively implemented diversity is a powerful asset for businesses, as diverse teams consistently excel over their homogeneous counterparts. Does this mean that diverse teams are genuinely ‘smarter’ than more uniform teams? No, but teams that include a wider cross-section of backgrounds, perspectives, and skills are less susceptible to the blind spots that arise within teams when habitual practices and behaviours become entrenched due to a uniformity of outlook among colleagues.

Working with people different to you challenges your brain to question its assumptions and ways of thinking, and thereby sharpens your performance. Diverse teams may also be more competitive because they are able to approach business challenges from a broader variety of perspectives and angles, making it easier to find fast and effective solutions.

Employee Engagement And Morale

Employee engagement and morale are significantly influenced by the diversity and inclusiveness of a work environment. When organisations embrace a wide range of cultures, backgrounds, and thought processes, employees tend to experience higher morale and satisfaction – contrary to some commonly held misconceptions. Modern employees seem to enjoy working in a diverse environment and thrive more within diverse teams.

The British Psychological Society reported that 68% of the UK’s newer generation of jobseekers could see themselves working for a company for longer than five years if it had a diverse workforce. Running parallel to these findings, a whitepaper published by Deloitte based on global data in 2017 suggested that inclusive teams are twice as likely to meet or exceed financial targets, six times more likely to be innovative and agile, and eight times more likely to achieve better business outcomes. Simply put, happy teams work harder and achieve better results.

Higher employee satisfaction in diverse workforces often bears fruit as lower staff turnover rates, as employees feel valued and respected for their unique contributions, skills, and background. This, in turn, can result in improved overall performance, as engaged and motivated employees are more productive and committed to the success of the organisation.

Creating A Diverse, Motivated, And Productive Workforce

To foster an inclusive and diverse team environment, companies should focus on implementing inclusive policies, promoting diversity awareness, and encouraging open communication and collaboration among team members. If you’d like to know more about the benefits of diversity and how GRA’s team development services can help, please contact us.

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