Diversity in Teams

Business.com / Education / Last Modified: February 22, 2017

Managing diverse teams is an important part of any successful business. For a company to maximize its competitiveness, all team ...

Managing diverse teams is an important part of any successful business. For a company to maximize its competitiveness, all team members must work toward a common goal and believe that their ideas and knowledge are valued.

Problems with diversity in teams may result in unresolved conflict and a variety of other problems.

1. Diversity in team building requires active management to keep in-group and out-group dynamics from forming.

2. Diversity team building prevents inter-group competition. Competition within a team creates distrust and reduces productivity.

3. If some team members feel excluded because of race, religion, gender or age, they may seek other jobs, which can lead to retention problems.

Improve internal communications to manage team diversity

It is important for all team members to feel comfortable contributing ideas and opinions. A strong internal communication policy encourages employees to share ideas and information.

Establish a formal diversity policy to improve diversity in teams

The diversity policy can be a simple statement that lists clear objectives as well as a training plan for managing team diversity. Include the policy in the employee handbook and update it regularly.

Improve team diversity management by bringing in outside help

For many small to medium sized companies, diversity management is time consuming and confusing. Hiring an outside consultant to train your employees on diversity issues is often more effective than attempting it yourself. Whether you conduct the training yourself, or hire an outside consultant, consider diversity training an ongoing process.

Look into diversity team building resources

Team building is good for any business, and more so if your company is committed to a clear diversity policy.

  • Diversity in team building requires you to look past the person when assembling a team. Detail the qualifications you are looking for in a team and put together the best people for the job.
  • Consider how your corporate culture affects others. Breakfast meetings may be routine, but a working mother may have trouble with the time. This is just one example of how a painless change can improve diversity team building.
  • Feelings on diversity affect not only how a person feels about others, but, just as importantly, how they see themselves.

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