Is There a Connection Between Diversity and Team Performance?
Think about the current challenges you are experiencing as a manager. Maybe you are trying to identify ways to innovate to gain a competitive advantage. Or maybe your team is experiencing high turnover and you are tasked with revamping your recruitment strategy. As managers, you are responsible for identifying solutions that will positively impact organizational performance. To make these decisions you must rely on not only yourself but your teams’ network, resources, and personal experiences, before taking action.
What happens if you don’t have the right team members or the right experiences to make qualified decisions? How successful will you be?
This is why it is essential to have a diversity and inclusion strategy in your organization. A diversity and inclusion strategy is a company’s mission to create and maintain a diverse workplace to achieve greater business outcomes. Diversity is the spectrum of human differences among the workforce, from race, gender, age, experience, to political orientation, and religious beliefs. Inclusion is a business environment that values the uniqueness of others beliefs, backgrounds, and experiences. Diversity and inclusion are not just industry buzzwords, they are essential to any organizations success. According to McKinsey, companies with a diverse workforce are 35% more likely to outperform those without diversity initiatives.
How a Diversity and Inclusion Strategy can Improve Team Performance:
1. Increased employee engagement. When employees feel valued for who they are, they are more likely to work harder to support their team. Take action, find ways to allow individuals on your team to express who they are. For example, acknowledge and offer the opportunity for individuals to observe their religious holidays.
2. Enhanced creativity and innovation. According to Harvard Business Review, “diversity unlocks innovation by creating an environment where ‘outside of the box’ ideas are heard.” Research has proven that diverse groups are more effective at problem-solving than homogeneous groups. If you do not have a diverse and inclusive team your business area could become stagnant and new ideas could be difficult to come by. Take action, encourage out of the box thinking without judgment. Create recognition strategies that support innovative thinking.
3. Improved relationship development and expanded network. A diverse team allows you to connect with more people both locally and globally. It creates new business relationship opportunities that can expand and evolve your business into new markets or new product categories. Take action, hire individuals that have broad industry experience that you do not have on your team. Embrace unique backgrounds as ways to enhance your team skill set.