How Diversity Impact The Dynamics Of Team Building

November 15, 2022

The importance of diversity in team building has been discussed at length across different disciplines and industries. More and more employers are realizing the benefits that creating an inclusive environment can have for their workplace.

Diversity is not only a moral imperative, but it also makes business sense. An organization with a diverse workforce will likely enjoy higher employee engagement and productivity than one that is predominantly white or male.

That’s why many companies now actively promote diversity as part of their overall recruitment strategy. Others offer programs to develop leadership skills among underrepresented groups in the company.

But what about when those people leave your company? If you want to keep investing in diversity, then you need to think about how to retain them. And while there are no hard-and-fast rules, here are some things you can do to boost diversity retention at your own risk.

1) Create an open culture

Most highly successful multicultural teams share two qualities: they believe in and celebrate diversity, and they maintain open lines of communication even after members depart.

This doesn’t mean don’t expect professionalism at times, but instead be clear about who everyone is and what they should know about the others. It’s also important to acknowledge mistakes honestly – nobody is perfect!

2) Use appropriate language

Whether you’re talking about racial or ethnic minorities, LGBT individuals, or other underrepresented groups, using terminology correctly can make a big difference.

Why is diversity important?

how does diversity impact the dynamics of team building

Recent studies have shown that groups with more diversity are better at solving problems. This has to do with how people perceive differences in others. When you’re looking at someone else, your mind automatically categorizes them into one group or another – white, Asian, Hispanic, black, male, female, rich, poor, etc.

By having different categories, you learn about other people in a new way. You become less likely to make assumptions based on these stereotypes. It also helps dispel any myths that may exist about a certain category. For example, there is no true “white person” nor “black person.” All humans come in all shapes, sizes, colors, and cultures.

Diversity is an integral part of our society, and it benefits us as individuals and professionals. It can influence how we perceive things and interact with people, which is why it's so crucial.

Examples of diversity

how does diversity impact the dynamics of team building

What does it mean to be diverse? Defining what makes someone “other” is an interesting challenge. For most people, being called white or Asian or Hispanic/Latino means that you are not ethnically different or unique.

For example, if you look at the average person’s family tree, they are mostly related to each other and very little varies. There are some variations here and there, but nothing significant enough to really classify as unique ethnicity.

This is why people who identify as racially ambiguous are considered so. They do not fit into the norm!

By having experiences and encounters with people from all types of backgrounds, we expand our understanding of the world. We learn about new cultures and ways of thinking. This impacts how we perceive others and their thoughts, behaviors, and beliefs.

It also has an effect on our own beliefs and ideas. We may find that certain concepts don’t make sense to us because we have seen things done differently in another culture.

Diversity is important for overall mental health and wellness. It helps promote creativity, innovation, and understanding of various viewpoints. When we are exposed to differences, we gain knowledge and understand more about the world.

It can even strengthen relationships by teaching us about ourselves and others.

What is the impact of diversity?

One major effect that diversity has in team building is creating an open environment where every person can feel comfortable to contribute. In fact, studies show that when there’s not only racial, gender, and socioeconomic diversity within a group, but also diversity in terms of cultural backgrounds, people feel more connected as individuals.

This increased connection helps promote trust, collaboration, and understanding which are all important qualities for success in life and work. When you have diverse teams, you get different points of view that help you solve complex problems more efficiently. You also learn about other cultures and how they approach things.

It's worth noting here that although diversity benefits individual connections, it also impacts what happens once those conversations end and members of the organization shift into their own personal lives. More exposure to others means greater opportunities to connect with people outside of work, and this creates additional channels for growth.

Diversify your team

how does diversity impact the dynamics of team building

A diverse group of people is like having a second set of eyes to help you evaluate information, ideas and concepts. They bring new perspectives that can shift how you look at things. This has significant implications in business.

In our increasingly interconnected world, where knowledge and understanding are power tools, diversity is essential for ensuring that everyone’s voice is heard.

It also helps promote teamwork by bringing together individuals with different strengths, experiences and career paths. In fact, research shows that when teams have greater diversity, they perform better than more homogeneous groups!

There are many ways to diversify your workplace beyond just hiring members of various races, ethnicities and sexes. Here are some strategies you may not know about that will aid in team building.

Be intentional with diversity

how does diversity impact the dynamics of team building

Add racial, ethnic, religious, economic, gender, and cultural diversity to your workplace to show that there are no “default” groups in society.

This is important because societal defaults determine how people perceive other groups. For example, if you work for a company where everyone else is white and male, then it may subconsciously influence their perception of all other groups — even when they try to be conscious about it.

Research has shown that as many as 70% of biases we have come from social conditioning.6 So, the way our upbringing impacts what kind of stereotypes we develop can affect how we view different groups.

Here are some more ways diversity benefits team building:

Diversity increases productivity and efficiency. This is due to having a variety of perspectives and skills needed to complete projects.

For example, not every person in the group will like or agree with each other on what resources are necessary to succeed, but someone who does not agree with one another can both bring out the best in each other and create an internal debate.

This also helps motivate others when they realize that they are not the only one who believes this resource is essential. Having differences brings out creativity in teamwork.

For instance, when two individuals have opposing views, they must work together to find a solution that satisfies both parties. This creates opportunities for collaboration and innovation.

It also raises employee satisfaction and engagement since employees feel appreciated and wanted.

Seek out diversity

how does diversity impact the dynamics of team building

As mentioned earlier, team building is an integral part of any successful organization. This includes seeking out different cultures and demographics in your workplace.

By this, we mean things like asking about someone’s parents, their hobbies outside work, if they have ever struggled with depression or anxiety, and what kind of support they feel they get from family. These are all important questions to ask during casual conversations so that you can learn more about who these individuals are as people.

At The Workplace Express, we believe every employee deserves to feel accepted and valued at their job. If there is something they do not like or want to do, then they should be able to speak openly about it without fear of being judged or discouraged.

This also goes for when they achieve a goal or receive a promotion – everyone else on the team should know about it. It sets a positive example and adds motivation to keep going.

Diversity is just another way to promote acceptance and teamwork within your department or company.

Build diversity into your team

how does diversity impact the dynamics of team building

One major reason why group cohesion is so important is because it creates a shared sense of identity. As humans, we develop strong bonds with people who are similar to us- those with common interests or experiences.

As mentioned earlier, being surrounded by people who look like you not only raises your self-esteem, but also decreases internalized racism. This is especially true in workplaces where there’s an overrepresentation of certain ethnic groups.

By creating an environment that is inclusive, employees feel comfortable bringing their whole selves to work every day. They may even come to appreciate differences instead of focusing on what they don’t have in common.

At the same time, individuals from underrepresented groups can benefit from exposure to different cultures and ways of doing things. This helps them grow as professionals and human beings.

Ensure diversity is included in all team activities

how does diversity impact the dynamics of team building

One important thing to note is that not only should you actively include diverse groups of people in your workplace, but you also need to make sure that these groups are represented during business meetings and informal conversations as well.

This includes things such as inviting members of different departments to lunch or coffee with each other, having group discussions, and asking questions related to their area of expertise.

By including more individuals in your circle, it helps promote teamwork and understanding of others’ points-of-view. It also raises awareness about issues that affect various segments of society which can motivate action towards solving them.

It’s very common for employees in similar positions within an organization to feel left out or even excluded because they don’t understand what goes into someone else’s job. By bringing those people together outside of work, this perception can be broken down.

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