5 tips for having a diverse team

For some time now, companies are having to face a new challenge in personnel management: the diversity.

Until a few decades ago, work teams were quite homogeneous. Formed, in most cases, by men with similar training and within a more or less wide age range.

However, today's company workforces are much more diverse. There are men, women, older workers and very young employees, people of different nationalities and cultures, etc. 

Diversity enriches the company, because each worker can contribute something unique. However, when employees are very different from each other, management must adapt to this circumstance.

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Why should companies have diverse teams?

Diversity seems to have become a fashion or a trend in the labor market, but it must be much more than that. Companies that advocate having a wide variety of people on their staff should do so because they really understand the benefits they get from doing so. Let's look at some of the most important.

Innovation

The more heterogeneity of profiles exists within a work team, the easier it will be to come up with new ideas to solve problems

If we bring together employees who have different aptitudes, have gone through experiences that are not similar to each other, or have developed different skills, they will surely be able to find much more efficient solutions.

Faster decision making

Its alot easier for two people who are cognitively different to enter into a negotiation and reach a solution, to be done by those who think similarly. Therefore, in diverse teams the decision-making process is usually much faster.

Attract and retain talent

Feeling different in an organization in which there seems to be a certain homogeneity within the workforce is not comfortable for the worker. Most likely, the person is not interested in working in that company and, if they do, they will end up leave sooner rather than later.

On the contrary, if the new employee knows that he will be integrated into a diverse workforce, he will feel much more comfortable from the first moment.

Thus, diverse teams help attract talent and also retain it. because in them no one will feel different.

What types of profiles can we find within a diverse team?

We have already seen that the heterogeneity of the workforce is very advantageous for the company. But, when looking for new employees, what profiles can be found?

Diversity can be grouped into two large groups:

  • demographic.
  • human characteristics.

Therefore, in a diverse team we are going to meet people of different ages, gender, nationality, religion, culture, training, professional experience, talent, knowledge, etc.

The combination of all these elements gives rise to a synergy that translates into a competitive advantage for the company. Making it much more prepared to face possible threats and also to take advantage of opportunities.

To start building diverse teams, you need to start with a diverse and inclusive job description. Make it very clear to potential candidates that their personal characteristics are not going to be a barrier to accessing employment.

5 keys to managing a diverse team

Diversity in the organization has several dimensions:

  • It is oriented to recruitment and retention of talent no matter the labels.
  • Takes into account the needs of all those who are part of the company. Starting from the basis that these needs will be different from one employee to another.
  • Search promote the elimination of all kinds of prejudices.
  • Bet on him empowerment of all people, especially those who are at risk of social exclusion or have it more complicated when it comes to accessing a job.

We know that in a diverse team, the members have different skills and competencies. But their needs and even their way of understanding work are also different. Hence the importance of knowing how to do good management. Therefore, we are going to see five tips that can help organizations when facing this challenge.

1. Practice empathy-oriented active listening

The active listening It involves much more than hearing what the other has to say. It means paying real attention to what the other party is communicating and taking their arguments into account.

In this case, you must go one step further. You should not only listen to understand what the other party wants or needs, but also to put yourself in their place and thus really understand what that person wants to convey.

When managing a diverse team, the leader must take time to understand how things work within the team. How things are done and why they are done this way and not otherwise.

To get this information, communication becomes essential. The leader must put himself in the place of his employees if he really wants to understand their point of view and understand why they do things in a certain way.

Also, keep in mind that in a diverse team, each employee is different. Hence the importance of dedicating time to each member in order to get to know them better and empathize with them.

2. The leader must act as such

The talent may be diverse, but the work team must work like a well-oiled gear. The rapport between its members must be the best possible. And this is only possible if there is a good leader at the head of that team.

As we said before, the leader must know in depth the workers of his team and also the way in which they work. When you have this knowledge you will be able to perform your role more effectively.

Your role is set up your team for success. Has to define goals and create a roadmap to achieve the set objectives. Always taking into account the capabilities of its employees and the particularities of each of them.

The more diverse a team is, the more likely it is that barriers will appear when trying to implement changes. However, if the leader is well trained and has empathized with his team, he will know very well how he can stand up to the opposition to change.

3. You have to be flexible

Every company wants its work teams to be high-performing. But in Human Resources management you have to be aware that not everyone has the same capacity for work

For example, a young person with children will have less availability to work overtime. While someone who is already close to retirement may find it a little more difficult to adapt to technological changes. That does not mean that his value is less than that of the rest of the team.

Precisely for this reason, it is important to encourage a certain degree of flexibility in both leaders and employees. That everyone has the ability to adapt to certain circumstances. 

4. It is necessary to encourage humility

Beyond flexibility, both the leader and the employees under his charge must be humble. This is especially important when you are in an environment where points of view are not homogeneous.

No team member should be considered above the rest. Think that their ideas and opinions are worth more than those of their peers. If this happens, all the benefits of a diverse team are lost.

Each employee must see himself as a valued member of the team. Know that you can contribute your ideas and opinions, and that these will be valued and listened to to the same degree as those of the rest.

Here the role of the leader is especially important. More than a boss, he is a guide, an example to follow for his subordinates. Therefore, he is the first to set an example when it comes to being humble and listening and valuing what others have to say.

5. Add skills

In a work team each member can contribute something valuable. If, in addition, we are facing a diverse team, what each person can contribute is different from what others contribute. 

By adding skills the team gain in effectiveness and efficiency. As long as you are able to take advantage of that diversity and do not make the mistake of trying to impose a dominant culture.

If active listening, empathy, humility, flexibility, and a good leader have been worked on, the result will be a team made up of people with different skills who work well with each other and are able to make the most of their abilities. .

Diverse teams have gone from being the exception to becoming the norm in most companies. Getting the most out of them requires good management of that diversity to Get the best out of each employee.

A good strategy to have more diverse teams is to evaluate before hiring, this allows you to predict the fit and development of the future employee in the job. Hirint smart assessment platform allows you to know even more about your candidates. Book a meeting with us HERE!