Inclusion and diversity have become important pillars of the modern workplace. Companies around the world are striving to build more diverse teams. They do it not only because it’s a social responsibility, but because workplace diversity has an important role to play in team collaboration as well.
And what exactly is the role of workplace diversity in team collaboration?
Before we get into that, it’s important to understand what diversity and inclusion are all about. Workplace diversity includes embracing differences between your team members. This includes their ages, genders, sexual orientations, political leanings, geographic factors, and much more.
Inclusion, on the other hand, is the provision of equal opportunities to people regardless of their diverse background. Thus, without diversity, there can be no inclusion and vice versa.
That said, let’s take a look at the role of workplace diversity in team collaboration.
Role of Workplace Diversity in Team Collaboration
Here’s how workplace diversity can help take your team collaboration to the next level:
1. Higher productivity
Workplace diversity plays an important role when it comes to the productivity of your team. People from different backgrounds bring their individual talents and skills to the table.
This can help you look at problems and understand them from various perspectives. As a result, you’ll be able to solve them quickly and this can result in better efficiency and productivity.
On the other hand, if people from similar backgrounds work together, it would lead to more restricted unidimensional views which could impact productivity levels. You can further level up the team productivity using productivity tools.
2. Bigger talent pool
When you restrict yourself to hiring employees with a similar background, you’ll end up reducing the size of your talent pool. This not only makes it difficult for you to hire good talent but you might end up missing out on better talent from outside this pool.
On the flip side, if you choose to hire employees from diverse backgrounds, you’ll have access to a wider talent pool. As a result, you’ll have more options to choose from when picking employees.
Additionally, the bigger size of the pool will also mean that you can hire the best of the lot. This, in turn, can impact your team collaboration as you’ll have the best talent on your team.
When you opt for more diversity in geographic terms, you’d also be able to save money by allowing employees to work remotely. You can leverage online collaboration tools to help them collaborate better as well.
3. Better decision making
Yet another place where workplace diversity plays a critical role is that of decision making. When you have a culture of diversity and inclusion in place, it helps build employee trust and engagement.
This, in turn, means that the employees will be active in providing relevant information in a better format, tools, and other resources to help improve the decision making process.
Quicker and efficient decision making translates into better and faster execution and this can have a direct impact on your revenue as well.
4. Improved creativity and innovation
Workplace diversity can help you take the team’s creativity and innovation to the next level. Both of these are equally important for organizations if they want to prevail amongst the cut-throat competition.
To enhance collaboration and innovation, you can design a mood board for your team which creates clarity about the project.
When you get a diverse workforce onboard your team, you’ll enjoy the benefits of various perspectives. This form of collaborative learning can help you drive more innovation and creativity than a team without enough diversity.
5. Language diversity
When you hire employees from diverse ethnic or geographic backgrounds, the chances are that they’ll speak different languages as well. While these linguistic differences might act as barriers sometimes, they can often be helpful.
How, you might ask?
When you want to expand your business and open offices in different locations, you might need someone who can speak the local language. This is especially critical for companies that want to go global.
If you have a diverse team, your employees will not only be able to collaborate well but will also be able to help scale up your operations overseas. Additionally, the presence of local employees will also make the company more relatable for your audience.
6. Fewer biases
All of us have certain preconceived notions and biases. These could get in our way while working in a team. Workplace diversity has a major role to play when it comes to removing these biases.
When you hire people from diverse backgrounds, there may be some friction between them, initially. However, in the long run, diversity helps you fight off these biases and stereotypes. This, in turn, can strengthen your team’s bonds and improve team collaboration.
It also helps improve your company culture and makes your company a better place to work.
And that’s not even the best part.
Your employer brand will improve due to the inclusive workplace culture. This, in turn, can improve your growth prospects.
The role of workplace diversity is not only limited to improving your company culture. It can also help boost your team’s productivity levels.
Additionally, when you hire diverse teams, you’ll get access to a bigger talent pool. The diverse backgrounds of your team members will also help with your decision making process.
Linguistic diversity can come in handy when you want to expand your business beyond borders. Finally, greater diversity also helps improve your team’s creativity and innovation, thus helping you develop a strong team.