diversity in teamwork
diversity in teamwork
Diversity = differences, whether in race, sex, ethnic background, disability, nationality, etc. And without different viewpoints, experiences, knowledge and perspectives, necessary processes for innovation in STEM, such as creativity, critical analysis and conflict, can not occur (or can not occur to the same extent). As research projects in STEM inherently require creativity and innovation, teamwork can be enhanced by having a group composed of diverse members. These differing viewpoints and perspectives can also help students in understanding a problem collectively, or viewing it in a variety of ways that can enrich their comprehension and depth of understanding.
In academia, the majority of research in STEM fields is conducted through collaborations and working groups, where a diversity of ideas need to be proposed and analyzed to determine the best strategy(ies) for solving a problem. In the technology sector, product development is done as a team, with specific roles for each individual but its success is predicated on each member of the team providing a different skill set / perspective. Thus, students who are interested in both academia and industry will benefit from learning how to successfully work in a diverse team.
Businesses both large and small are competing for new customers on a global scale, and, in doing so, they soon recognize the value of diversity in organizational groups and teams to the bottom line. When creating a group or team in the workplace, smart managers realize that with increased diversity come new ideas, products and services.
Smart managers strive for diversity in groups and teams.
Diversity influences work relationships with one another and thus has impacts on the performance of teamwork. An examination diversity literature shows that heterogeneity in team members is both an opportunity and a challenge to the functioning of teams. Some authors maintain that getting diverse people to work together is a challenge due to the tensions diversity can create. Others studies stress new ideas and creativity that have resulted from social interaction among diverse perspectives. For this reason, diversity, described as a “double-edged sword”,  has both advantageous and disadvantageous impacts on teamwork. Both of these forms will be illustrated in the following section.
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“I’m too busy. I don’t have time.” How often do you hear that? But is it true?
Are you using JIRA? Check out the new beautiful visual one-click team reporting.
A recent study found that workplace diversity can increase employee happiness and job satisfaction. The study cites “feeling included” as one of the top raves of workers. Further, this feeling of inclusion makes employees more likely to come to work, which means a more efficient and profitable company culture. Pause for cheers and pats on the back…
How do you make communication effective in a diverse workplace? Leave a comment below, or send me a tweet: @ithinkther4iamb
As many experienced managers would attest, the answer is no.
When a project requires the team approach, it means that no single individual possesses the breadth of skills and experience necessary to complete the task. Managers must identify which skills are required and what types of experience would be most beneficial, then assemble the appropriate players. Cross-departmental collaboration may be involved.
It also encourages innovative thinking, good decision-making, greater flexibility and more opportunities for managing strategic change. And most importantly for teamwork, diverse groups are more effective in identifying and solving problems.
People from low-context countries tend to have a more direct and assertive communication style, which can be considered rude by those from high-context countries.
In recent years, business leaders have turned their attention to diversity and inclusion (or D&I), with mixed motivations, a range of approaches, and an even greater array of outcomes, successful or otherwise. In your organisation, D&I might be an initiative you’re totally on top of, a policy that feels too big to tackle, or a good intention that’s sitting somewhere in your business strategy, but isn’t ready to be acted on just yet.
But here’s the thing. It’s these real human differences which are the boon to innovation, teamwork and profitability. Differences of opinion, various approaches to problems, difficult exchanges of views – out of this difficult, human, messy stuff can come absolute gold, if leaders know how to maximise that human potential. At the personality layer, true diversity already exists – it’s up to the leaders of an organisation to take that wonderful variety and embed it into an inclusive culture.
In a global analysis of 2,400 companies conducted by Credit Suisse, organizations with at least one female board member yielded higher return on equity and higher net income growth than those that did not have any women on the board.
In recent years a body of research has revealed another, more nuanced benefit of workplace diversity: nonhomogenous teams are simply smarter. Working with people who are different from you may challenge your brain to overcome its stale ways of thinking and sharpen its performance. Let’s dig into why diverse teams are smarter.
However, building multicultural teams does put a premium on the manager.
(Chua) speculates that managers could decrease the effects of ambient cultural disharmony by encouraging employees to identify their own assumptions of other cultures–for example, by keeping a cultural journal in which they record their thoughts and observations. In the workplace, managers can create cultural “awareness moments,” as HBS Associate Professor Tsedal Neely suggests, by setting up site visits between employees working in different environments, or by encouraging them to work side by side to observe how cultural differences can influence work habits.