Teamwork and diversity
teamwork and diversity
2) Ensure that you are creating teamwork assignments that lend themselves to the diversity of your classroom and the work environments your students will enter upon graduation. Assignments need to allow for creativity, innovation and collaboration, otherwise students may not benefit from teamwork at all, and will resent working with others when they do not see a clear benefit above completing the project individually.
Some Final Thoughts….
But, while people are all individual, they often share many internal and external traits. For example, people raised in the midwestern United States have a shared culture and beliefs that may differ widely from people raised Europe or the Far East. For businesses, the impact of these shared traits within groups and teams can be both a plus and minus.
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.
Times have changed and so has performance management. What are the modern trends?
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- Insist diversity not only in the people you hire, but in the employees on screening and interview committees. As mentioned above, this means diversity of age, experience, gender, etc.
- When you hire a new employee, job expectations shouldn’t be the only memo. Explain the importance of workplace diversity, and delineate expectations for a positive company culture.
- Frequently revisit hiring policies as they relate to diversity. Consider having a committee of employees give input on the policy, and on diversity in company culture.
By following these tips, you should be well on your way to creating a positive company culture. Remember to always encourage communication, and keep an open mind. That means keeping your mind open to new people and new ideas… even really crazy things like garlic lemonade (you get a free cold-fighting recipe today, in honor of the chilly weather).
For optimum harmony and cooperation, managers should choose team members with complementary work styles. For example, hyper-focused, detail-oriented people balance out teammates who tend to have a more panoramic view of resources, deliverables, schedules and deadlines. In general, individuals are not identical in the way they approach tasks and responsibilities. The key thing — within the parameters of your own office culture — is to acknowledge that there’s often more than one right way to tackle a job and to try to reach agreement on the best approach for each task.
Team diversity is often acknowledged as an important goal in building project groups. Diversity means difference. But isn’t it counterintuitive to expect dissimilar individuals to perform with a single-minded purpose? Wouldn’t a team composed of employees with comparable professional experiences and similar personalities function more smoothly?
But the exercise is designed not just to force students to see how they are different from others. It also asks them to see how those differences are a strength, and how they can help build a higher-performing work team.
“It’s easier to trust each other after the exercise, which makes it easier to give honest, critical feedback and consider new approaches to the assignment,” she says.
Cultures that avoid uncertainty often require a lot more information before making a decision, as they tend not to like ambiguity. This can cause the decision-making process to take more time.
Uncertainty avoidance is another cultural dimension.
When you work with Insights, our first step is to help every member of a team dial up their self-awareness. We help people understand why they think, act, work, and communicate the way they do, the unique value they bring when they’re working to their full potential, and help them address what they find difficult about workplace relationships. And at the team level, we help everyone understand why their colleagues think, act, work, and communicate in the different ways that they do. That means that people truly get themselves, really know who they’re working alongside, and can adapt their approach to make the best of the relationships around them. Understanding the range of personalities that exist in the team leads to a much more inclusive culture. Every voice can be not just heard but appreciated, each idea can be met with a growth mindset, and previously tough conversations can be made more open and honest.
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.
Though you may feel more at ease working with people who share your background, don’t be fooled by your comfort. Hiring individuals who do not look, talk, or think like you can allow you to dodge the costly pitfalls of conformity, which discourages innovative thinking.
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.
“It’s a matter of looking at individual teams and making sure they’re different perspectives, different points of view, different backgrounds,” NPR’s David Greene says.
The idea that different perspectives result in better work has been explored from a more macro-economic perspective, as research shows that diverse cities experience more economic growth. The idea is also at play in research showing that companies with females on their boards financially outperform those that don’t.