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Is a Lack of Team Diversity Holding You Back?

Is a Lack of Team Diversity Holding You Back?

In an industry sector primarily made up of small businesses facing tight profit margins, it is critical that companies streamline inefficiencies and constantly look for ways to be doing things better. Of course, sometimes that means you have to look at the numbers to see where you can shave costs and boost revenue. Sometimes you evaluate individual employee performance and make adjustments. But increasingly, it means you should be taking a look at the makeup and composition of your team.

Research shows that emphasizing workplace diversity can have significant impacts on your business. According to Business Insiderproblem solving is considerably more effective in diverse teams. For instance, there is a positive correlation between women holding corporate leadership positions and company performance. But despite the positive results that diverse teams can generate, only one percent of Fortune 500 CEOs are black and only four percent are women.

You may not be a Fortune 500 company, but there are still steps you can take that bring more diversity to your team to ensure that your decision-making processes are regularly injected with fresh ideas that can improve your bottom line.

  1. Actions over words: Demonstrate your commitment to diversity visibly and often. It is critical that employees see your efforts in action, otherwise your claims are simply empty statements. Ensure that your recruitment process mirrors your goals. Assemble a group of recruiters who reflect the diversity you hope to bring to your team, so potential hires can envision themselves working at a company like yours.
  2. If necessary, broaden your criteria: If you’re trying to fill a specific position, look beyond your usual demographic. When you bring in a person with a different background and experience, you bring a new perspective to the table that may be a real asset to the team. Additionally, reconsider criteria of job positions. Rephrasing job requirements and needed skillsets to incorporate a broader set of intellectual abilities and experiences could encourage more diverse applicants to apply for higher-level jobs with room for promotion.
  3. Generate a culture of innovation and inclusion: Be aware of your workplace’s dynamic and be an active player in making the necessary changes. Anyone can be a role model for change, and no act is too small. Taking the first step can lead to a domino effect that ultimately results in a much more productive team.

Diversity of ideas and experiences is a key component of what makes teams effective. By taking the time to think critically about how you compose and manage your teams, you can ensure your business is successful for years to come.