The Value of a Diverse Team

Why you should have a diverse team and workplace

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Leaders should make sure to have a diverse team in the workplace. It should be full of people from different cultures, ethnicities, races, religions, with a variety of age groups.  Author Stephen R. Covey said, “Strength lies in differences, not in similarities.” This is true when it comes to having a strong and effective team or work environment.

You must have people who are different than yourself. It requires getting past your own comfort level and preferences when it comes to who you hire for the team and hiring a team full of diverse people. There are many positive benefits that come from having a diverse team and workplace. When you take the time to build a diverse team of people you will find it:

Provides a well-rounded team 

Author Tom Rath said, “Although individuals need not be well-rounded, teams should be.” A diverse group of people bring a variety of different strengths, personalities, ideas and talents to the table. You can use the strengths and differences of each team member to produce results. A strong team is full of people who are different from each other, making the team a valuable asset to the organization.

Provides a pipeline of leaders  

When you hire a diverse team of people there will be different people who can potentially move into new roles or leadership positions. You will have people from every generation and background who can promote or be in key leadership positions. It can allow the leadership team to be well-rounded.

Provides different perspectives and ideas 

Young people think differently than older people and those who are from a variety of different cultures bring their unique perspectives and ideas about the business. In The 15 Invaluable Laws of Growth, John Maxwell talked about attending a meeting with 3 other older and more experienced successful business men. He shared that after leaving his level of thinking and creativity raised because of the different perspectives the others had shared about the topics at hand. It can be true with you as well if you have a diverse team of people. You will have fresh perspectives and new ideas as a result of the diversity. It can help the team win.

Provides solutions 

Businesses face industry specific problems and issues. Some are major problems while others are everyday problems or issues. A team of diverse people can offer better and different solutions to problems, often in a shorter amount of time, than non-diverse teams. Tim Berners-Lee said, “We need diversity of thought in the world to face the new challenges.” The problems and challenges can be tackled effectively through the uniqueness of each member of the team.

Provides learning 

You can create a culture of learning when there are diverse people who share their knowledge, experiences, and ideas. Each ethnicity and age group represented on the team or in the organization can bring unique learning opportunities. Working in a diverse environment myself, I’ve learned a lot of new and insightful things from the people I work with. I’m becoming a better leader by watching and talking with people who are different than myself. You can receive the same benefit when you have a diverse team.

Question: What are some other benefits from having a diverse team?

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Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

  • My pastor (I forwarded this post to him) has been really encouraging diversity lately. We had a concert at our church a few weeks ago with two singing groups, one a high school choir and the other a Southern Gospel group. Everyone seemed to really enjoy both, and it was awesome to see the sanctuary filled with such a diverse group. I enjoyed it way more than I thought I would, and I’m definitely more open to diversity because of it. So, this post hits my thoughts in a very timely way.

    • Thank you for sharing the post with your pastor, I hope he enjoys it. That’s a great way to bring diversity into a church or workplace. I’m finding more and more that diversity is so refreshing and a great experience. Thank you for sharing.

  • Hi Dan! Because of my work helping people change careers, when I think of workplace diversity I automatically think about not just cultural diversity but also diversity in terms of work backgrounds. I’ve seen the value that is brought to teams by having people from different schools of thought brought together. People think about things through their own lens, as you talk about in the ‘perspectives and ideas’ section, and it’s true with career change. When you bring a teacher into the classroom or an engineer into a restaurant, amazing things happen! :)

    • Great point Jessica. A group of people with different life and work experience can bring tremendous value to the team. Thank you for sharing your wisdom here.