Diverse teams managed well outperform the homogeneous teams as they draw on a bigger pool of different ideas and their interaction will produce better solutions.
Individuals of diverse racial, ethnic, gender and religious members as well as boomers, X’ers, Millennials, non citizens and people of different sexual orientation will bring with them individual views of the world, different value sets and more viewpoints on a problem.
I’d divide the process of managing diverse teams into 4 key actions.
Action 1 – Selecting people and structuring different teams
I will first use the existing diversity data. After that I will use the existing diversity data of different teams that already exist in the organisation. I will consider desired work outcomes and shortlist the candidates. After that I will select the team members based on their skill sets and expertise for a particular task. While selecting the people, I will sure that there is a clear vision of desired outcomes of a team and how the diversity of the team will contribute that outcome.
It is also important that all team members are given a understanding of the principles behind the diversity of the team and how the diversity is going to help the team work better together.
Action 2 – Resource allocation to Teams
First of all, we need to assess to needs of diverse teams.
The most important thing to improve the performance of diverse work teams is giving the team members with the necessary skills to work efficiently and help them increase their productivity.
For that, training for the team leaders and all team members is critical to the performance of diverse teams.
It is very important to under the likelihood of conflict because of different viewpoints. We need to emphasise within the teams that some forms of conflict can be very constructive. The value in different views and means of expression should also be emphasised.
We need to tackle the issues around isolation of under-represented groups by acting to build a strong team identity.
Action 3 – Working with existing diverse teams
There are some work teams which are not selected from scratch and there are possibilities of diverse teams already operating in the organisation.
A good starting point is to examine the current processes, identify the team problems and help them improve the team productivity.
Action 4 – Measuring team performance and improving it.
We need to define clear goals and targets for the team. Goals should represent the value places on new and innovative solutions. The goals should further act to strengthen the team’s sense of identity.
We need reward at a team level to encourage greater involvement of team members.