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Are Diverse Teams a Good Business Decision?

Did you know that some companies are afraid of diversity? They believe that the more alike everyone is, the more they will get along, and then everything will run smoothly. Although, in some ways, these companies may be right, they are missing out on the big picture and potentially increased profits.

Diversity actually increases creativity and improves performance. This can lead to big bucks, especially if you want that Big Idea that will move your company ahead of your competition.

There have been many studies on diversity and on resulting benefits. The Harvard Business Review cites some of these studies and sheds light on why increasing workplace diversity is a great business decision.

A 2015 McKinsey report on 366 public companies found that those in the top quartile for ethnic and racial diversity in management were 35% more likely to have financial returns above their industry mean, and those in the top quartile for gender diversity were 15% more likely to have returns above the industry mean.

Breaking it down, diversity helps teams and companies in three primary ways. Diversity helps them:

  • Focus more on facts
  • Process those facts more carefully
  • Be more innovative and creative

Diverse teams are more likely to constantly reexamine facts and remain objective. They may also encourage greater scrutiny of each member’s actions, keeping their joint cognitive resources sharp and vigilant.

By breaking up workplace homogeneity, you can allow your employees to become more aware of their own potential biases — entrenched ways of thinking that can otherwise blind them to key information and even lead them to make errors in decision-making processes.

Greater diversity may [also] change the way that entire teams digest information needed to make the best decisions. Read more here hbr.org

As the studies show, working with people from diverse backgrounds actually sharpens a team’s performance. Perhaps it’s time to meet with your HR Department to discuss ways of increasing diversity in your own company? You might be pleasantly surprised with the results. And with your bottom line!

thumbnail courtesy of hbr.org

filed under: B2B