Diversity is a mega buzzword at the workplace — but why do you need diversity on your team? Let’s dive deeper into the concept of diversity at work and why it could change everything: from creativity to employee happiness.
What is diversity?
While the concept of diversity is prominent in the modern workplace, some companies make the mistake of oversimplifying diversity into a set of numbers or just throwing the word around without recognizing its benefits.
Diversity is so much more than having a good number of women or persons of color at the workplace. In fact, it’s about embracing our differences — whether it’s in gender, cultural backgrounds, skillsets, views, and opinions. The 21st century has opened our eyes to the beauty of embracing humans of all kinds, and it’s incredibly important to bring this perspective into the workplace.
Why do you need diversity on the team?
#1 Diversity promotes better ideas
When you have a team of individuals from the same background, you inadvertently create an echo chamber. This means that you’re likely to bounce similar ideas off one another and constantly reinforce the same opinion. In contrast to this, diversity brings good energy and creativity to your team. Putting it simply — you’re collecting ideas from a wider range of individuals with rich experiences. This means that you’re more likely to find amazing ideas that you yourself might never have thought of. That creativity and widening of perspectives are so essential in workplaces — whether it’s brainstorming a new marketing strategy or planning a new product.
#2 Diversity improves productivity
The best way to understand this point is the failure of the Super-chicken model. The Super-chicken model is a concept that refers to a management practice whereby companies primarily hire high-achievers. In theory, this might seem great — everyone thinks alike and wants to get work done. But in reality, such hiring practices can be disastrous. Hiring individuals, especially over-achievers, of the same background could be disastrous for your team’s dynamic. Instead of doing work, it’s likely that team members will enter conflicts. This not only sours relationships but also takes time away from work. In contrast to this, having a diverse team means individuals who are willing to give and take, learn from one another, and manage conflicts healthily.
#3 Diversity is essential for your team’s happiness
On a more human note, diversity is essential for your team’s happiness. Think about it — imagine going to work and only interacting with people who are just like you. It’s the same stories, same opinions, and same viewpoints every day. Sounds pretty dystopian, huh? Now let’s change this scenario up. Imagine going to work each day and meeting individuals of all walks of life — people of other genders, people who have lived abroad, people with novel political opinions, the list goes on! Picture the stories you’ll hear over lunch breaks, the intriguing ideas you’ll hear over group discussions, and the friends you’ll make who add much-needed excitement to your life.
At the end of the day, going to work is about more than productivity and great ideas. It’s about immersing in a dynamic environment that you find interesting every day — and that’s why diversity is so important for your team.