Diversity and inclusion are top selling points of most organizations today. A diverse team is made up of people from different races, cultural backgrounds, nationalities, genders, sexual orientations, physical abilities, and even religious backgrounds. A team leader must also make sure that every team member feels included, has equal opportunities, and doesn’t face segregation in the workplace. Here are the best 6 tips to help you develop a diverse team.
6 Best Tips to Help You Develop a Diverse Team
To build a diverse team, you need to be willing to restructure several aspects of your company culture. The list below contains some of the changes organizations have made to promote diversity.
1. Eliminate Bias During the Hiring Process
The first step to creating a diverse team is ensuring that there are no cultural or social biases in the hiring process. You should invite top talent from all backgrounds and grant employment based on merit rather than race or ethnicity.
Another way to eliminate bias during the hiring process is to reconsider what qualifications you require for a role. According to NCES, only 10 percent of bachelor’s degrees were awarded to Black students in 2019, compared to 62 percent that went to white students.
This means that reconsidering what educational backgrounds you require can help open the door to underrepresented groups in various sectors. For example, if you are hiring an entry-level software engineer, applicants’ skills may be more important than educational qualifications. You might think about hiring coding bootcamp graduates instead of exclusively those with a computer science degree.
2. Provide Equal Opportunities Across the Team
You cannot say your team is diverse if you only allow a certain demographic of people to get to managerial positions in the workplace. Also, it isn’t enough to offer management jobs to one or two people from different demographics just to avoid backlash from the public.
Make sure that promotions are granted when due and based on merit rather than gender, race, religious affiliations, or similar differences. You can ensure equal opportunities by implementing fair performance evaluation methods that rely on artificial intelligence or data science tools to limit unconscious bias.
3. Eliminate Bias in Company Culture
It is not enough to simply employ people from different backgrounds. You also have to train all the members of your team to accept and treat everyone the same. Racist, gender, and homophobic behaviors should not be promoted or tolerated in the workplace. Also, there should be inclusion in as many ways as possible.
For example, a company that provides a day off for a holiday like Christmas may also provide a day off for Muslim or Jewish holidays if they have staff members with these religious affiliations. You can create online courses to teach workers about the importance of diversity and inclusion.
4. Create Team Bonding Opportunities
What programs do you have in place to create team bonding moments outside the workplace? Do your team members only get to see each other and communicate when they have a task that they have to complete together?
If you want your diverse team to last, you need to create bonding opportunities that allow all team members to interact and learn more about their cultural differences. Even if you are running a remote team, you can organize occasional physical meeting retreats and use technology tools to host frequent interactive events.
5. Mind Your Language
As a team leader, your unconscious bias may reflect in the language you use and the language you allow your team members to use. You must strive to ensure that only politically correct and culturally sensitive language is used in your workplace.
One of the best ways to do this is to avoid the use of gendered language in your company. Replace certain words with gender-neutral language that takes gender diversity into consideration. You can hold seminars to educate your team on the proper language to use in a diverse workplace.
6. Listen to Your Team Members
One of the best ways to promote diversity and inclusion in the workplace is to listen to what your team members are saying and implement changes accordingly. A team member who does not feel included is unlikely to remain in that team for long.
You can get the information you need by asking directly, and encouraging your team to submit surveys anonymously. And providing a safe space where employees feel comfortable enough to express their displeasure without fear of being terminated.
Creating a diverse team and ensuring inclusion is an ongoing process that doesn’t ever end. As a team leader, you need to keep reevaluating your company’s culture. And best practices to ensure that they are not falling short. It is also important to note that promoting diversity and inclusion in the workplace boosts productivity significantly.