Team Building

Why Does Diversity Matter? Top Benefits of Team Diversity and 10 Activities to Build It

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Why Does Diversity Matter? Top Benefits of Team Diversity and 10 Activities to Build It
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Why Does Diversity Matter? Top Benefits of Team Diversity and 10 Activities to Build It

Team diversity is a superpower. And companies are starting to recognize the great value of it.

They understand that when you have a mix of skills and backgrounds, magic happens.

But why is diversity important in a team? Why should we put so much effort into welcoming a mix of talents? And how exactly does diversity strengthen a team?

In this article, we’ll answer these questions using research data. We’ll first find out the top 6 benefits of building team diversity. Plus, you’ll get eight creative activities to help you improve diversity in your workplace.

Let’s dive in.

What is team diversity

What is team diversity?

Team diversity means having a variety of people with different backgrounds, skills, and ideas. It’s like having a delicious buffet of ideas where everyone brings something unique to the table.

When you have a diverse team, it looks like a colorful tapestry woven with different threads. Each person adds their own color, making the team stronger and more interesting.

Why is diversity important in a team? Five benefits of team diversity + statistics to back them up.

We often hear that diverse organizations perform better. And it turns out there’s a good reason behind this claim. The impact of DEI initiatives (diversity, equity, and inclusion) is highly beneficial. Let’s find out why:

1. Team diversity ignites innovative sparks.

When teams are too focused on conformity, they tend to stick to familiar ways of thinking and doing things. They may hesitate to challenge the status quo or explore new ideas. Soon, things can get boring and stagnant.

But with diverse team members, there’s a mix of perspectives, experiences, and ideas. This diversity sparks creativity and fuels the innovative spirit of the team. Different viewpoints collide and merge, creating a rich blend of ideas.

Research shows that companies that focus on inclusivity are 1.7 times more likely to lead the market in innovation.

2. Diversity in management teams leads to higher revenue.

Did you know that companies that have diverse management teams generate higher revenue?

In fact, diverse companies earn a higher cash flow per employee compared to less diverse organizations.

But there is more.

Organizations with strong ties to diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) have better chances for success. According to a study by Boston Consulting Group (BCG), they can see a revenue increase of up to 19%.

Here is the explanation. When companies have diverse management teams, they make more money from innovative ideas. This increase can reach an impressive 45% of their total revenue. In contrast, companies with less diversity in leadership only reach 26%. That’s a difference of 19 percentage points!

BCG Diversity

3. Elevate employee satisfaction with diversity.

How does diversity strengthen a team? Well, one way is to make them feel a strong sense of belonging.

According to Harvard Business Review, having a high sense of belonging can skyrocket job performance by 56% or even more. Not only that, it can also slash turnover rates by 50% and significantly reduce the number of sick days taken.

It’s clear that when team members feel a deep inclusion within their work environment, they become more motivated. This, in turn, leads to increased commitment.

What’s more, inclusion initiatives can have a great impact on employee engagement. Millennials are especially attentive to these practices. Research shows that 83% of millennials are more involved in their work when their employers support diversity.

Deloitte

4. Make better choices through diverse perspectives.

But it’s not just about engagement and satisfaction.

Diverse teams have a unique advantage when it comes to focusing on facts. Their diverse perspectives allow them to examine each other’s actions more closely. This helps them avoid the trap of groupthink, where everyone in the team thinks alike.

So, team diversity makes sure we don’t miss important pieces of information. When we work with people from different backgrounds, we get a chance to learn about their viewpoints. It’s like traveling to different countries without leaving the room! It broadens our horizons and helps us become more empathetic and understanding human beings.

Research highlights the power of diverse teams in making better decisions. In fact, diverse teams come out on top 87% of the time. Their ability to stay unbiased adds to their effectiveness in making decisions.

5. Team diversity elevates your corporate image.

In today’s competitive business world, the importance of diversity goes beyond internal dynamics. In fact, it also significantly impacts a company’s corporate image.

Companies that put diversity first are viewed as more attractive places to work. Just think of it. A significant 76% of job seekers consider diversity when assessing job opportunities.

Ultimately, embracing diversity isn’t only the right thing to do. It’s also a strategic decision that positively impacts a company’s success and public perception.

Promoting diversity: Team-building activities for your workplace

Wanna make the most of diversity and inclusion? Team-building activities that are fun and engaging can be really helpful. The goal of these activities is to foster a sense of belonging, empathy, and understanding among team members. Let’s have a look at the best examples:

Cultural Exchange Fair

Organize a cultural exchange fair. Here, team members can set up booths representing their cultural backgrounds or countries of origin. Encourage them to bring traditional food, music, artifacts, or displays. Team members can visit each booth, learn about different cultures, and ask questions. This activity promotes cultural awareness, understanding, and appreciation.

Diversity Appreciation Wall

Next, you can create a physical or virtual appreciation wall. It’s a space where team members can express their appreciation for the diversity within the workplace. Provide colorful sticky notes or an online platform for people to write messages of gratitude. Let them recognize and praise their colleagues’ diverse contributions.

Diversity Bingo

Diversity Bingo

Create a bingo card with different characteristics. For example, your card may include languages spoken, hobbies, or travel experiences. Team members mingle and talk to each other to find someone who matches each characteristic. Then, they write their name in the respective square. The first person to complete a row or the entire card wins! This activity encourages communication and learning about each other’s diverse backgrounds.

Inclusion Puzzle

Provide each team member with a puzzle piece. Instruct them to decorate their piece in a way that represents their individuality. By the way, they can use colors, symbols, or words. Then, have the team come together to assemble the puzzle. This symbolizes the importance of every unique piece in creating a complete and inclusive team.

Cross-Cultural Team-Building

Assign each team member a different cultural background or identity. They research and prepare a short presentation about their assigned culture. What customs, traditions, or values did they learn about? Each member then shares their presentation with the team.

Empathy Walk

Now, meet our last diversity team-building activity.

Divide the team into pairs or small groups. Each group is given a prompt or scenario that highlights a specific challenge or experience faced by a marginalized group. Participants take turns sharing their feelings as they imagine themselves in that situation.

Team diversity example

Team diversity examples: Companies that are embracing diversity in a big way

Hilton: With a strong commitment to creating an inclusive workplace culture, Hilton sets the bar high. The company has Team Member Resource Groups (TMRGs). These are created to provide support and a sense of community to disadvantaged groups. Plus, they have programs focused on diverse talent acquisition and leadership development.

Cisco: Innovation thrives in an environment that celebrates diversity, and Cisco knows it well. They actively build a culture that promotes collaboration and helps employees to bring their best to work. And they do this through employee resource groups, mentorship programs, and diversity training.

American Express: This company has been featured on Forbes’ “America’s Best Employers for Diversity” list. Their commitment to diversity and inclusion starts from the top. American Express leaders focus on diversity. And they make sure it’s incorporated into the company’s values, policies, and practices. What’s more, the company provides a platform for employees to connect, support, and advocate for various communities.

Conclusion

Many organizations still have a long way to go in creating an inclusive environment. One reason is that managing a diverse team can be tough in today’s workplace.

Luckily, Teamly, an online project management tool, is here to help. With Teamly, you’ll navigate the challenges of diverse teams, no matter where they are. It’s the perfect tool for easy collaboration, task management, and keeping your team in sync.

So, say goodbye to delays and difficulties. Together, we can build a future where team diversity is not just a buzzword but a way of life.

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