5 Huge Benefits of Having A Diverse Team
“Our ability to reach unity in diversity will be the beauty and the test of our civilization.” – Mahatma Gandhi
Indeed, diversity is the only thing that humanity share. We must celebrate diversity in the workplace and explore the great potential that it brings to an organization.
In any organizations, it is easy to see that the employees working there are so oddly similar and so oddly different from each other that, when grouped together, can become an unstoppable force to help the organization reach its goals.
“Diversity” is no corporate buzzwords or a transient fad, but rather, a truly holistic approach to building a thriving and successful business.
So, what if your company doesn’t have a diverse team and a diverse workforce? What are you missing out on?
What Make A Diverse Team?
There are 2 major types of diversity:
- Primary Diversity
Primary Diversity is the type of diversity that people are born into. This type of diversity is inherent to them, and there is no way to truly change it.
Primary Diversity attributes include:
- Physical attributes
- Sexual Orientation
Primary Diversity is believed to be contributing more to the overall success of the company than Secondary Diversity, which we’ll discuss later. By hiring based on Primary Diversity, we’ll be able to tap into the insights and perspectives from people from all walks of life. As they navigate through life from a “different” canvas, they definitely have something different to bring to the organization.
For example, when people from different generations come together, they tend to display more creativity (as reported by Mothe & Nguyen-Thi, 2021). Younger people (the Millennials and Gen Z) tend to be more idealistic, energetic, tech-savvy, and in general more optimistic, while older people tend to be more hard-working, responsible, experienced, and know what they’re doing. This combination may sometimes cause conflicts due to the generational gap, but the rewards is undeniably worth it.
Similarly, a group consisting of people speaking a variety of native languages and coming from different ethnicities tend to be more productive than a group of similar native speakers. This is because the culture of a particular country is deeply rooted within its language, and the difference in culture gives rise to unique and original ideas.
2. Secondary Diversity
Secondary Diversity are attributes that people acquire overtime. Although these attributes are, in one way or another, influenced by the primary attributes, they still have their own values, and should be taken into consideration.
Secondary Diversity attributes include:
- Family Status
- Professional Background
- Life experience
- Religious Belief
- Geographical Location
- Relationship Status
Essentially, when we group all of someone’s diversity attributes together, we’ll have a general idea of “who” they are, and “how” they’re going to perform at work.
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5 Huge Benefits Of Having A Diverse Team
The 21st century business environment praises innovation.
In fact, “Innovation” is now an asset class in itself. Our daily life is being changed by technology in front of our eyes at unprecedented speed. This change is happening so rapidly that investors are looking at innovation in a similar light to the traditional asset such as revenue, cashflow, and inventory.
Innovation helps companies grow, keeps it relevant, while also creating a strong competitive advantage against other competitors on the market.
Interestingly, recent researches confirm that organizations with a diverse workforce and diversity practices have a much higher level of innovation and change acceptance.
A diversity of experiences, perspectives, and backgrounds is crucial when it comes to developing new ideas. People from different cultures view the same problem from different angles. By combining this variety of viewpoints, we’ll be able to reach new heights of creativity that is almost impossible to achieve if we have a team of “like-minded” individuals.
Adaptability is all about making necessary changes when needed, or even when it’s totally unexpected.
Being agile and adaptive is more than just changing the course of what one is doing to fit the circumstances. It’s also about identifying the part of the project that needs to be adapted to and respond to it with a good strategy.
The adaptable team is powerful because it has nurtured an enormous talent resources from a wide range of cultures and backgrounds. Even if things go wrong, all they have to do is picking the right person to solve the problem and get things together.
The clients benefit tremendously from the diverse team, because the service or products they receive is made by a lot of people that excel in what they’re doing. These employees always have something unique and original to offer. The creativity that the client receives in the project is drawn from a multitude of sources, not one “same-old source” that will become dull and soulless over time.
3. Wide Range of Service
Specialization has always been the case to profitability. It’s not that one shouldn’t go broad and only go narrow, but it’s about being efficient with the limited time resource that one has.
By combining the expertise of many people together, we have a strong team covering each other’s drawbacks while nurturing and developing each other’s strengths to new heights.
Moreover, we can’t deny the fact that your customers are also diverse. They come from different backgrounds, with different life experience, specialization, and interpretation of the world around them.
Only a diverse workforce can provide diverse services to a diverse customer base. For example, a native Latin American translator is more likely to create an accurate, professional, and culturally relevant translation for a Marketing copy intended for Latin American audience than a non-native. They have the empathy to bring the service quality to another level, and empathy is not something can easily be coached and taught.
The more the workforce is able to get on the same level as your customer, the easier they will be able to connect. This connection is much more than the superficial connection that we usually think of when we speak of customer service. It is a connection based on shared values, experience, and empathy.
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By common sense, we may think that bringing people from all sorts of background together may result in a mess with tons of conflicts and misunderstanding. And, indeed, it does. Sometimes diversity can backfire and turn the workplace into a battlefield where people try to understand the vastly different viewpoints of each other.
However, it doesn’t stop the team from thriving. If properly dealt with, the diverse team can reach better mutual understanding, which will lay a solid foundation for future projects. Once the members understand their role and position in the team, and how they can leverage the strengths of their teammates, they’ll soon excel. This is when true collaboration takes place.
Employees in a diverse organization realize that there is something unique and interesting in each and every single person they meet at work. There is just always something to discover everyday. What’s better is that those interesting aspects of their colleague turn out to be exactly what they need to complete the project.
That’s not to mention the fact that diversity encourages employees to always seek better, more original solutions to every project. This demands more mental effort and activity, which can propel the worker into the “deep work” state. Deep work is a state when the employee is totally engaged with the task at hand. This is a very satisfying and hyper-productive state that can boost the overall performance exponentially!
As employees get more engaged, they develop a stronger bond with the company and their work, which fuels business growth.
5. Attract Diverse Talent And Retain High-Performing Workers
Hiring and retaining top-performers relies on creating a diversity-friendly culture.
In recent years, more and more people, especially people in younger generations, consider diversity as one of the most important factors when choosing a place to work.
First of all, we should remember that our employees want to be treated fairly and with respect.
Diversity is the exact environment to foster that.
Focusing on diversity is creating a community that celebrates individuality. In the diverse organization, the “we” is less important than the “I”, because “I” always have something interesting to contribute to the overall development of the organization. By recognizing the potential and value of everyone, people feel more valued, and thus will be more likely to speak up, express their sometimes innovative and original opinions, without having to be afraid of marginalization.
High-performers love this culture.
Moreover, due to the higher level of respect for differences, employees are less likely to leave. They know that, even if they’re different from the others, they won’t feel like an “other” person from the group. They know that, through team-bonding activities and the way the culture is fostered, their uniqueness is accepted and sometimes even celebrated.
Diversity is not a new concept. People have been striving to create a sense of belonging within the employees years ago. When embracing diversity, we’re heading towards an organization that engages full potential of the individual. Innovation will thrive, and all views, beliefs, ideas, and values, are integrated. Together, a diverse organization creates a diverse environment for a diverse service to cater to the needs of a diverse customer base.
Feel free to share your thoughts on Diversity with us. All opinions are welcomed.
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