Why You Should Strive for Team Diversity in Your Organization
Diversity is the condition of having or being composed of differing elements. This could describe a person, group, etc. I split the term “diversity” into three different types: demographic, informational, and value-goal. Demographic diversity refers to qualities like race, gender, ethnicity, religion, etc. This is the epitome of diversity; however, the two additional types of diversity are also crucial to the success of a team. Informational diversity is based on experiences and knowledge. Employees from New York City, Milan, and Tokyo will all have completely different experiences and knowledge. Lastly, value-goal diversity refers to basic value-goal harmony. If a team isn’t aligned on set goals, the goals won’t be met. To put the whole concept of team diversity into simpler terms, I have a little analogy. Don’t worry, it’ll be short and sweet…pun intended.
My favorite analogy for team diversity is a chocolate chip cookie…and not just because I like cookies! Think of each member of a team as a different ingredient in a cookie. Each ingredient has strengths and a purpose. Flour holds the cookie together and sugar makes the cookie sweet. Imagine that sugar decided to take the day off and you replaced it with extra eggs (another employee). Your cookie wouldn’t turn out well. The same goes if you take out any of the other ingredients. The cookie only turns out well when all of the different ingredients work together. The cookie is your team. The team only succeeds when all of the different people use their strengths toward a common goal.
Diverse teams are more innovative and adaptable. Unique skillsets, experiences, and knowledge give diverse teams a broader information base to work from compared to teams with employees that have all the same skills. If you could have a cookie or a big bag of flour, which would you choose?