Studies show that well-managed, diverse teams perform better than homogeneous groups of employees. In addition to this, they are more committed; have a higher collective intelligence; and are better at making decisions and solving problems.
But how can you as one single manager create an integrative team without having to simultaneously roll out an expensive diversity or inclusion program?
“Over the years we have developed extensive know-how in the field of establishing diverse teams and advising companies on how to create and manage heterogeneous working communities. In addition to creating such teams, our focus is on assisting managers to cultivate diversity and make the corresponding advantages transparent,” explains Dr. Monika V. Kronbügel, CEO of Global DiVision.
Diverse teams offer a wide range of perspectives that in turn expand the spectrum of strategies and solutions. Communicating the added value of varying competences and viewpoints allows the individuals concerned to make meaningful contributions while simultaneously increasing the acceptance of other team members. The result? Latent prejudices or competitive mindsets within the team can be combatted and discrimination can be eradicated.
In the coming weeks we will be presenting accompanying measures that can be used when assembling teams characterized by both diversity and inclusion and giving tips on how to avoid prejudices.
The first step is to select the correct employees.
1. Insist on the Most Diverse Pool of Applicants Possible.
Whether you work with headhunters or recruit employees yourself, you must make clear from the get-go that you are genuinely interested in diversity. The more applicants come from a similar background, the higher the probability that someone from this background will be hired.
Career development and mentoring offerings can also attract diverse groups of potential employees.
2. Define Objective Employment Criteria.
Unconscious prejudices regarding the “cultural fit” often result in homogeneity. All too often the preoccupation with this fit results in a focus on shared social origins and interests, severely restricting the choice of employees. It is thus important to establish objective criteria for vacant positions and to apply uniform standards for the assessment of all applicants. When examining resumés and holding interviews, the qualifications required for a specific job should be defined in writing.
3. Employ Fewer Employees on the Basis of a Recommendation.
Is your company’s workforce too homogeneous? This will not change if new workers are recruited from existing employees’ social networks. Instead, look for applicants and candidates who have the skills and experience that your team is lacking.
4. Hold Structured Job Interviews that Include Competence-Related Questions.
Ask all applicants the same questions and make sure that every question is directly related to the desired knowledge and abilities listed in your catalog of requirements. Evaluate the answers immediately and use a predefined schema to compare candidates with one another. Try to identify applicants’ competences as precisely as possible. Set specific tasks instead of asking generic questions or confront candidates with a problem or task that could also be relevant to their daily working lives.