Secrets To Managing Team Diversity

Managing Team Diversity

With so much talk about diversity in the workplace, it's a shame that the statistics are still not improving! I'm furious to read the following:

  • About 47% of companies had no women directors and 43% had no women executive officers in Canada in 2016. (Diversity Disclosure Practices 2016 Report by Osler)
  • There is no change in the percentage of companies without any women on the board (46% in 2016; 47% in 2015) and a marginal decrease in the percentage of companies with no women executive officers. (Diversity Disclosure Practices 2016 Report by Osler)
  • 41% of managers in the US say they are “too busy” to implement diversity initiatives. (SHRM)
  • Women are less likely to be promoted to manager, so fewer end up on the path to leadership. According to Women in the Workplace 2016 report by McKinsey, for every 100 women who get promoted, 130 men get promoted.

Are we really so different that we can't work together? Knowing that ethnically diverse companies are 35% more likely to outperform their respective national industry medians, every company should be looking to diversify their teams. So why isn't it happening?

If you are expecting a response from me, I don't have one. There are many reasons why executive leaders don't promote women, minorities or people of colour. From fear, through change friction, to personal issues or company politics, reasons vary from company to company.

Yet, talent doesn't know the skin colour, gender or family background. Talented people are all around us. Team diversity means that we tap into potential available in the workplaces to achieve our goals faster and with less effort.

Here are couple tips to help you diversity on your team:

  1. Put the right talent at the right places on a team and in the organization. Lack of diversity of talent keeps organizations and teams in inertia, unable to move forward and achieve their results.
  2. Create culture where diversity in opinions is welcome, confrontation needed, yet team unity required right after the team agrees on the next step. Ensure that your people know that their uniqueness is important part of team success - because it is!
  3. Create effective channels for feedback. Feedback will help you learn and improve. Without feedback mistakes are repeated, creativity stifled and projects derailed.
  4. Listen. Others might see parts of the puzzle you've been missing.

Our team has helped hundreds of teams to assess and align their talent and improve results they achieve individually and together. Organizational growth isn't given, it requires intentionality and wise leadership.

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