There are various strategies available to aid in effective team building. One step is developing a recruiting strategy that supports the organizations diversity goals. Volunteering time to organizations that serve the needs of underrepresented segments of the population is another way to enhance your companys reputation as an employer that values diversity. Another step that can be used is by registering the organization with local job agencies, such as the local Workforce Center. The organization can also contact universities, trade schools and other academic institutions with information about the company and keep them informed of job openings they can post for graduating students. Organizations can also create partnerships with national and local organizations to promote the companys image.
It can also help to participate in industry events, and include employees in the companys current workforce who represent various forms of diversity. The organization should not limit its definition of diversity to race, color, sex, national origin or religion but should expand its concept of diversity to include multi-generational diversity as well as diversity in work styles and cultures. One of the most important strategies is to construct work teams with diversity in mind. Whenever possible, the organization should assign employees to work on teams together who otherwise would not have the opportunity to work together. They should assemble groups of people who represent varied work styles, generations, skills and culture and encourage collaboration and synergy among employees through embracing differences (Huebsch, 2013).
One of the biggest challenges with diversity is misconception. Most people associate the word diversity with multicultural issues, but it also covers the differences in age, sex, sexual orientation, religion, background, and even position of power. Failing to recognize this can result in accidental discrimination against certain groups. Several types of workplace diversity challenges exist. These issues can strengthen a company or ruin one. Communication is essential to diversity in the workplace.
Every person and cultural group communicates differently, which can be the biggest challenge of a diversified team. Sometimes employees misinterpret tone, e-mails, and body language, and fail to respond appropriately. Employees that resist change can be a significant diversity barrier. If someone has been raised a certain way, it can be difficult to adapt overnight. Having one resistant employee can throw off the organizations balance. An organization benefits more when its manager is on board with major decisions for maximum results. Diversity will not work without a supportive manager (Holt, 2013).
The best way for an organization to determine which strategy works best for, is by looking at the success of the team and ultimately how the organization benefits from the teams work. As we all know, there will be challenges with any team/group because you have different people from different backgrounds, different personalities, and different outlooks on life. However, if the organization can get each member to recognize that their success ultimately depends on the success of the company, I believe that the diversity of the group will no longer be a primary issue. Instead each team member will begin to pay more attention to the work and less about the differences of each team member in regard to themselves. Once the organization begins to benefit from the teams success, it will be evident that the strategy chosen is a success.
Holt, M. (2013). Workplace Diversity Challenges. Retrieved from http://smallbusiness.chron.com/create-diverse-workplace-10154.html Huebsch, R. (2013). Workplace Diversity Strategy. Retrieved from http://smallbusiness.chron.com/workplace-diversity-strategy-4925.html