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Diverse teams for success: three golden rules

March 16, 2020
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Say that your organisation has delivered on a commitment to recruit from a broad talent pool, having overcome structural biases in hiring. You’re likely to perform well in building a diverse team that rightly reflects the heterogeneity of a multicultural society.

But what comes next after building that diverse team? As Diversity Atlas always impresses upon its clients, it’s always possible to have diversity without inclusion if you’re not managing your diversity well.

The Diversity Agile framework, which our own diverse team of experts has developed is the basis of the work we do with our clients, making sure that they’re thriving through maximising the benefits of a diverse team.

Here’s what we’ve learnt from working up-close with organisations across the public and private sectors:

Listen to every member of your diverse team

Great diversity management strategies aren’t going to be made from the corner office—leaders have to make sure that they’re reaching out to every corner of the organisation to see where poorly-managed diversity is creating communication barriers and missed opportunities for better sales or stakeholder engagement.

What might look like a diverse team overall may be a team that’s in fact less and less diverse the more senior you get. Leaders need to get down to the coalface to see where diversity and inclusion initiatives are falling short.

Be humble

One hallmark of poorly-managed diversity is when some within a diverse team feel like their concerns aren’t listened to—or that if they spoke up about their concerns, they wouldn’t be taken seriously.

That’s why it’s always important for leaders to start a listening-based D&I improvement strategy from a place of humility. Don’t think for a moment that you have all the answers—even if you’re an experienced organisational leader. If you recognise that you’re from a particularly advantaged cultural background, listen to those who might come from more under-represented communities.

Most of all, don’t assume that the unmet needs of members of minority communities are what you might think they are, or that they share homogenous views on what organisational leaderships need to do to ensure better inclusion.

Engage your diverse team based on data

You don’t know what the right strategies are until you know where you’re falling short in your D&I initiatives. Too many methods of collecting diversity data don’t give organisational leaders the fine-grained, easy-to-access and easy-to-interpret diversity analytics that they need to make the most of a diverse team.

Diversity Atlas is designed to meet this unmet need, giving organisational leaders a map of their workforce’s diversity profile in an integrated online dashboard that visualises the most important strengths—and the most important gaps—in inclusion and representation.

We’d love to talk to your organisation about how our diversity analytics platform and bespoke diversity management strategies can help your organisation thrive through maximising the value of every member of your diverse team.

Please contact us at [email protected] to chat to us about a demonstration and consultation about your organisation’s needs.

Diversity Atlas is a data analysis tool for measuring diversity in your workforce. It’s designed to inform diversity management strategies for thriving in a globalised world. Get in touch for a consultation via [email protected]

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