Why Team Diversity :
Giant organizations and even small business units, are in continuous process of adapting new techniques of cutting down their production cost thus increasing their profit margin. Besides raw material, they are more emphasizing on how to get most out of their employees. The management of these organizations perform different stunts to motivate their employees and achieve their best performance. conventional bonuses, allowances and some sort of promotions, are now a routine practice, employees consider it their right whereas the management are less benefited from it.
Employees are also a part of an organization, more often they got better ideas for the enhancement in their organization’s progress. Individual workers are unable to expose abilities beyond their professional spheres. Thus they are a machine which is moving on a single track and will replaced (retirement) after some time with a new machine. Every individual possess some potential hidden within himself, all he need some space to reveal his qualities. The same can benefit the organizations progress. By setting up an organization that recognizes—and embraces—employee diversity, it creates opportunities for people to interact in meaningful ways within the organization.
The researchers contend that having diverse employees can increase organizational flexibility, creativity, and problem solving, improve resource acquisition, enhance marketing advantages, and reduce costs (Sujin K. Horwitz and Irwin B. Horwitz, 2007)..
Those firms that are actively participating in the creation and the utilization of their knowledge, than they can enjoy the reward system of their business in today’s knowledge based economy (Collin. D, 2001). Scenario has changed, organizations are now focusing on team work. Team work has shown positive results in more cases. It develops a feeling of competition among the teams, they do their best to take the lead. Secondly, individual qualities when joint together, it definitely produces the best results. The inclusive mindset of the team broke down any cultural barriers or bias, and the diversity helped appeal to a vendor located in a different country (Sheryl Morrison).
The concept of team diversity, aids in relieving the management’s load, by sharing their perceptions, in decision making, planning, innovations and problem solving. Employees are assembled as team irrespective of their backgrounds and qualifications, an individual employee not only gets acquaint with the knowhow his companions but also transfer his knowhow to the same. The same can benefit the organizations progress. By setting up an organization that recognizes—and embraces—employee diversity, it creates opportunities for people to interact in meaningful ways within the organization (Eric Markowitz, Jan 28, 2011).
Employees need to be considered and treated as a part of management, organizations get positive results that are successful in developing a platform where employees are free to express their ideas and expose their abilities. The management operates an organization with their qualification or paper work experience, they lack practical or physical work experience, and whereas same goes for the employees they have practical work experience but not that of the management. When both are united, results are remarkable.
The organizations train the employees as per the required criteria of the management, but when the fruit is ripe it is plucked by someone else, i.e., employees are always looking for a better employer, their loyalities can change no sooner they get a better offer. It has been observed that organizations that allow freedom of displaying abilities are successful in retaining their employees. No doubt there are certain flaws in team diversity, two or more individuals of same caliber in a single team may spark some time, but again it’s the management that maintains their relation.
Appointing Team Members :
Employees working as a team produces desired results, but it needs to be properly managed and monitored. Selecting members for a team is a very crucial task, the selectors have to be unbiased, all members are to be selected according to their qualification and caliber. Favourism if used, a perfect team will not exist. Before appointment all members are to be scrutinize, irrespective of their sex, gender, race or religion. Attitude of an individual towards other members should be consider the most. Secondly, in case the management are under any political influence, it will not be possible to develop a fair working team. The team will be created and task allocated to it by the management, but the team members will be that of a, particular political group.
A group becomes a team when you treat them like a high level, high profile project. You need to define your desired outcomes, set measurable goals, design your game plan with benchmarks and deadlines, and keep everyone focused (Marilyn Manning).
Certain factors that has to be considered in selecting a team ;
- Select team members for their task-related ability
- Team members must recognize and be prepared to deal with their differences
- Team leader must help the group to identify and define its overall goal
- Members must have equal power so that everyone can participate in the process
- All members must have mutual respect for each other.
- Managers must give teams positive feedback on their process and output (Hodgetts, 2006)
Managing a Diverse Team :
Teams working under one roof are challenging for the management. Many researches has proved that organizations that has allocated its target goals to teamwork are more successful rather than organizations who still focuses individualism. The management dealing with different teams have to play a little strategically. He has to bear in mind that every person is unique, it is not about dealing with an individual but to deal with different culture, race, religion and sex. All having, their independent thoughts. Every member should be given equal rights, the appreciation for a particular member, for his participation in team work will motivate the entire team. The same can be helpful in retaining the employees. It has also been found that an emphasis on teamwork fosters better relationships within a department and can promote identity within the department or organization that moves beyond surface level differences (Ashley M. Guidroz, 2009).
Team Diversity as an advantage :
Considering diversity as an advantage, have shown visible output in better productivity, innovation, better communication, regeneration of processes and unique solutions for twisted issues.
- Innovation is enhanced in an environment where individuals work in association with each other. The whole team with their independent ideas are working for the betterment of a single goal.
- Production accelerates, when a group of people jointly work together, sharing their energy and ideas. Organizations avail the assistance of their teams to cope up with the pace of modernizations in the global market.
- Better Communication is developed among the management and team employees. This aids to overcome the barriers between the workforce and the management, the same is of utmost importance for any organization.
- Unique solutions are generated for the unsolved matters. The joint workforce having the liberty of expressing their suggestion, produces best solutions.
Diversity Flaws :
To date we have the impression that team diversity is one of the key to success for organizations. But along with the benefits it carries certain drawbacks as well. Improper selection or mismanaged teams may become the cause of decline for an organization. Many factors affect a team’s performance, difference in age, culture, sex and race. Deployment of team members, comes under the jurisdiction of HRM. All employees should pass through a screening process, the management has to be very particular in selecting the right candidate for the job. In the current era of tough competition, diversity is facing major challenges, the organizations has to be fair-minded, in respect of their teams. Allowing, free flow of ideas emerging from the workforce.
Non-compliance of positive actions also create problems for the organization, discrimination can be expanded in this particular attitude of organizations as well so it is essential to ensure to compliance of affirmative action in the organizations (McInnes 1999).
It is very common that some differences might develop between the members of the same team. It will not only affect the team’s performance, at the same time will affect the organizations credibility. The managers should be aware of the reason for the differences, the same can’t be resolved unless, the reason is known. A weak or ill planned management might also affect the unity among the team members.
In today’s era of global competition, continues modifications in organization’s activities is very common. Team diversity has become a challenge for the organizations. The outcome of team diversity is not always in favour of the organization. Much stress is laid on the management in some organizations due to the complicated issues of diverse teams.
The team diversity moves carrying positive and negative aspects at the same time. Teams when managed following its etiquettes and applying practical theories, proves its worth for an organization.
The managers may find it difficult to manage diverse teams, and minimizing the unfairness within the organization. Mangers focusing on equal opportunities, regular communication, equal benefits and non favourism, are somehow successful in minimizing the unfairness.
In short, an organization can benefit from team diversity, when aligned properly.
Sujin K. Horwitz and Irwin B. Horwitz, 2007, The Effects of Team Diversity on Team Outcomes: A Meta-Analytic Review of Team Demography, Journal of Management, 33;987, p.990, http://stthom.academia.edu/SUJINHORWITZ/Papers/920684/The_effects_of_team_diversity_on_team_outcomes_A_meta-analytic_review_of_team_demography
Sheryl Morrison, Profiles in Diversity Journal, Complex Contract Negotiation Benefits from Team Diversity, march 28, 2011.
Eric Markowitz, How to Foster Innovation Through Diverse Workgroups, Inc. http://www.inc.com/guides/2011/01/how-to-foster-innovation-through-diverse-workgroups.html
Collin. D, 2001, ‘Organizational Performance: The Future Focus of Leadership Development Programs’ Journal of Leadership
Ashley M. Guidroz, L. M. (2009, January 01). Workplace Diversity: Is National or Organizational Culture Predominant? Burlington, MA, USA.
Rob McInnes 1999, ‘Changing the Way You Do Business’, Workforce Diversity. http://www.diversityworld.com/Diversity/workforce_diversity.htm.
Dr. Marilyn Manning, The Consulting Team, Embrace Diversity to Build Effective Teams, http://www.theconsultingteam.com/Articles/embracediversitytobuildeffectiveteams.htm
Hodgetts, L. &. (2006). Guidelines for Effectively Managing Culturally Diverse Groups. In L. &. Hodgetts, International Management- Culture, Strategy & Behavior. New York: Prentice Hall Intl.