We are truly live and breath in a diverse world and diversity is a one of argue topic for team building. Is it effective or ineffective in the workplace? To begin with, diverse team is the areas that include internal and external people factors in some different such as age, race, religion, gender, background, experience, abilities and so many other things. It is a challenge to leader who has to take a responsibility of merging together with these people who have different components. The leader has to select wisely with the qualities of each people to match with the organization, put them in a right place in order to produce a better outcomes. In contrast, failure to do so may cause the organization miss the opportunities for growth and expansion. Therefore, diverse team is a two-edged sword and it requires careful handing.
For the advantages, diversity in the work place delivers innovative of productivity in goods and services. A diverse staff has different experiences, knowledge, trends and options to discuss and share with their team and lead to creativity and innovation to the organization. Moreover, a diverse workforce creates more opportunities to generate new ideas and problem solving from the various skills.
On the other hand, there are some limitations in diversity. Communication seems to be one of the big issues in workplace for diverse team. Because they are various especially in ages and languages, therefore, their perception are absolutely different as well. These also bring the worse situations to the organization if employees cannot communicate with each other, so how the tasks can be done isn’t it? What is more, cultural conflict is another problem. Team can be miss understanding because of different culture perception, for example, when a staff needs to make a decision of a color in their latest product and one of Chinese staff votes the red color because it refer to good luck and wealthy but African didn’t agreed because in Africa’s culture the color of red means mourning or death.
According to my chosen industry, I will give an example of one of textile organization whose hire the diverse teams for beneficial. It can be seen in Coats PLC limited. Coats believes that every staff have opportunities to growth, therefore, the company treated them equally, fairly and put them into the diverse workforce. In addition, Coats is a truly international organization which employing 20,000 employees in over 70 countries around the world, hence, its reflected in the level of national diversity to be found in their global leadership team, which has illustrate from 25 different nationalities. Because Coats has to produce and sold their products worldwide so that’s why they have to hire many people from various nationalities. The annual report of Coats reported that the recent team (diverse team) made a profit for Coats and it increasingly every year, which the revenue are shown in $1703.7 million in 2014 when there are only gained just $1653.4 million in 2013. It can be consider that diverse team is important in textile industry.
But what are the drawbacks of diversity in workplace? Some conflict may cause by many factors such as different attitude, personal problem or even racism. I will give an illustration of racism in Lesotho. People in Lesotho give a state of ‘Anti-Chinese’. It is not a rule that not allowing Chinese to work in place but this value make pressure to Chinese and lead them to have a conflict at their work place. These could put most of Chinese out of the business like LTEA Company (one of a textile companies in Lesotho).
I would recommend that the leaders should encourage their staff to voice their opinions in order to make their staff understand differences and communicate easily. If employees be themselves, they can open-up their mind with co-workers, then they can work well with each other in long-run term. Leader has to accept the truth that nobody likes pretend someone they are not; therefore, they can’t make everyone think and act like they do. Furthermore, a good leader should recognize and welcome cultural differences. One of the most important manager’s tasks is to encourage their employees to be opened-mind and adopt their belief. After all, the organization should monitor and evaluate how diversifying affected the performance. Is it good or bad, gain or lost?
To conclude, diverse team can be beneficial to the organization if the leader can allocate well and put them into the right place, otherwise they will cause some drawbacks. It is the challenging for leadership to manage diverse team, isn’t it?
Cascio, C. (n.d.) What are some advantages of diversity in teams? [online] available from <http://classroom.synonym.com/advantages-diversity-teams-7494.html>
Coats (n.d.) Our people [online] available from <http://www.coats.com/index.asp?pageid=131> Finn L. (2015) Example of diversity issues in the workplace [online] available from <http://everydaylife.globalpost.com/examples-diversity-issues-workplace-3884.html>
GPG (2012) Annual Report [online] available from <http://www.coats.com/assets/files/cms/27March_ARA_2012.pdf> Irinnews (n.d.) Lesotho: Anti-Chinese resentment flares [online] available from <http://www.irinnews.org/report/76405/lesotho-anti-chinese-resentment-flares>