Building a diverse team – 5 steps

Having diverse teams is often seen as an important aspect of growing performance and productivity within a business. They are seen to perform better financially, gain a competitive advantage when recruiting for more top talent, offer great benefits and experience less employee turnover. Building a diverse team can be a great idea but it is also important to understand that the team must work well together, and the workplace culture must be genuinely inclusive. It can be hard to see all the benefits a diverse team can bring if they have trust issues, can’t collaborate, communicate and pull together when needed.

building a diverse team

There are several ways that you can attract diverse talent into your team, but how can you build a diverse team to help increase performance and strengthen your business?

Here are the five steps to take which will help you to build a diverse team.

  1. Look for any biases in your team

Before you get started on building a diverse team, it is important that you identify and eliminate any bias from your organisation. Whether this is from your recruitment process, leadership styles or company culture, having biases in your organisation can make it difficult to build a diverse team. These biases may be unconscious, so being able to identify what your biases are may be difficult. To help you identify your biases, read tackling unconscious bias in the technology industry for more guidance.

  1. Customise your vision and company culture

To strengthen your diverse team, you should customise your company culture and your diversity vision to accommodate every employee in your business. Demonstrating how important diversity is through your company culture shows employees that diversity matters to those who are at the top. Having customised your company culture, it is easy to then identify metrics to use that can measure both inputs and outputs. Setting a baseline to measure current practices and reviewing performance indicators will help you to build a diverse team.

  1. Invest in leadership development

Although building a diverse team will help to attract more top talent, it is also beneficial that you invest in development training for all employees. There are several people who may not have all the skills you are looking for to complete a job but investing in them will help you to retain talent and reduce employee turnover. Offering a range of development tools such as mentoring, coaching, and training opportunities will help all employees enter the development pipeline. In return, this will help you to build a strong diverse team and create diverse talent in your organisation.

  1. Encourage discussion

Regularly engaging in open discussions amongst all levels within a business will implement an inclusive working environment. Discussing certain topics at all levels can help all employees work on developing a shared understanding of the organisation’s diversity process. It will also help employees understand that diversity takes commitment from every member of the team and not just the employees at the top. Encouraging discussions also help to promote internal workplace acceptance and prevent any forms of discrimination taking place between employees as all team members will be given the chance for their voice to be heard.

  1. Celebrate cultural differences

Building a diverse team means that you should embrace the cultural differences between all employees. This doesn’t just mean that you should celebrate all the different holidays, the languages your employees speak or the way they dress. Culture can be translated into everything we do, including how we work. When you have employees from different regions, races and religions, it is important that a leader finds a way to balance the team so they can work well together. Therefore, celebrating all the cultural differences within your organisation can help build a diverse team that is also strong.

Read more on how to increase diversity in tech and using diversity and inclusion metrics to measure inclusion in tech here.