More and more companies are seeing the benefit of having a diverse and inclusive workforce. In fact, research from Forbes found that Inclusive teams make better business decisions up to 87% of the time.

So, it’s no surprise that employers are focusing on improving diversity within their organisations but what are the benefits for us, the employees?

67% of job seekers consider workplace diversity an important factor when considering employment opportunities, and over 50% of current employees want their workplace to do more to increase diversity (Glassdoor), why is this the case?

Here are the three benefits of working with a diverse team:

Limit ‘Groupthink’

Groupthink is a psychological phenomenon that happens within a group of people who all conform to the same way of thinking. The intention is generally good, but the results can be damaging.

By working with a diverse range of people you’re a lot less likely to fall into groupthink, and you’re a lot more likely to learn new things.

For example, learning about other cultures helps us understand different perspectives within the world. It can also help dispel negative stereotypes or personal biases about different groups.

By working with a diverse team, you have more of an opportunity to learn – from workplace skills to cultural habits and customs. In one study someone with high inclusiveness was about four times more likely to increase their personal growth compared to someone with low inclusiveness.

Diverse teams are also proven to solve problems faster, which is a win-win for employee and employer.

Increase your creativity

Research-based evidence has shown for years that socially diverse groups are more innovative than those that are less diverse (Phillips, 2007) while in a more recent study by Forbes it was reported that diverse teams are 66% more creative.

Why is this? If your team has an inclusive culture, it’s likely that you and your team feel comfortable sharing ideas and experiences. It’s also been shown that being exposed to different cultures and different types of people can influence our creativity. Interestingly though

In general, being around, and accepting, people from different backgrounds will make you more open-minded and get your creativity flowing.

Learn new skills

While formal professional development and continuous learning are great, they often require a significant time commitment or investment. A cheap and enjoyable alternative is to start paying attention to the people you spend your days with.

Invite someone out for coffee and get to know more about their role. Schedule a meeting with a colleague whose work you admire. Ask about their career journey and how they’ve strengthened their skills. A bonus to this kind of connection-building is that you’ll strengthen your professional relationships.

Overall diversity and inclusion aren’t just good for business, it benefits us too. It is our individual differences that make every single person unique and special, it is important that we educate ourselves and learn from people’s differences.  As Dr Seuss puts it “why fit in when you were born to stand out?’.

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