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Diversity and inclusion for a better business.
Your business is only as good as the team running it.
Do you own your own business? Have you ever wondered about the importance of balance for your business team?
Business teams often talk about work-life balance. This involves equalizing work and family roles, so people don’t feel stressed out or resentful of their jobs.
But how about balance within your team itself? This involves equalizing all voices on the team by ensuring you have enough diversity within your team to really see the whole picture. What does a balance of personalities, backgrounds, and leadership styles bring to the table? Believe it or not, a balanced staff is crucial to making sure your business succeeds.
Here’s why you need to make sure you build a culture in your company that makes balanced teams a reality.
A Balance of Age and Experiences
You may be wondering how twenty-somethings with a lot of enthusiasm are going to blend in with seasoned professionals.
Your experienced workers may have a more significant knowledge base and be able to mentor young employees. They can let them know which processes have been tried and found wanting in the past as well as better ride out the inevitable ups and downs of work. Younger team members, on the other hand, may contribute new ideas, be open to risks, and add new skills to team.
Your employees can bring with them ideas about how to reach clients in different age brackets, and how to appeal to new cultural norms. Workers may be challenged to get out of their comfort zones and view things through a new lens.
The team’s work should be inclusive of tried-and-true practices as well as out-of-the-box thinking, and only by having various experience levels involved in the planning process can this happen. Too much of either leads to “more of the same” or “chase every shiny opportunity” syndromes. A team that is led and assembled to recognize the value of experience diversity will be more likely to embrace a wide variety of learning possibilities.
A Balance of Leadership Styles
Some folks tend to lead with a democratic style, asking for the input of all employees before they make a decision. Others have a coaching style, seeking to unlock the potential of all employees.
Some leaders are energetic visionaries, and others are more quiet and trusting. Working under too much of any type of leadership can either burn employees out or lead to complacency.
With the right leadership team balance, however, staff will feel both supported and challenged in their work. They will know that they can take risks and find support if they fail. Most importantly, they will be able to experience the benefits of a variety of leadership styles that they may consider adopting themselves one day.
A Balance of Responsibilities
A power struggle can often take place in a collaborative team, with different leaders having opposing visions for products or marketing.
Yet, a balanced team respects one another’s area of work and accurately assigns responsibility to different entities. Each member is given specific responsibility for one aspect of the project and held accountable for completing it. The assignments are designed to capitalize on strengths as well as promote individual and collective growth.
Teamwork is critical to elements like product development and investing. Members need to define their roles and perspectives openly and clearly. Only then can each person or department be held responsible for what they have been assigned to contribute.
Balanced teams also have norms that don’t allow louder voices to dominate the conversation and carry the workload as well as ways to support quieter thinkers and leaders who play equally important roles. A careful assessment of team contributions and employee perception of feedback and support can ensure each worker is able to display their strengths.
A Balance of Race and Cultures
Different racial and cultural perspectives can help us all to see the world holistically and encourage creativity. Diversity allows for people to feel included and encouraged to share insights that will ultimately improve the quality of your products and marketing.
Those who come from different regions or backgrounds will be able to bring a some perspective to the customs and social influences within those areas. This could enable you to reach new or previously untapped markets.
A culturally diverse workplace can lead to an enormous opportunity for professional growth. It can also give you access to new products and services that can influence your brand. Culturally homogeneous teams can lead to “group think” stagnation while diverse teams keep people energized and encourage everyone to view ideas from new angles.
A Balance of Thought
Diversity of thought can come from several factors. Some people are born with unique ways of looking at the world. Others are taught them through life experiences, school, family, and friends.
Keep in mind that your clients will also represent a variety of backgrounds. Diversity of thought will influence your strategy in terms of products and concepts. Those with different values and personalities will be able to get your team thinking in new ways.
Your team may, for example, have a member who believes that social media marketing is the way to go, while other employees favor reaching out to overseas markets. Your team must consider different perspectives before settling on a strategy that will be the most profitable for your company.
Balanced Teams Boost Self-Efficacy
Everyone will feel better about working in your organization if they know they are safe and encouraged to ask important questions and offer unique perspectives. By actively listening to people, providing timely feedback, and modeling positive thinking, the leader can ultimately affect how people act and react. Team members will feel a deep sense of commitment to one another as well as to the company.
High self-efficacy, or an individual’s belief in their capacity, is critical because it increases productivity and attention to detail. Such a climate will also help you attract and maintain the most talented employees.
Employees who feel effective and have ownership of their work will have higher morale and will be less likely to take excessive sick and personal days. The team that feels this way will also build positive relationships, support one another, and work collaboratively together.
Your team’s self-perception will improve and contribute to better quality work. They will also get more satisfaction out of the work they’re doing, leading to a culture of continuous improvement that is the hallmark of successful businesses.
The Importance of Balance for Your Business Team
Your business team needs balance to survive and thrive. Diversity of age, culture, and perspectives will create an environment where people can embrace new ideas and become increasingly motivated and creative.
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