THE 7 ELEMENTS OF MULTICULTURAL TEAM SUCCESS II: INCLUSION AND CULTURAL DIVERSITY

Is inclusion taking multicultural teams to the next level of performance and effectiveness?

In any organization, team members might differ in how much data and analysis they’ll need when making decisions. For some cultures, a bold thinking style may be considered as being proactive, while in other cultures it may be seen as being an ill-thought-out action plan.

DIVERSITY AND INCLUSION

Even more, people with strong hierarchical cultures tend to expect they’d be treated differently in accordance with their position in the organization. And as such team members from egalitarian cultures won’t mind at all. Thus said, the failure of cultural awareness among some members in honoring such expectations could cause humiliation and even loss of credibility and esteem in a team member.

How do you promote inclusion and diversity in your teams and organization?

Teams are the lifeblood of an organization. Thus, cultural awareness in a team needs to be a priority at an individual level as well as at a team level. This way an organization can foster cultural success.

In multicultural teams, member participation, creativity, discussions process, and decision-making do influence the success level of a project. Similarly, when team members fail to stand for the larger community, the results of the team’s efforts can become biased and limited.

Diversity and inclusion in any organization can help members improve their teams and better understand the customers they serve. At the same time, diverse teams have been found to make decisions a lot faster than non-diverse teams.

Promoting inclusion and diversity in your organization will allow team members to:

  1. Develop awareness of different communication and thought styles.
  2. Learn to take advantage of diverse skill participation and backgrounds to increase the effectiveness of a team.
  3. Share their experiences to be able to create something far greater than what each would have achieved on its own.

When a company has a workforce made up of people with different experiences, skills, and backgrounds it means that the generated ideas won’t be homogeneous – thus they’ll be more creative and innovative. And this will greatly impact the organization’s bottom line.

On the other hand, when leaders support teams from specific demographic groups this can directly affect and influence employee engagement and retention.

So then if we agree that team members perform at the highest potential when their beliefs, comfort, and orientation, are considered. We should, therefore, strive to make sure they have the freedom to work in ways that bring out their strengths.

Global leaders, managers and other leaders in any organization should consider ways they can afford team members the support and choice of how they perform most effectively in order to get better results. One of the best examples in this area is Google Inc. a famous global company known for an excellent organizational culture.

Inclusion is more about incorporation than merely accommodating someone. Therefore, those in leadership positions in an organization should build global leadership strategies that promote inclusion and diversity, such as:

  • Practice active listening with the desire to understand and connect with others, especially those from different cultural context.
  • Try blending different approaches, work-styles, and needs into a cohesive process that truly empowers your team.
  • Consider leveling the playing field within the members of each team
  • Address unconscious bias within members of each team as well at the organizational level.

All in all the benefits of inclusion and diversity are evident, and they go hand-in-hand. When your workforce is happier, their creativity, productivity, and effectiveness levels are higher. This translates to the business being more innovative and successful; furthermore, the best talent from around the globe will be pulled in to work there.

Cultural diversity is one of the 7 elements that have proven to be a key factor when working with multicultural teams. Find more about the Global Team Effectiveness Model ®. If you and your team are ready to improve their performance we can help you!

Question:  How can you take multicultural teams to the next level of performance and effectiveness?

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