In today’s society, we aren’t supposed to judge people on their race, ethnicity, gender, or other differences. This leads us to believe that we can’t bring the idea of these factors into the workplace, but that isn’t necessarily true.
Yes, it’s important not to discriminate against people because of their differences. But when you have a diverse workforce, it creates a psychologically strong connection.
A diverse workforce is a great way to improve productivity because there are different perspectives to approach a task. Working together, your team could accomplish things a homogenous group might not be able to.
So how do you know if you have a psychologically diverse group of employees or members?
Know the Terms
Psychologically diverse teams are more than the stereotypical discriminatory factors. Yes, culture, gender, race, and age play a part, but neurodiversity is necessary, too.
Accepting neurodiverse people in your workforce means that you encourage people with genetic conditions such as autism and ADHD. Some of these people may have extreme aspects that keep them from being able to hold a job, but most of them can bring valuable knowledge and thoughts to your team.
There are many programs out there specifically geared to equipping neurodiverse individuals with the skills necessary to be productive. A six-week program for motivated neurodiverse adults is usually more than enough time to arm a person with the basics to hold down a job well.
Combine the Diversity in Your Team
As you look for the overall level of diversity in your workforce, check for a balanced mix of these characteristics:
- Age – Your business may require a minimum age or age-dependent criteria, such as a high school diploma or college degree. But after that, try to maintain a heterogenous age grouping from young to older. With age comes lots of wisdom; don’t discount someone just because they aren’t what you’re used to working with.
- Cultural background – Every culture’s norms are slightly (or greatly) different. When people have to work together regardless of their different cultural beliefs, they learn how to find the similarities instead.
- Religions – The same idea applies for religious beliefs. A strong team knows that a person’s religion doesn’t affect how they work together towards a shared goal.
- Gender – A strong imbalance of gender will have a detrimental effect on your productivity, even if you think all or most of one sex is good for your company.
- Perspectives – When you sit in an interview with a potential employee, you’re probably looking for someone who shares your thoughts and ideas. Instead, focus on finding team members who have the same long-term goals for the company, but unique perspectives in getting there.
- Education – A knee jerk reaction is to look for candidates with a certain educational background. This also creates a homogeneous team. Create a workplace group where you have a good mix of educated people who have strong knowledge of different things. That way everyone will always be the learner and the teacher.
Diversity is the Key
When you form a team where everyone thinks, looks, and acts the same, there’s no room for growth. Diversity, from age and gender to neurodiverse populations, is crucial for your business to be productive and strong in all aspects.