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Professional teams are the key priority for companies. In order to make the company strong and competitive, it is necessary to accurately single out the obligations for every team member. Diverse teams help the companies to be more competitive in the modern business world.

A team (a group) is the most effective form of the personnel management in any company. People in a team are connected by a common goal. The skills of team members supplement each other; they promote decision-making. It is possible to distinguish the major factors, which are at the bottom of teamwork benefits: an increase of workers’ educational level and strengthening of a competitive advantage.

The essence of a diverse team is the existence of a certain task for all members of a team: its mission, which aim lies in its effective realization. The members of a diverse team possess a combination of the complementary skills necessary for effective work of an organization or department: administrative and technical skills, and also skills of interpersonal communications. They possess the necessary knowledge about the problems or processes, which are not within their direct duties. The team members indicate all the existing problems; therefore, it is necessary for them to be competent more than in one area.

A diverse team is the independent active cell, which can be considered from the point of view of the properties, processes, parameters, and characteristics for a social group. The structure is considered from the point of view of the functions executed by members of a diverse team, and also from the point of view of its interpersonal relations. There are the following structures of a team: preferences, power, and communications.

A diverse team is formed taking into account similarity of team members, their work approaches and perspectives at solving problems. It is recommended to form a team with members of diverse backgrounds, taking into account conditions of their social and psychological compatibility. It is a key to select a team leader with a suitable personality and very diverse background to have a better control of the team members.

Team leadership is strongly associated with changes. The quickly evolving business world becomes more and more competitive, and the role of a team leader is now especially vital. The changes are necessary for a survival and a successful competition in the business world. Accordingly, there are a lot of mechanisms how to increase the team effectiveness. First of all, it is necessary to support leadership in a company, and, secondly, to introduce the well-developed system of talent and reward management.

Main Body

One of the biggest errors made in selection of team members is choosing people who are very close friends. In fact, the variety of skills, experience, and knowledge, necessary for effective and creative distribution of work, practically excludes the proximity of relations, which usually happens between close friends because of similar interests.

In order to keep a good atmosphere within a team, top management should care for the diversity. Gender, national, and regional balance are among the priorities of any company in a choice of the appropriate management style. Putting diversity as a goal, company’s management needs to take the necessary measures for the provision of a smooth inflow of the candidates with a diverse background during the process of recruitment.

Diversity of team members, being characterized by a various social and cultural origin, their education and experience, and their points of view can be an extremely positive factor for the successful implementation of any project. It should be noted that the more diverse the team is, the better the results. The team, where its members look at the world through the different prisms of role, sex, ethnicity, sexual orientation, individuality, experience, and prospect, has certain advantages if compared to homogeneous group. Diverse team members can approach decisions or problems with a higher cumulative team IQ than other teams without diverse backgrounds. There will be more options of problem solving in a diversified team. Approaches to work would be more creative if its members direct their efforts to joint work, instead of quarrels.

In the globalized business world, the cultural diversity plays a very important role. It can both promote an increase of overall performance of a multicultural team, and interfere with it. Therefore, the ability of team managers to take advantage of the team members’ knowledge, giving particular attention to their cultural diversity, is very important in improving team’s efficiency. Team managers can extract additional competitive benefits from a successful team by learning social and cultural distinctions and how to operate them competently.

At present, the increasing number of researchers started paying attention to multicultural teams. Their findings show that team members’ diversity and multicultural nature can increase the productivity of teamwork, and, therefore, the overall performance of the organization.

Only recognizing the advantages from diversity is not as valuable as when it is appreciated and promoted. Acknowledging the diversity of a team as a resource is a vital enabler when dealing with the issue. It involves communal efforts to celebrate, value, welcome, and support the differences among the team members.

The increasing belief in overall performance of the multicultural teams demands a clear understanding of the communicative processes proceeding in both a diverse team and in the whole organization. Therefore, the so-called “cross-cultural competence”, which is inherent or not inherent in all team members, greatly influences the effectiveness of the multicultural team. The ability of cross-cultural communication fluctuates depending on the association with this or that culture. Being the type of diverse teams, the multicultural teams are the teams consisting of representatives of various cultures oriented on the fulfillment of a definite task.

There are many different types of multicultural teams, for instance: a project team developing a product suitable for multiple countries, a business team responsible for formulating and implementing global strategies, or a task force in charge of rationalizing worldwide manufacturing. While many multicultural teams are created temporarily for specific purposes, they do not have to be project-based or time-bound. They can be permanent teams. For example, top management teams are becoming increasingly multicultural in order to be more effective in the global arena.

Charles Snow (2006) considers that multicultural teams, unlike monocultural ones, are characterized by the distinctions between its members in language, styles of interpersonal interaction, and some other factors. Such distinctions, in his opinion, can promote either balance establishment (unity), or imbalance (subgroup domination, effect of exclusiveness, etc.) within a team, depending on the style of management.

Multicultural teams have a strong “hybrid culture”; it is a set of consecutive rules and actions, expectations, and also perception of team members as individuals in team development, exchange experience and activity as a result of mutual communication. The general expectations of team members provide effective communication and, as a result, effective work. The team creates this “hybrid culture” on the basis of ability to generate and fix four main characteristics, which were singled out by Charles Snow:

1. The goals (a contribution to the business strategy, verification with strategy, and company subsystems). The definition of common goals raises the degree of commitment of team members and also facilitates understanding of the tasks and skills necessary for the solution of these tasks.

2. Role expectations. It is very important for team members to be informed about their role expectations and duties in order to avoid interpersonal conflicts.

3. Clarity of rules and social conduct: team members should clearly understand the rules of communication between each other, the ways of conflicts resolution, and the distribution of rewards in the team. The rules, which are accepted by the team members, are the key issues in conflict situations.

4. Monitoring and reporting: members of multicultural teams are often scattered geographically, often creating the need for coordination of their work. (Snow, 2006, p.25-27).

However, the same diversity also can complicate the process of motivation as “norms” of what is considered to be motivation can differ strikingly in various cultures and geographical regions. Referring to the fact that diversity of team members often involves disharmony, conflicts, and misunderstanding, especially, if the team works in very intense conditions, it is necessary to compensate it with mutual trust, acceptance, respect, and politeness.

Diverse teams are prone to dysfunction because the very differences that feed creativity and high performance can also create communication barriers. Conventional team-building activities are unreliable for such groups, because their one-size-fits-all approach to building cohesion fails to recognize team members’ idiosyncratic strengths and weaknesses and how they can be combined to make the whole greater than the sum of its parts. Getting 360-degree feedback can help.

The teams’ goal achievement directly depends on communication – interaction with partners, clients, colleagues, and representatives of state structures. The skills of effective communications in diverse teams can influence team members’ participation in all stages of formation and business organization development. Bad communications within diverse teams can be both the reason and a consequence of a conflict. Poor information transfer can act as a catalyst preventing certain team members from understanding of a situation from the perspective of other team members.

The diverse team managers should find out that the essence of the conflict in diverse teams is a simple dispute based on the resources, different value systems, mutual intolerance, or psychological incompatibility of team members. After the determination of the conflict reasons, the diverse team manger should minimize a number of conflict participants. The fewer there are people in the conflict, the fewer efforts are necessary for reaching piece.

The development of the effective communications program within diverse teams should start from the general assessment of the administrative environment. After that, the organizational structure and the type of the already existing communications should be thoroughly studied. In order to estimate a present condition of a diverse team and a degree of member satisfaction, it is necessary to conduct a research and to determine what forms of communications is used most widely and is more effective.

The effective communication in diverse teams includes such aspects as feedback in the course of communications, ways of dialogue optimization, active listening, interaction with people of various psychological types, features of psycho-physiological processes of perception, processing and information transfer in the course of interpersonal dialogue, etc.

ffective communications are necessary for the maintenance of a positive atmosphere within a diverse team. An effective communication is a key to the personal and professional goals achievement. Understanding the laws, which compose the basis for any interaction, people can easily influence the productivity of the interpersonal interaction and receive the necessary information from it (Bulleit, 2006).

The companies, which successfully proved themselves in the global market and aspire to the international development, actively use diverse teams. This is because they provide a high level of flexibility necessary for successful work and speed of response to the external changes. Therefore, they allow using company’s human resources more effectively. It greatly increases the competitiveness of the company on a global scale. There are a lot of advantages of diverse teams. They include development of new ideas, views, obtaining new skills and competences, etc. Moreover, diverse teams generate more interesting and new ideas in the course of so-called “brainstorming”. Diverse teams are more effective than homogeneous ones in those situations when it is necessary to reveal and solve a problem promptly. Mobilizing forces and energy, the members of diverse teams can develop more creative solutions to problems, which arise in their daily work.

Microsoft Corporation is one of such companies, which uses diverse teams in its management. Thus, Microsoft joined the group of companies, which asked the governor of the Washington DC to legalize unisex marriages. The software giant considers that, in this case, it will have a wider choice of diverse employees. The chiefs of the corporation declared that they oppose the discrimination, as it worsens the quality of labor in any form. Differently, if unisex marriages are allowed, people will have fewer obstacles in their choice of residence and work, and Microsoft, consequently, will have better opportunities of hiring a diverse staff. This way, the software giant tries to improve the labor market conditions in Washington D.C., where its headquarters is situated.

The Microsoft Corporation is the old supporter of the sexual minorities. In 1993, Microsoft became the first company in the Fortune 500 list, which offered the benefits to the sexual minorities. The same year, the corporate community “Gleam” was created in the Microsoft Corporation. This community includes more than 700 gays, lesbians, bisexuals, and transvestites. The Microsoft’s HR strategies are encouraging the diverse team members and take into account their values in the company’s operations. They are developed in every company’s branch and then become a part of the common strategy.

Tolerance and diversity are some of the components of the Microsoft’s success on the global scene. In order to become a prosperous company, it is crucial to have diverse staff. Nowadays, companies need such workforce more than ever before.

Conclusion

To sum up the paper, it is necessary to say that diverse teams play an important role in any organization. New experience, the trust won as a result of the development of what now seems like a common sense, helps and promotes an overall performance improvement of the diverse teams. Nevertheless, diverse teams are vulnerable in the situations when the solution of problems, which are not directed towards strengthening of teamwork. It is also very important for any company to work on the prevention of conflicts associated with diversity of its employees.

Members of the diverse teams have different perception of the reality and also different perception of the motives and behavior incentives, communication and interaction norms, process of stereotyping, and formation of various prejudices. The consequences of such distinctions are reflected in lower indicators of overall team performance, as there is a violation of a social unity. However, there is a positive correlation between these two factors. Diverse teams react to the changes and problems faster, more flexibly, and, therefore, more effectively. The diverse team members’ individual communication skills help establish a good connection within a team and unite teammates into an effective working unit.

Code: Sample20

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