Examining the importance of workplace diversity in an organization and relating it to the team dynamic is something all business should engage in. Many leadership courses in the corporate world focus on the importance of team building, not group building. The web defines a group as any number of entities considered as a unit. In many instances it is much easier to form a group than it is to form a team. Forming a group is not particularly difficult when using qualifiers to ascertain commonalities like experience, gender, age, or field of expertise, but the effectiveness of the group contains more variables.
Results are the determining factor when considering the success or failure of a group, not the process the group uses to arrive at those results. Groups use peer pressure, discussion, and argument to guide individuals toward a consensus. In America’s legal system, trial by a jury is a perfect example of the group dynamic in action. The leadership role the foreperson plays attempts to turn 11 different views, opinions, and perceptions into one unanimous decision. Jury members usually do not know each other prior to a trial, so there is usually little effort put forth to build a team dynamic.
A jury must use group cooperation to reach consensus and produce a verdict. The web defines a team as a cooperative unit. A team, unlike a group can be much more difficult to form. When selecting team members, it is beneficial to base those selections on skill sets that complement each other, and not a single commonality. A team shares a common purpose and recognizes each individual as belonging to the same unit. The strength of a team is reliant on the interconnectivity between individual members. A fully functioning team is capable of reaching agreements on norms and values that regulate behavior.
Members of a team have a function and a purpose on the team dynamic that affect the success or failure of a team. Reducing conflicts within the team dynamic when all members are functioning properly and on task is effortless in most cases. Diversity in the workplace refers to the many differences between individuals in an organization. Working as a team has to include acceptance of others and mutual respect between different individuals. Diversity is an important part of working successfully as a team because it recognizes the uniqueness of each individual and acknowledges the differences.
Diversity in a modern organization embraces the presence of employees who differ from each other. These differences can be along the lines of race, gender, ethnicity, sexual orientation, physical abilities, skill sets, education level, economic status, age, religious beliefs, or political beliefs. Managing diversity can be approached from the organizational level, or at the individual level. Empathy and learning are central to individually managing diversity, while training, mentoring and testing are central to managing organizational diversity.
Most organizations willingly employ a diverse workforce, but federal and state laws mandate and maintain a level of diversity in the American workforce. A multicultural organization strives to eliminate social oppression and is inclusive to all members within the organization, regardless of the various cultural or social statuses of the individuals. A multicultural organization acknowledges the people contributing to the organization, and reflects those interests in the organizations vision, operations, services, and products.
The conflict management concept uses steps to make decisions, solve problems, negotiate, and mediate differences within a group. Possessing good conflict management skills can be beneficial when trying to manage internal and external disputes for peaceful resolutions to diverse problems. Using conflict management skills to aid in the decision-making process, solve problems, and build teams is valuable to a company’s bottom line. The relationship social issues have with ethically responsible management practices is an important one.
Unlawful employment practices include failing or refusing to hire an individual, discharging an individual, or discriminating in any other form against an individual in connection with compensation or the conditions, privileges or terms of employment. Unlawful employment practices segregate, limit or classify an applicant for employment or an employee in a manner depriving or tending to deprive an individual of any employment opportunity or negatively affect in any other way the status of an employee.
After examining the importance of workplace diversity in an organization and relating it to the team dynamic, this practice provides benefits central to the success of a business. Focusing on encouraging employees to express opinions, and ideas allows diversity to flourish in the workplace. An organizations success and competitive edge depend on the ability of the organization to manage diversity effectively and build teams.