Here’s The Problem With Diversity

And How We Can Fix It

The ability to collaborate effectively across our differences is a skill many of us lack. We often gravitate towards working in non-diverse teams because they’re easier. Surrounding ourselves with those who share similar values, experiences, backgrounds, and ideas is a quick and easy way to find alignment. However, just because we’re comfortable does not mean we produce better results. In fact, the opposite is often true — The absence of discussion, multiple perspectives, and challenging ideas results in a lack of innovation and sub-par work at best.

While diverse teams are much harder to navigate, they have shown time and time again to produce more innovative and creative solutions. Decisions made and executed by diverse teams delivered 60% better results. Unlike non-diverse teams, diverse teams must go through multiple stages just to learn how to work together. They may have different ways of expressing ideas, approaching problems, or executing work. Therefore, it is not enough to simply throw people into a diverse work-group and expecting them to perform. In fact, by doing this, we’re setting them up to fail. In order to reach the full potential of a diverse work-group, we must offer these teams the guidance and tools needed to engage collaboratively across their differences. Failure to do so often results in members shutting down or marginalizing others as they develop unconscious or explicit biases against their teammates.

…it is not enough to simply throw people into a diverse work-group and expecting them to perform…by doing this, we’re setting them up to fail.

A lot of these biases and negative experiences are developed at the college level. For the first time in their lives, students are leaving their hometowns to attend university with people from all around the world. Instructors often lack the time, effort, or know-how to guide students through the diverse team building process. Assembling teams with the help of random number generators, and encouraging students to fill out peer evaluation forms at the end of the semester is a flawed and all too common occurrence in college classrooms. Students are thrown into diverse teams and expected to complete assignments with little to no guidance from their instructors. An overwhelming majority of these projects backfire, resulting in students submitting lower quality work, missing out on significant learning outcomes, and developing anxieties towards working in diverse teams that directly translate into the workforce.

As the workforce becomes more and more diverse, it is more important now than ever that we learn how to work collaboratively in diverse teams. At Teamtap.io, our goal is to prepare students for this reality. By using our platform, instructors have the ability to place students into the most diverse teams possible, with the click of a button. We then supply students with the research-based tools and guidance needed to ensure each team works effectively from start to finish. These tools can be as simple as encouraging students to spend their first meeting discussing expectations and assigning roles. (Assigning clear roles has been shown to not only increase group participation, but also strengthen communication, and even work past gender assumptions.) By teaching students how to work effectively across their differences today, Teamtap is helping shape the leaders of tomorrow.

If you would like to learn more about Teamtap, please visit our website: https://www.teamtap.io/

Or email us at: info@teamtap.io

Teamtap uses AI to build smarter, more diverse teams, changing the way we shape teams in college classrooms. | www.teamtap.io