While embarking on the journey of writing a book with six of my teammates at Purple Ink, embracing team diversity stayed top of mind. Our soon-to-be-published book, The JoyPowered™ Team, was a labor of love. When asked if I wanted to write a chapter in the book, I was all in from the start. I didn’t worry about conflict or disagreement, as my Activator strength kicked in and said, “let’s do it!”
Spoiler alert! There WERE conflicts and disagreements along the way. And we DID embrace them. When many people think of diversity, they think surface level diversity, including race, gender, sex, disability, or age. And while our team spans five decades in age, our diversity became more apparent in our backgrounds, work experience, writing experience, and just preferences in general.
When people with different backgrounds, preferences, and styles come together, that diversity can create discord, making it difficult to get things done. But when we embrace the natural conflict that comes, and invite it early, we allow inclusion to flourish.
As HR professionals, we see hiring managers continually hire versions of themselves for their departments. The “people like me” bias and building of homogenous teams is prevalent in many organizations. Research at the University of Michigan shows that hiring a specific type can actually lead to poor performance. And diverse groups solve problems better than a homogenous team, even when that team has higher objective ability. A 2015 McKinsey report on 366 public companies that were ethnically and gender diverse performed significantly better than those that were not diverse.
In the book, I talk about how diversity is good for business: diverse teams are more profitable, more creative and show higher employee morale.
“At Purple Ink, we focus on employee morale a lot, both with our clients and among our team. We closely tie morale to joy. We believe boosting employee morale not only helps increase productivity, creativity, and community, but also the joy or satisfaction employees find in their roles and within their company. I’ve never worked on a team that brings such different perspectives, strengths and ideas, yet is so JoyPowered™ at the same time.”
Even in writing a book together, with tight deadlines, multiple goals to satisfy and a variety of ideas, we embraced our diversity and proved our JoyPowered™ team was up for the task.
Watch for our book on Amazon, the JoyPowered™ website, and the Purple Ink website. We think you will enjoy it and be inspired to create or enhance your own JoyPowered™ team! Continue following our blog as we continue to share some snippets from each of our chapters!