How to Build Successful Diverse Teams in 2023

How to Build Successful Diverse Teams

Mogul is a leader in the diverse recruitment space. And after nearly a decade of helping organizations build high-performing, diverse teams, we’ve seen some common trends.

Building successful teams in the workplace is a continuous process. The success of an organization is the result of sustaining multiple critical factors operating together simultaneously.

Along with having a great product, success is when employees have clarity in their role, ownership of their tasks, and feel empowered that their commitment to the organization matters.

And the benefits of a team all moving in the same direction are endless.

To name a few – building diverse teams: 

  • increases creativity and innovation

  • heightens problem-solving abilities

  • enhances overall engagement

  • boosts profits and revenue for the business

Read below for our top five tactics for building successful diverse teams that reach their greatest potential.

1. Create Clear, Definable Goals

Definable, measurable goals make bold missions achievable. They keep company leaders and the rest of the team on time and track when it matters most.

Good goals and clear performance expecations reduce bias and increase team equity.

Without goals that are measurable and achievable, individual performance defaults to subjective interpretation, which can increase bias.

\Clarity of expectations is appreciated by everyone, but is especially inclusive for those with neurodivergences like ADHD and autism. 

Comapny goals, when done right, is a game-changer. Not only for the business as a whole, but for your teammates and how they feel about the work they are accomplishing.

2. Embrace Diversity

The best teams are diverse. Don’t believe us? 

Here are the latest numbers that show why embracing diversity is important for your business:

  • Racially diverse teams outperform competitors by 35%.

  • Companies with high levels of reported diversity are almost 2x more innovative.

  • 43% of companies with diverse boards generate higher profits

  • A diverse leadership team boosts revenue by 19% vs. the competition

  • Companies with higher rates of diversity experience 2.3x more cash flow per employee.

Embracing diversity is celebrating what makes us different. Because what makes us different makes us unique. 

Many leaders shy away from genuinely cultivating diversity in the workplace because they’re unsure where to begin.

To ensure you’re embracing diversity the right way, create a safe space to have open and authentic conversations.

Many people grow up in neighborhoods where everyone looks and acts similarly. And they don’t know that certain things they might say or do could be offensive to someone who grew up on the other side of the world.

As company leaders, it’s important to set the standard by allowing colleagues to communicate openly and seek understanding. 

Your goal should be to practice inclusive leadership. While diversity is a prerequisite for sustained high performance, inclusion is the engine that accelerates everything. 

We wrote a deep dive on how to be an inclusive leader, read it here.

One of the best ways to embrace diversity is by creating employee resource groups (ERGs).

We’re proud founders of International ERG Day, where companies worldwide celebrate diversity and highlight the importance of ERGs. 

If you’re unsure how to start your first ERG, read our definitive guide 7 Ways to Build Employee Resource Groups to Unlock Your Potential.

3. Practice Positive Feedback

The Society of Human Resource Management 2018 survey found that 80% of HR leaders work at organizations that have an employee recognition program. 

Of those leaders:

  • 89% reported their recognition program helped improve the overall employee experience

  • 86% said it improved employee relationships

  • 84% said it improved employee engagement

The way you provide feedback is the difference between empowering employees to push past what they think they’re capable of and demoralizing them into thinking they’re not good enough.

Providing positive feedback keeps employees motivated and engaged with their work. It shows you value them as colleagues and professionals.

We suggest the following three-step framework when giving feedback:

1. Start with what you like about their work

Your employees work hard to deliver results. It’s a sign of respect for them as professionals to begin feedback with the aspects you feel are strong.

It’s important to be specific. Vague feedback can come across as a lie. 

Before the meeting with your employee, take a few minutes to prep your feedback that you can refer to throughout the conversation.

2. Share your feedback with kindness

Positive feedback doesn’t mean only giving praise. You can also offer ways for employees to get better without making them feel they didn’t do a good job.

The best way to accomplish this is by framing your critique in the positive. Here’s an example:

State your observation (what you did like). Then, talk about what aspects you feel could improve their work.

Make sure you keep a respectful tone and close your eye on their reaction. Empathy goes a long way.

3. Link feedback to business results

This is another reason why OKRs are so crucial. Every business initiative should be attached to a business metric.

Relating feedback back to the business case gives employees a sense of ownership in their work. People are driven to make a difference. 

You will motivate your employees by highlighting how their work will benefit the company and the customer.

4. Encourage Collaboration

Teams that collaborate show a higher ability to problem solve. This leads to accelerated innovation, frictionless processes and procedures, better communication, and better results. 

The benefits of collaboration are can transcend your business. But how do you actively encourage collaboration that ensures people effectively work together?

Collaboration starts at the top. As a leader, it’s part of your job to cultivate a supportive work environment.

Be the first to admit when you’re wrong or unsure how to do a task. Ask questions, show gratitude when you receive an answer, and celebrate ideas.

By showing that you’re always willing to learn, you’ll empower your team to do the same.

Encourage brainstorming. 

Is your company planning on a new initiative to promote the latest product feature? In this case, bring everyone together for a whiteboard session to brainstorm ideas for the launch.

If you have a large team, use breakout sessions in smaller groups. Then meet back together to compare notes.

5. Hold Each Other Accountable

There’s no faster way to stifle a team's success than by not keeping everyone accountable.

Leaders must be held to the same standards as their team. 

If teams feel leaders aren’t pulling their weight, their motivation will decrease, and they will leave for another job altogether. 

Accountability is how teams thrive. And it takes a community.

Accountabilitydoesn’t mean everyone should be calling each other out when something goes wrong. It’s about practicing radical honesty, total transparency, expressing difficulties, and staying on the same page.

So how do you keep each other accountable without upsetting anyone?

Having a team who keeps each other accountable results from a focus on:

  • Setting clear, definable goals

  • Embracing diversity

  • Practicing positive feedback

  • Encouraging collaboration

Building a successful team depends on trust. Trust and accountability will naturally follow if everyone can commit to these core tenets.

Ready to build a team that embodies diversity as a core part of company culture? Schedule a demo with our Mogul experts to learn how we can empower your DEIB initiatives this year.