The Benefits And Challenges Of Having A Diverse Team

By February 14, 2017For Companies

Having a diverse team is proven to increase efficiency and give companies a competitive edge in a number of ways. However, it also poses a number of issues for managers who must adapt their management style to suit a more varied group of employees. Discover the full benefits and challenges of having a diverse team here. 


Strong dynamic

A diverse team is good for employees’ personal development. They learn from the different backgrounds and skills of their counterparts, making them better communicators and more socially aware individuals. They are also better equipped to deal with changing conditions in the workplace.

Productive problem solving

A varied employee base brings with it varied thought processes and perspectives. Instead of groupthink, where people conform and make decisions for the sake of harmony, you have analytical thought, harsher critique and a more thorough analysis of an issue. This leads to more informed and educated decisions.

Better connection with clients

A diverse team will be better able to identify and engage with wider client groups due to a heightened understanding of their backgrounds, attitudes and motivations. This puts your company/product in front of more people and increases customer loyalty.

Less lawsuits

Inclusivity means less discrimination, bullying and conflict which means less litigation.

Positive image

Diversity leads to an improved employer brand which helps attract the most innovative employees.            

In industries where competition for talent is fierce, a strong employer brand can be the differentiating factor for potential candidates. 

Boosted morale

When employees are part of a team where they feel accepted and their individuality is nurtured, morale is better and relationships with coworkers are more cordial and productive. An inclusive, equal and positive environment also means talent engage and participate more which leads to more creative output.

Looking to reach a wider pool of talent? Hire on Jobbio today.


A diverse workforce presents a number of challenges, particularly for managers, who will need to adapt their style to accommodate a more varied employee group. Their role is not just about leading, organising and motivating a team but vehemently promoting inclusiveness and combating prejudice and discrimination. Difficulties they may encounter:

Communication barriers

To successfully manage a mix of personalities, managers need to be able to identify what methods of communication will be most effective and adapt accordingly. For example, some employees respond better to visual communication, some to oral. Some will communicate better as individuals, some in a team.

Culture clashes

Cultural differences can lead to clashes in the workplace as employees have different motivations, values and goals. They can also have different definitions of professionalism and what it means to be a good employee or colleague. In Asian culture, it can be seen as disrespectful for junior employees to ask questions of their manager in case it jeopardises their authority, while Western people would see this as being engaged and thorough. Similarly, while Gen Z might feel virtual meetings through FaceTime or Google Hangouts are most efficient, Gen X may feel a face-to-face meeting is more appropriate. While Gen Z might favour casual attire at work, Gen X might interpret this as a sign of sloppiness or unprofessionalism.


Tokenism is where employers hire one or a few people from minority groups to give the appearance of a diverse work environment and is counter-productive in ensuring an inclusive team. Managers need to hire, promote and reward based on merit, not for the sake of cosmetic diversity.

Slower decision making

Giving more people a voice will inevitably lead to more opposing views and a slower path to consensus. This is the cost of a more innovative team.

Divisions in the team

People have a tendency to “stick to their own” or socialise with people they have the most in common with. When this happens, it can lead to divisions in the team. Managers need to motivate their team to collaborate across the board and not just with their own age group, sex or nationality.

Looking to reach a wider pool of talent? Hire on Jobbio today.


Author Aoife Geary

Aoife Geary is the Content Editor at Jobbio specialising in the areas of Workplace Culture, Diversity, Startups and Digital Trends. She's partial to a burrito, a bad pun and living way beyond her means.

More posts by Aoife Geary

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