In the business world, we want the best of the best on our teams. No matter what niche or industry you serve, the goal is always to find the brightest, most-educated, well-rounded individual you can who fits within your hiring budget. If you’ve read our prior blogs or have a strong background in HR, you may try to cultivate a diverse team as well. Perhaps you change up your hiring strategy or make sure you’re pulling new employees from different demographic backgrounds whenever possible. This is what HR professionals do, like clockwork. Day in and day out, we find the “best” match. Then, we bring him or her on board, show them the ropes, and eagerly await the newcomer to show us their brilliance. The thing is, by this point, we’ve already killed our chances at creating thought diversity within our teams.
The term “sea of sameness” has been around for years now, and it simply refers to being inundated with things that don’t differentiate themselves. Brands may seem the same, products can be copycats, and highly-similar people tend to congregate together as well. Without diversity, a company simply blends in with the crowd. There’s nothing unique or noteworthy about it to draw attention to it. This is why large companies spend so much time coming up with mission statements, branding concepts, and marketing schemes. They need to make sure that their product or service stands out.
Think back to your last hire. Why did you choose the person? He or she dazzled you in some way or another, more than likely. You were wowed by the university the person attended, the credentials, the experience, or maybe even by an intake test of sorts. That’s where you went wrong because that’s exactly why you hired the person before him or her. And the person before that. And the person before that…
We’ve previously gone over the benefits of having a diverse and inclusive workplace culture, but to recap, your company needs it. This is what drives innovation, helps you connect with your customers, and keeps your employees happy. Moreover, different thought processes help your team get itself out of ruts. When unique ideas are introduced, the team builds robust solutions quickly and collaborates in a highly-beneficial think-tank way. Without diversity, the same ideas tend to get passed around, with everyone nodding in agreement. That gets stale fast.
You can create a more diverse workplace by intentionally seeking out employees of different genders, races, and religions. This is one way to assemble a team that thinks differently, in an organic way. However, your own mindfulness makes a difference as well. Our normal hiring processes involve checking knowledge. We want the person who scored the highest on the intake quiz or who answered all his or her interview questions right. Instead of building a diverse team, this creates a team of people who think exactly alike.
Next time you hire, try something different. Instead of looking for the person who performs the best, search for the person who complements the skills of your existing team. Find out what each candidate knows well that others on your team don’t or consider asking questions with no right answer that the individual may be unprepared for.
“What should our company be doing differently?” “How could I have done this interview better?”
When you stop looking for “yes men,” and start looking for people who think differently from the onset of your hiring process, you’ll cultivate the kind of thought diversity that creates successful enterprises.
Join us for our next live online session or contact us and we’ll help you build diverse team that will make your business thrive.
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