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Every Monday at 6:42 a.m. and 8:42 a.m., Rob Gilligan provides information on what's happening in the area of regional development in Southeast Missouri. Rob is the President and CEO of the Cape Chamber.

Let's Talk Business: Workforce Diversity

Cape Chamber

The research is in and there are major benefits in having diversity on work teams.

If you have the pleasure of having racial, gender, and age diversity on the team you work with, you probably understand my opening line. Either way, let’s look at some of the ways diverse work teams produce better results and add to the profitability of a business.

Studies show diverse teams are more creative. Although you may be more comfortable working with people who share your same background, certainly people from dissimilar backgrounds see the world differently and can therefore generate more, different, and better ideas. A diverse group is not limited by one set of approaches and experiences.

Much research indicates diverse teams are more likely to focus on facts and not get caught up in stereotypes. It seems diverse groups encourage greater examination of concepts and actions thereby keeping their approach sharp. The more trust within the group, the better the openness on helping team members recognize their own biases.

And let’s not ignore the obvious. Research shows companies that have diverse teams usually experience greater employee loyalty and find it easier to attract new employees – particularly younger workers who have grown up with greater diversity. This can be a real edge in today’s world.

What does your work team look like? Are you missing out on a great opportunity to improve performance?

John Mehner is the former President and CEO of the Cape Chamber.
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