We’re obsessed with creating diverse workforces, but when it comes to managing that diversity, most of us fall short of the mark. A diverse team might be great on paper, people from all walks of life coming together to share new ideas. But in reality, if not managed well, diversity may lead to a productivity disaster.
So, the notion that increased diversity’s automatically result in higher performance is a myth. In fact, if it’s not managed correctly, diversity is more likely to cause problems, including employee dissatisfaction, a lack of innovation and reduced performance.
It doesn’t help that the media sometimes portrays diversity in an overly positive light. We often hear about the outstanding benefits that organisations harvest when increasing their gender or ethnic diversity. Whilst this helps to paint an optimistic picture of diversity in the workplace, it has very little to do with what we find reported to scientific literature where diversity sometimes actually only offers minor benefits and can even pose a serious threat to organisations.