Do you sometimes wish that you worked with your best friends? Wouldn’t life be automatically easier? You would have more fun at work, communicate better and be extra motivated, right? If you have wondered this, you are not alone and in fact there is a scientific name for it – a preference known as affinity bias, as explained by Dr Katie Spearritt, CEO and founder of Diversity Partners.
Diversity in a workplace plays a large role in productivity and culture. A study performed by Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University in Illinois, US, looked at the impact of a newcomer on an established group. The results showed that groups who were higher in diversity were able to perform better in problem solving as their differences enabled them to critically argue one point over another, and look at the problem from a multitude of angles. Groups who were very similar in characteristic showed greater confidence, because they were all of a similar ideology, however under performed in critical thinking and analysis, as they all agreed on one point.
While working with your best buddy may seem like a good option, it also means you are not necessarily working with someone who challenges you, rather someone whom you are comfortable. Constructive feedback and the ability to look at problems from different angles are two very important ingredients in a high performing team.
At times, diversity can create discomfort – but that’s not a bad thing. Conflict is healthy in organisations, as when people to disagree with us, it becomes a more constructive environment and produces conversations that challenge, discover and explore new possibilities. This leads to better performance outcomes.
Structuring a well performing team is key in building a high performing business. People should be selected because they bring value to the role and business overall, and in some cases restructuring of teams can be necessary to ensure maximum productivity. CAAA Commercial Concierge offer a Corporate Advisory service, who look to drastically and positively impact the profits of any enterprise. If you need advice for your business, speak to your Concierge today.