Although managing a diverse team can be challenging, evidence shows that working with people who are different from us can make us happier and more productive.
Most call center managers frown upon the idea of handling a culturally diverse team. After all, it can admittedly be an extremely complex setup. Diversity in the workplace, if poorly managed, can trigger an avalanche of disasters: racial discrimination, ineffective communication, awkward interactions, and others.
This is probably why only 40% of organizations consider themselves a diverse group, although 77% of executives actively try to hire people from different backgrounds. Staff management will surely be challenging, and leaders must carefully think about how best to handle such teams.
If you can make it work, however, a culturally diverse team can bring you plenty of advantages. Reports after reports have shown that simply putting together people with varying characteristics leads to better organizational performance. Here’s how this happens.
1. A mishmash of ideas leads to innovation.
One of the best ways to solve an existing problem or to come up with a fresh idea is to bring a bunch of people together. With several heads working on a complex issue, you can build solutions that are founded on multiple perspectives. We call this informational diversity.
This concept does not apply only to teams composed of people with varying expertise or roles; it also applies to culturally diverse groups. People with different beliefs, traditions, and experiences all bring something unique to the table that many others in the company may not know about. Thus, when you consolidate these ideas, you can produce great innovations stemming from numerous angles and perspectives.
2. Diversity makes organizations smarter.
Customer service is a competitive industry. Basically, call centers that can innovate fast, embrace successive technologies effortlessly, and cater to customers’ changing demands are best equipped to win the race.
Cultural diversity can give you that competitive advantage.
The power of diversity lies in how it can make us question the notions we’re holding onto. When presented with an opinion that contradicts ours, we widen our thinking and change the way we look at things. Compared with homogeneous groups, a diverse organizational structure can trigger growth and allow companies to make smarter decisions.
3. Diverse teams are more productive than homogenous ones.
According to MIT economist Sara Ellison, “Having a more diverse set of employees means you have a more diverse set of skills, which could result in an office that functions better.”
This is also true for call centers. By promoting diversity in the workplace, they can provide customer service in several languages, allowing them to work with more clients from anywhere in the world. Aside from driving more revenues, this lets outsourcing companies establish a global presence and optimize the customer experience.
4. It drives up employee engagement.
Sodexo, an international brand that tags itself as a provider of quality of life services, cites staff diversity as a key in boosting people’s engagement. As they intentionally recruited employees with varying characteristics, cultural background, and gender, Sodexo also focused on promoting inclusion. After analyzing engagement survey results, they found out that people became happier and more productive in a diverse workplace that also bolsters camaraderie among employees.
In call centers, wherein work can be quite repetitive, diversity can produce a more dynamic environment. This can help break the monotony in the office and create a lively atmosphere.