The challenge of managing diverse teams


diversDiversification increases the potential efficiency while increasing the complexity of team member management processes in which the team must understand the full results of the process. Intercultural teams may have higher performance than homogeneous teams, but may also experience greater losses due to incorrect processes. Cross-cultural team performance may be higher, may be lower, or no difference with the homogeneous team. For example, cross-cultural teams can look at an environment from multiple perspectives and may therefore increase their insight and result in higher performance. However, in interpreting and evaluating these perspectives, cross-cultural teams are more difficult than homogeneous teams, and losses can be caused by erroneous processes. As cross-cultural team members are more difficult to observe, understand and act in a similar way, cultural diversity can make teams run more challenging, and diversity makes it more difficult to agree on decisions. While homogenous team members communicate with each other more accurately and more willing to trust each other. Intercultural team members are often under more pressure than homogeneous team members because they often disagree about future expectations, the accuracy of relevant information, and the need for specific decisions. Therefore, in the cross-cultural team in the wrong feeling, poor communication, incorrect interpretation and evaluation after another. Diversity increases the uncertainty, complexity, and inherent chaos of the team’s operations, which in turn reduces team performance (Greenberg, 2017).


There are some example talk about these leading organizations who are paving the way for the future of diversity and inclusion.

BASF. Earning a spot on DiversityInc’s Top 50 in 2015, 2014 and 2013, BASF is a global force properly leveraging D&I.

Ford Motor Company. Ford made DiversityInc’s Top 50 an impressive 11 times.

Sodexo. Sodexo was the recipient of the Catalyst Award in 2012 and earned a spot on DiversityInc’s Top 50 on eight different occasions (Aperian GLOBAL, 2015).



Companies will want to achieve the market share, profit margins, brand awareness and talent of the specific competitiveness, such as experience, skills, values, personality, etc. linked. However, the actual operation of enterprises in need is not an individual go it alone, but the team’s collective efforts, even the CEO will have the board and executive management to cooperate with the management company (Prokesch, 2009). Therefore, the combat effectiveness of the team will directly affect the survival and development of enterprises, but the team’s combat effectiveness is a simple superposition of individual competitiveness it? The answer is obviously no.


In the day-to-day operations of the enterprise, each person in the enterprise has a specific division of labor, assuming different roles (technical experts, project team members, small team managers, business department heads, etc.), and in most cases , A person may be responsible for multiple roles or even slightly overlapping multiple roles (such as commitment to leaders, experts and team members of the triple role). In order to be able to successfully complete the assigned tasks, people need to combine their own competitiveness in a few to carry out, when selected part of their competitiveness to assume the responsibility as a team member, this behavior we define it as Assume the “team role.” (Team, 2017)

There is the viedo talk about the “Belbin’s Team Role”


What the most challenge of manage the diverse teams?

  1. Understand why people behave differently than expected

According to Gugin’s survey, cultivating this understanding is the most challenging task facing the cultural diversity team. so, when you are managing people from a different culture you have to their norms and values in order to understand their behavior.


  1. Avoid getting frustrated and angry

An example:

If you value always being on time you will get frustrated if some of your team members are notoriously late. Because they are usually late for appointments you might start adding attributes to their personality which are not rooted in reality but solely matches your perception of people who are always late. Instead of building a tower of prejudges try to mobilize curiosity with the purpose to uncover the underlying norms and values. When that has been achieved you might be able to reconcile the opposing views on time orientation.


  1. Motivating a cultural diverse team

Some people find it highly motivating having a huge influence on how to organize their own job. They like to know what to deliver and enjoy the freedom to figure out themselves how, when and where to get the job done. Other people however will feel extremely uncomfortable with that “freedom”, because they will expect their manager to tell them how to do their job. In extreme situations nothing will be done until a detailed roadmap and job description has been provided.


  1. Achieve the desired level of efficiency

Some people value to make decision fast and move on, while others value to take the time to analyze the situation thoroughly, consult their team and then make their decision. People who like to make decisions fast regard the consensus-oriented people as slow and inefficient. But research has shown that people who take individual decisions more often have to have to re-do their decisions than people who opt for collective decision making. So the collective decision making might take longer time, but it has a better quality. In reality we need to do both types of decisions, so reconciling the two views will lead to increased organisational effectiveness.

There have the example talk about how to manage diversity in the workplace.


HR managers state that a diverse team has many benefits such as market understanding, more innovation are creativity and more talents (Harvard Business Review).


For my opine, leaders can also use Belbin’s team roles to leverage their strengths to turn them into power. For example, a person may have more potential than another person in achieving a particular task.


Aperian GLOBAL, 2015. Leaders in Diversity and Inclusion: 5 Lessons From Top Global Companies. [Online]
Available at:
[Accessed 11 2 2017].

Barber, A., 2013. Team coaching: what’s the point?. [Online]
Available at:
[Accessed 11 2 2017].

Greenberg, J., 2017. Diversity in the Workplace: Benefits, Challenges and Solutions. [Online]
Available at:
[Accessed 11 2 2017].

Managemnet tody, 2013. Top Ten Tips: How to manage diverse teams. [Online]
Available at:
[Accessed 11 2 2017].

Prokesch, S., 2009. How GE Teaches Teams to Lead Change. [Online]
Available at:
[Accessed 11 2 2017].

Team, M. T. E., 2017. Belbin’s Team Roles. [Online]
Available at:
[Accessed 11 2 2017].





11 thoughts on “The challenge of managing diverse teams

    1. for me, acturally I think the biggest challenge is make the things efficence; for the Belin role, I was good at self-management; not good at contral others. I have the example before, when I face this, I prefer do the job by myself.


    1. Workplace diversity creates opportunities for companies to get broader perspectives on business situations and to improve global reach, but it does often create some negative impacts in the company.
      they also have some cons of it, like People often feel confused, threatened or even annoyed by individuals with views and backgrounds very different from their own; constructive disagreements can become power struggles and create a bad political atmosphere that hinders project advancements.


    1. I haven’t experience in the work place before, but in the school, have the course work with people from different country. the best challenge for me was culture, and many different ethnicities, age groups, sexes and religions are represented. Along with these differences come a variety of communication styles. One of the main challenges of managing diversity is poor communication between employees. It’s easy to misunderstand someone who communicates differently.


    1. Reduced turnover: Often employee conflicts with managers and colleagues lead to stress that could increase the employee turnover at the workplace. Not only does this lead to loss of productivity but increases the recruitment and training cost as well. However by ensuring inclusion the organisation can create an informal culture that in turn increases the employee loyalty and the employees’ sense of belonging in the organisation.


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