Seven tips for more diverse teams
Building diverse teams can be particularly beneficial for companies in the games industry. Diverse teams are more creative, more innovative and bring a broader range of perspectives and prior knowledge to the table. But how can you improve diversity in your team? We have collected some tips on this subject here. They range from minor changes that can be implemented without investing significant financial resources to major strategies that will require a longer period of time to take root within a company. However, the most important thing to remember is that management has to lead by example. The only way to ensure that this cultural shift becomes truly anchored within the company is for the those at the top to fully embrace diversity.
Job ads are the first impression that a company makes on a potential employee. You can significantly increase your chances of improving diversity within your team simply by adapting the language of your job ads to ensure that you are addressing all target groups equally. For this reason, you should make sure you use gender-neutral language when drafting your job ads. The goal is to make sure that the language addresses potential employees with the utmost sensitivity and to avoid discriminatory language entirely. Additional tips on this subject are available in the sections on job ads.
Job ads should also be published on platforms that specifically target groups such as the LGBTQ+ community, workers over 50 or people with a disability – platforms like Proudr, the German government initiative 50plus or myAbility. All too often, companies miss the opportunity to present themselves to these groups as an attractive employer. Additionally, searching for employees from around the world can increase your company’s chances of adding new and enriching perspectives to your team.
Flexible working hours also make a company much more attractive. Although great strides have been made over recent decades as regards work-life balance, time off to care for relatives and joint parental leave, many employees are still faced with the daily question of how to juggle their work and family commitments. Working models that include flexitime, working from home or trust-based hours can make firms more attractive to new employees. Childcare options are also helpful here. Conversely, companies benefit from having happier and more motivated employees, which is reflected in reduced absences and lower staff turnover.
Benefits for employees
Additional benefits also improve the attractiveness of a company for its employees and potential hires. Alongside continuous professional development, exercise classes or company pensions there are many other options, such as paid language classes for employees and their families who are not native speakers of the local language. Employees can also be granted a travel budget, allowing them to gain more experience of other cultures when they take trips.
In international teams, it is worth showing employees from other countries that they are valued by giving them the opportunity to highlight their own cultural background. For example, a company might agree to hold appropriate celebrations of other cultures’ important holidays in addition to a Christmas party. Alternately, a company dinner could be organised which offers a culinary tour of all the countries represented by members of the team.
Garnering knowledge about diversity is of paramount importance for the process of creating a more diverse team to succeed in the long term. Internal workshops offered by companies such as Diversity Think Tank on topics such as diversity for human resources employees, diversity awareness within the company or gender-sensitive language can help to cultivate a better understanding of disparate interests. Cultural sensitivity training for employees can also highlight the fact that different cultures have different ways of perceiving the world, working and conducting themselves. This can help to prevent misunderstandings.
There may be certain issues that cause friction among employees, so it can be helpful to have a feedback system in place. A feedback system allows employees to not only express praise, but also to offer constructive criticism when they feel it is necessary. For this reason, employees should also be able to submit feedback anonymously. Although a good culture of feedback at a company involves openness, trust and respect, there may also be issues that employees need to address without giving their names.
It may also be wise to examine the way in which the company presents itself to the outside world and who usually represents it. Having a range of different speakers at public panels, events or in interviews can enhance public perception of the firm. Companies should increasingly encourage employees who usually take a back seat to participate in lectures or panels, for example. Professional media training can help potential speakers to overcome any stage fright they may experience.