The success of a company is heavily dependent on the people working there. A good team composition results in higher financial returns and innovative ideas. Thus, choosing people wisely for your team is particularly important. But what exactly is a good team composition?

Inhomogeneous teams are more likely to generate higher performances than others

A good team composition consists of diverse members which work respectfully with one another. It is recommended to have team members with different cognitive attributes such as different backgrounds, skills and experiences.

Working with people who are different, widens your horizon. They challenge your brain and display you new perspectives. Within a team, this often leads to enhanced creativity, innovation and problem-solving skills.

Another source of diversity is given by different personality traits which are unattached to different background, race or ethnicity. According to Katherine Briggs and Isabel Myers Briggs, the founders of the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI), there exist 16 different personality traits. These traits influence the way people interact with one another. Each type has something positive to contribute and can lead to more innovation within a team. Therefore, it is recommended to diversify your team in terms of different personalities as well.

Lastly, diversity is further enhanced by bio-demographic attributes. Namely, race, ethnicity, age and gender. Teams with bio-demographic diversity can achieve high financial returns which are 15-35% more likely to be above the industry mean.

Nevertheless, a positive outcome is not guaranteed for all inhomogeneous teams. People often feel more comfortable with people which are similar to themselves. A lack of attraction can result in tensions, conflicts and insufficient coordination.
Thus, to successfully exploit bio-demographic diversity a workplace environment where all people feel comfortable with each other is necessary. Cultural differences need to be celebrated, team members need to feel valued and new perspectives welcomed.