To achieve Step 5, individuals will show that they can work with others with diverse backgrounds, and with different cultures and beliefs.
In previous steps, the focus has been on how to work well with others, thinking about positive working, appropriate behaviour, reliability, taking responsibility and supporting others. This step focuses on understanding and respecting diversity and inclusivity.
The building blocks of this step are learning:
To be effective in a team, it is essential to recognise that everyone is different and so your team members will all be different to one another and to you. This difference is called diversity.
Diversity is a strength for a team, because:
Diversity might come from lots of different things, including: gender; sexual orientation; race; religion; socio-economic background; age; experience; disability; and other things too. Appreciating diversity means appreciating the value of these differences.
Equality is the vital idea that everyone is of equal value in the world, and deserves the same opportunities to make the most of their skills and talents.
In many ways, equality has still not been achieved for many groups, or individuals with particular characteristics, as shown above. This is an area where we all have an essential part to play in working towards equality for all.
For your diverse team to achieve its potential, it needs to be an inclusive team. That means that everyone needs to be included and to feel included.
This starts by ensuring that no one is discriminated against. Discrimination is the unfair treatment of different people based on something about them. This is both wrong, and illegal in UK law: you must not treat anyone differently based on their age, disability, race, religion, gender or sexual orientation, among other things.
There is a lot more though to make sure that everyone is included:
Being inclusive does not mean that everyone is necessarily treated precisely the same, because some people will have different needs to others. Instead, being inclusive is about making sure that everyone has equal opportunities to contribute and participate – and this is an essential part of working well in a team.
Schools and colleges are diverse communities made up of people with different genders, ages, cultures, religions and beliefs, who may simply have the same geographical location in common. Every team or group we work with in school will include a cross section of the community and therefore people with different backgrounds, beliefs and cultures to our own. To work well with others we work inclusively, ensuring everyone has the same opportunities to be involved. The more we understand and respect each other the more effective our work and learning will be.
Great workplaces are normally made up of teams where individuals are diverse. As discussed above, this strengthens the work because it widens perspectives and experiences, reflects the world better, and supports better decision-making. To make the most of each individuals’ strengths though, requires respecting equality of each individual and working to support inclusivity and ensuring equal opportunities.
In the UK it is illegal to discriminate against others. However, discrimination and a lack of respect for others remains prevalent in our society. To be able to work well in a team at any event or activity, a sports club to volunteering or work well with the friends and family of others, we need to appreciate the strength that comes from diversity, and ensuring inclusivity for all.
To best practise this step of Teamwork, apply what you have learnt to a real-life situation. Choose one or more of the activities below, remind yourself of the key points and strategies in the step, and have a go!
To teach this step:
These are important values that should be reinforced through school life. This step helps to bring an additional angle that diversity makes the team more robust, while inclusivity is critical for working effectively as a team and to making the most of everyone’s strengths.
This step can be assessed in a combination of ways:
This step is relevant to all those who work with others.
To build this step in the work environment, managers could:
Explain to an individual the key concepts of: diversity, equality and inclusivity and why they are important. A manager can emphasise that a diverse team is a more robust team and that inclusivity is critical for working effectively as a team and making the most of everyone’s strengths. To support these points, a manager might reference examples of teams which are more robust become of their diversity and inclusive practices. International sports teams or a team of healthcare workers in a hospital setting might be useful abstract examples to use here.
Model some of the consequences of not respecting or recognising the importance of these concepts. Here a manager might model what can go wrong when an individual does not respect these concepts, to illustrate:
Task an individual to create guidelines on how to be inclusive at work.
Reflect with the individual about the barriers to an inclusive workplace and how they can contribute to overcoming these in their context.
There are plenty of opportunities for building this skill in the workplace:
For those already employed, this step is best assessed through observation and discussion. For instance:
During the recruitment process, this step could be assessed by:
We work with a wide range of organisations, who use the Skills Builder approach in lots of different settings – from youth clubs, to STEM organisations, to careers and employability providers.
We have a lot of materials available to support you to use the Skills Builder Universal Framework with the individuals you work with, including:
We also do a lot of work with organisations who join the Skills Builder Partnership to build the Universal Framework into their work and impact measurement systems. You can find out a lot more using the links below.
At home, you can easily support your child to build their essential skills. The good news is that there
are lots of ways that you can have a big impact, including: