Cultural sensitivity training refers to the process of creating awareness among employees to appreciate and value each unique culture no matter from what background they are in. Essentially, it means that you act in your daily life to understand that cultural differences exist between yourself and the people you meet without attaching value to them.
When we speak of cultural diversity, we do not mean nationalities or ethnic groupings when we talk about cultural variety; we also mean age, gender, ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation, physical ability, where you reside, and subcultures within any of these categories based on occupation, education, and personality.
The Concept of Cultural Sensitivity
The concept of cultural sensitivity is quite simple. It is a collection of skills that helps you to learn about and comprehend individuals from different cultures than your own.
Giving value to the uniqueness of each culture and do not regard one culture to be superior or worse, right or wrong. Of course, saying it is often simpler than doing it. With increasingly different populations coexisting in the same areas, it’s not always possible to know everything about the people we deal with.
Rather than passing judgment on those around you, seek understanding, and display empathy among others. It also implies that if you know you’ll be entering an area where cultural differences will be present, you’ll do some research ahead of time and avoid making snap decisions or leaping to conclusions.
Cultural competency, or the capacity to connect effectively with people from various origins and cultures, is becoming increasingly crucial in today’s heterogeneous workplace.
Significance of Cultural Sensitivity Training
The amount of benefits that valuable cultural sensitivity training has is immense. It helps the workforce in many ways like:
- Create a valuable workplace
Cultural sensitivity is crucial in a workplace. It’s so crucial that the concept of implementing cultural sensitivity training is becoming increasingly significant in the workplace and for big corporate branding efforts. It is essential to show respect and appreciation for the people and culture. This can help you have a better grasp of your new surroundings and make your workplace more valuable.
- Bring out innovative ideas
Cultural sensitivity training is now part of the onboarding process for many organizations. Before releasing content, many publishers pay teams to examine it for diverse cultural interpretations. Even major retail companies like Nike have begun to develop and market products that cater to the needs of an increasingly diversified consumer base. As an example, please take a look at their amazing new Pro Hijab.
- Empathy among co-workers
When it comes to acting culturally sensitive, the most important thing to remember is to center each relationship you have with others on the idea that their backgrounds, experiences, and values naturally differ from your own. This will enable you to lead with empathy and understanding rather than judgment, which is a critical adjustment.
While treating everyone with respect may appear to be a straightforward concept, it is all too easy for people to fall prey to assumptions, prejudices, and unconscious bias.
- Help unleash assumptions
Participants and businesses can benefit from cross-cultural training in a variety of ways. When participants in cross-cultural training are exposed to facts and knowledge about their own cultures, assumptions, mentalities, and world views that they might not have considered otherwise, it helps them learn about themselves. Cross-cultural training allows people to gain a better understanding of themselves by learning about others.
- Help gain self-confidence
Individuals and teams gain self-confidence due to cross-cultural training, which gives them a sense of control over previously challenging working difficulties. Preconceptions, prejudices, and stereotypes are all barriers that block our comprehension of others. By presenting different cultures in a neutral light, cross-cultural training demystifies them. Learning about various cultures helps to break down boundaries, allowing for more open connections and communication.
Benefits of Cultural Sensitivity Training
Organizations can benefit from cultural sensitivity training to improve cultural competency and avoid problems that can lead to discrimination, harassment, and retaliation. Some of the benefits are:
- Raising cultural awareness
Employees can recognize and respond to their unconscious or hidden bias based on stereotypes and unjust assumptions. The incident at a Philadelphia Starbucks this spring highlights the need of raising cultural understanding before a single employee’s racial intolerance causes a disaster for the entire company.
- Behavior change
Having a cheerful attitude is the key to connecting successfully with people at work, whether co-workers, vendors, consumers, or clients. However, what constitutes appropriate or offensive behavior varies from person to person.
Cultural sensitivity training may ensure that all employees know what your company (and the law) considers acceptable and unacceptable behavior toward people based on their race, ethnicity, age, gender, religion, or sexual orientation. It examines the sorts of inclusion and behaviors that might increase teamwork and motivation, in addition to the list of traits that are protected from discrimination and harassment.
- Making better decisions
Stereotypes and unconscious prejudices are a byproduct of the human brain’s desire to organize and store enormous volumes of data. While everyone has unconscious prejudices, when they manifest in the job, they can cause problems. When a qualified candidate is passed over for a job or a high-performing employee is passed over for a promotion due to their accent or gender, rather than their qualifications.
Employees learn how unconscious biases can influence decision-making and how to avoid forming snap judgments about people that might harm the organization and lead to discrimination claims through cultural sensitivity training.
- Improved communication skills
Employees’ capacity to interact effectively with diverse groups – both internally and internationally – is hampered by a lack of cultural awareness, alienating or offending customers, partners, and colleagues from diverse areas, countries, and cultures. Employees can benefit from cultural sensitivity training by learning the complexities of cross-cultural communication and the relevance of words, actions, gestures, and body language in establishing relationships with various people and groups.
- Speaking up
Effective cultural sensitivity training should encourage continuing discussions among employees at all levels about how to handle bias and insensitive comments and conduct. Employees should be encouraged to speak up, ask questions, express concerns, and report acts of discrimination they witness or experience during training.
To enable employees to engage in the workplace environment fully, promote diversity and inclusion throughout your firm using these sensitivity training methods. It makes a huge impact on the way they treat each other and their consumers.
When people’s boundaries are broken down, mutual understanding improves, resulting in increased trust. Selfless nature emerges after trust is built, allowing for increased cooperation and a more productive workplace. People feel driven to develop and progress as a result of self-analysis because they notice areas in which they need to improve.
Get Impactly is a platform that focuses on educating people on how to be aware of harassment and offers training programs to help people understand the significance of a diverse workforce. People begin to recognize their duties within the workplace more clearly as a result of cross-cultural training.