Diversity And Cultural Competency Training: 7 Important Factors

Diversity and cultural competency training is a series of lessons for gaining cultural competence and correctly recognizing and interpreting different cultures. Training about cultural sensitivity to others’ ethnic identities, including race, sexuality, language, and other variables, as well as how to acquire cultural competency, is being practiced in the workplace in an age of globalization. Diversity training, often known as sensitivity training, is largely concerned with just appreciating the differences that distinguish every one of us. 

Diversity and Cultural Competency Training: A Brief Overview

Cultural competency at the system, organizational, or initiative level necessitates a coordinated and integrated approach that involves interventions at the following levels:

  • Policymaking by the company; 
  • Infrastructure development; 
  • Project administration and assessment; 
  • Service delivery and supporting tools; and 
  • Senior management personnel

At the individual level, this entails an analysis of one’s attitudes and beliefs, as well as the learning of the values, understanding, skills, and traits necessary to function effectively in cross-cultural circumstances. Cultural competency necessitates the capacity of organizations, services, and individuals to:

  • Acknowledge all people’s commonalities and differences; 
  • Recognize and successfully respond to different cultures; 
  • Participation in community self-assessment at the individual and group levels; 
  • Modify service quality and facilitating supports; and 
  • Formalize cultural awareness.

Cultural competency is one of the most difficult things to develop. In fact, discriminatory practices arise due to a lack of cultural knowledge. 

According to the Washington Post, 2019 was the first year in which individuals of different colors made up the majority of modern working recruits in the United States. Human resource management executives are in charge of assisting firms in better accommodating this increasingly multicultural workforce and improving their cultural competency.

7 Essential Factors of Diversity and Cultural Competency Training 

The capacity to comprehend and engage effectively with individuals from other cultures, experiences, and circumstances is referred to as cultural competence. The seven foundations of this training are as follows:

  1. Values and Priorities

The most crucial values and ideals for individuals are commitment, collaboration, and work-life balance. There is a stronger emphasis on the individual and career in North America, with less employer-employee commitment. However, in Asian and Latin cultures, the cooperative and long-term commercial and labor connections are valued more.

  1. Hierarchy

How civilizations organize their interpersonal and occupational leadership, including horizontally or vertically, is referred to as hierarchy. People in the West are often seen as peers. However, in Asian, Hispanic, and Middle Eastern cultures, hierarchy and leadership centralized at the top are considerably more valued and tolerated.

  1. Worldview and Beliefs

People perceive the world and its place in it in totally different ways. People in the West tend to feel that they are in command of their destiny. Most other nations, on the other hand, are more pessimistic. Either it’s meant to be, or it’s not, that has a big influence on diverse teams.

  1. Formality

When dealing with persons of different ranks and having respect, people apply certain relationship skills. People in the United States are known for their casual attire and approach. Formality, on the other hand, is highly prized in most other communities and is seen as a necessary display of respect.

  1. Styles of Communication

Different people communicate in a variety of ways, notably in terms of context and directness. People in North America are known for saying exactly what they’re trying. People in many other traditions are more oblique, which can be perplexing or even deceptive.

  1. Perceptions regarding time

Individuals determine deadlines, such as whether they are fixed or flexible, and goals, such as short or long term. Americans mostly tend to think in terms of the short term and are strict regarding deadlines. People in several other cultures, on the other hand, usually think more long-term and are therefore more flexible with deadlines.

  1. Everyone’s Unique 

Finally, remember and recognize that each individual is unique but might not follow established criteria. Thus, people should be seen as individuals.

Where Do Diversity and Cultural Competency Training Start?

Cultural competency is a critical component of sustaining a secure, pleasant, and law-abiding workplace in the multicultural United States. The importance of cultural competency in particular areas, such as education and welfare, cannot be overstated because it is necessary for employee interaction.

Frank Newport writes in a Gallup News story that the LGBT community in the United States accounts for 4.5 percent of the entire population. Even though these people make up a considerable section of the population, they nonetheless experience prejudice in the job.

Assessing the organization’s baseline level of cultural competency is the most productive starting point. Whether a business engages a diversity consultant to figure out where the workforce is or implements an evaluation tool like Cross-Cultural Adaptability Assessment, the most important thing is to start from a position of knowledge.

Individuals and organizations can have more productive interactions if they recognize and accept diverse groups and are willing to reconsider prejudices and change their behavior. This results in better outcomes for everyone. Determine where your staff are on their awareness training path, then have a fruitful discussion and create concrete goals.

What Can You Achieve Through Diversity and Cultural Competency Training?

  • Instills a sense of belonging in persons from underrepresented teams so that they feel respected and heard. It’s an excellent place to start by emphasizing this in the company’s objective and carrying it to policies, procedures, training, and DEI activities.
  • Emphasizes the significance of appropriately speaking ethnic/unfamiliar names and calling them by their accurate name and pronouns, according to their gender identity.
  • Creates a workforce that is adaptable and cohesive. Culturally competent employees are more creative and cooperative with one another. They are more adaptive to workplace changes and alterations as a result of their open-mindedness, which is a desirable characteristic in an employee. 
  • Important announcements, alerts, and other information are made available in many languages.
  • Encourages workers to pay attention to and value each other’s contributions to initiatives, meetings, and conversations.
  • When goal-oriented team settings are prioritized, cultural conflicts are often minimized. It helps establish employee resource groups (ERGs) to give workers a place to discuss their unique perspectives, foster mentorship and allyship, and engage in cross-functional and cross-cultural interactions. In order to reap the benefits of cultural diversity, cross-cultural team development is vital.
  • Provides many contact and feedback methods. With so many people working remotely, finding new methods to connect, check-in, participate, and celebrate cultural variety is critical.

In a Nutshell

Understanding the numerous distinct cultures that exist is becoming a more important aspect in the workplace. So, effective cultural competency training must be supported with training that focuses on the practical skills required to communicate more effectively with customers and team members from varied backgrounds. 

Global leadership programs, international team-building activities, and particular cross-cultural training and education for specific leadership roles are just a few examples of ways that can help with cultural competency. Cultural competence training is a norm in the organizational sector; however, it is to be treated as a necessity for creating harmonious teams and departments for a more profitable business.

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