The Importance of Cultural Diversity in the Workplace

The Importance of Cultural Diversity in the Workplace

The Facts

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Learning the importance of cultural diversity in the workplace is essential for employers to run a smooth, bias-free organization. Embracing multiculturalism represents individuals from different cultures and societies who are unique in terms of race, language, religion, ethnicity, etc.

Cultural diversity in the business setting promotes an inclusive environment and room for better collaboration among employees. Today, businesses understand the importance of cultural diversity in pulling up revenues and brand reputation.

If you are looking for modern diversity training that is used by companies such as Blackberry and Stanford University to help build empathy through narrative storytelling while using effective tactics to reduce social and psychological barriers to inclusion, equity, and diversity, contact Impactly today for a free demo.

The Significance of Cultural Diversity 

With modern technology, making the world smaller and connected, it gives way for companies to establish themselves as an international venture.

When companies realize the importance of cultural diversity in the workplace, it becomes easier to penetrate local markets and industries. One research found that 48% of companies in the US with diverse senior management improved their market share.

9 Benefits of Cultural Diversity

Here are the top 9 benefits businesses enjoy with a culturally diverse work environment.

  1. Boosts Creativity & Innovation
  • Diversity allows different ideas, perspectives, and opinions to emerge out of the workforce.
  • It helps to look at the situation from all possible angles that helps to bring out something unique.
  1. Improves Problem-Solving & Decision-Making Skills
  • People from diverse cultures can introduce positive new beliefs and practices that allow the employees to look at the situation with a growth mindset.
  • The broader viewpoints and perspectives help resolve complex issues with ease while simultaneously forming business strategies.
  • Cultural diversity can boost cognitive flexibility as employees get familiar with different cultures and their importance for business.
  1. Cater to Best Talent Pool 
  • Research shows that around two-thirds of employees seek diversity and inclusion as key factors for choosing a company.
  • Cultural diversity allows people from all cultures and backgrounds to feel inclusive and heard. Therefore, cultural diversity would magnetize highly talented people to join the organization.
  1. High Happiness Index & Job Satisfaction
  • An inclusive environment allows employees to feel respected, heard, and appreciated for their contributions.
  • It motivates them to work hard and with full excitement as they feel safe within the organization.
  1. Higher Employee Engagement
  • A culturally diverse place is a hub for improving interpersonal skills and knowing more about other cultures.
  • It bridges the cultural gap and helps to foster personal connections among employees that help them connect better among themselves.
  •  Higher interpersonal connections boost teamwork and cooperation with one another.
  1.  Maximum Skills & Experience
  • Everyone from different cultures has different skills and experiences. Thus, a mix of cultures allows employees to gain valuable experience with skills through their colleagues.
  • A nurturing environment with new things to learn every day and from others helps the employees to thrive.
  1. Ease of Going Global & improving Brand reputation
  • Culturally diverse employees allow the organization to penetrate foreign markets through their shared cultures and experiences. 
  • It gives a competitive advantage with more customer appeal, investors' trust, and the ability to negotiate with foreign firms.
  • Cultural diversity sets the organization apart in the industry with unique styles of conduct and a sense of inclusivity.
  1. Higher Productivity & Revenues
  • Employees are the company's most valuable assets whose coordination and innovation can make or break the brand image.
  • Their sense of fulfillment and feeling respected and appreciated for their skills in the work premises motivates them to strive to achieve the organization's goals with full enthusiasm.
  • A plethora of ideas and practices boost the productivity charts and so does the revenue.
  1. Higher Appeal to Customers
  • Customers prefer those with whom they can connect, as connections play a crucial role in their trust in the organization.
  • The organization can establish strong customer appeal and connection with its consumers through their culturally diverse employees.

7 Challenges with Cultural Diversity in the Workplace

  1. Communicational Challenge

Employees from diverse backgrounds may face difficulties in communication due to language barriers or gaps in interpreting due to different accents and local slang.

  1. Different Working Styles & Preferences

Different people prefer different working styles and ways to approach a situation that can fuel interpersonal conflicts.

  1. Slower Goal Progress
  • Cultural diversity increases the number and range of opinions, ideas, and perspectives put on the table while exploring the issues. Therefore, more ideas require pondering overall perspectives to choose the one that best aligns with the company's interests.
  • The goal progress suffers a setback as more time goes into discussions and analysis.
  1. Difficulties for People with Disabilities
  • Employees with disabilities that include social or physical disability may prevent them from forming due to negative stereotypes associated.
  • They may feel vulnerable and alienated due to the poor understanding from their peers and higher-ups.
  1. Miscommunication & Misinterpretations
  • A culturally diverse work base is vulnerable to miscommunications due to wrong interpretations of gestures and language.
  • What is acceptable for one may not be appropriate for others, and such incidents can trigger misunderstandings.
  1. Inequity in Inclusion
  • The definition of an inclusive environment varies from person to person and, therefore, what is inclusive to one section may not be suitable for others.
  • Companies should put into the interest of the majority of the workforce while also considering the needs of other groups.
  1. Preconceived Notions 
  • Due to limited knowledge, employees seek to hold onto preconceived notions against other cultures and their challenges.
  • Acknowledgment of the importance of cultural diversity in the workplace allows the inflow of fresh perspectives and practices to look into the issue with a different lens.

Here are eight effective ways to promote and incorporate cultural diversity in the workplace.

8 Effective Ways to Promote Cultural Diversity

  1. Cultural Sensitivity Training & Workshops
  • Educate employees through regular workshops and cultural sensitivity to improve cultural competency.
  • Hold cross-generational mentorships programs to bridge the communication gap between different generations.
  • Such programs allow addressing negative biases associated, thus strengthening the partnerships.
  1. Contribute to Promotion of Marginalized Groups

Employees can promote the representation of marginalized groups through volunteering and engaging in their welfare.

  1. Encourage Healthy Debates
  • Debates are a healthy way to upskill communication and analytical skills. Healthy conflicts are crucial and an integral part of a culturally diverse organization to ensure no aspect is left out.
  • Ensure the decision-maker who makes the final call acknowledges all opinions to make the contributors feel valued. 
  1. Incorporate Cultural Diversity in the Organization's Vision
  • You can communicate the organization's vision through a compelling story to motivate employees to come together to work for the common goal and join in the movement.
  • Ensure the work policies and practices align with the organization's goal for a diverse and inclusive environment.
  1. Celebrate Cultural Differences
  • The differences are what all make everyone unique. Acceptance of this fact allows us to see them from a positive light.
  • Celebrate cultural differences by acknowledging different cultural and religious observances and practices. It allows the employees to feel comfortable and more motivated towards their work.
  1. Hold Regular Discussions and Q&A sessions.
  • Regular discussions on cultural diversity will allow the employees to address their doubts and queries regarding the appropriate behaviors and etiquettes.
  • It strengthens the trust among the employees and with the company.
  1. Provide Channel for Feedback
  • Feedback can help to uncover underlying diversity issues and alleviate the barriers.
  • It allows the organization to ensure that cultural competency is also the employees' top priority.
  1. Strict Code of Conduct

Devise a code of conduct that strictly prohibits discrimination and harassment.

In the Nutshell

Acknowledgment of the importance of cultural diversity in the workplace profoundly affects business growth. A diverse workforce offers unique ideologies and skills that can help resolve complex issues with ease.

Cultural diversity training can allow the company to assimilate the differences as its strengths and help employees to thrive in the environment, pushing revenue and productivity to heights.

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