Importance of Cultural Diversity in the Workplace
As we keep on the path to an increasingly diverse and multicultural society, it is important to recognize how different cultures around the world can engage with each other to solve complex problems.
This is also true in the corporate world, where cultural inclusion in the workplace is paramount to a successful company. Culture and diversity are two of the most important trends in the modern-day workplace, leading to increased revenue, a happy workforce, and a positive company-wide reputation.
Before we look into the importance, let’s understand what we mean by the word cultural diversity?
What is cultural diversity in the workplace?
Cultural diversity in the workplace refers to hiring employees from different backgrounds, regardless of race, gender, and culture. When companies include and retain a diverse pool of people, it brings multiple benefits to the company and the employees such as fostering innovation through diverse perspectives, attracting better talent, and creating solutions to solve problems faster together.
The human race is formed of diverse people with distinct experiences and skills. Disregarding someone because of who and what they are can make you lose out on great talent. However, diversity isn’t simply a matter of hiring diverse candidates simply to meet quotas and boost public perception – it needs to be done thoughtfully and purposely. As American political activist, Jesse Jackson once stated, “Inclusion is not a matter of political correctness. It is the key to growth.”
But don’t just take his word for it. This is backed by research: In a study from 2018, McKinsey found that companies with gender diversity in their management teams were 21% more likely to be profitable, while those with ethnic and cultural diversity were 33% more likely.
With that being said, here are some of the many benefits of cultural diversity in the workplace.
4 Benefits of Cultural Diversity:
Higher Team Performance
Cultural diversity in the workplace helps to increase productivity at work. We must remember that a diverse workplace includes employees from different backgrounds, races, and ethnicities, and when they work together, it breeds a productive work environment. Diversity is all about bringing different beliefs, values, and norms together for talents to work on a common goal. Team members will learn and grow through sharing each other’s experiences and apply them to their work.
Employees from different backgrounds get to learn from their colleagues’ experiences from a different perspective. You enable them to bring fresh ideas to their assignments by thinking out of the box, resulting in increased productivity.
Blending skill sets increases innovation and creativity
The second significant benefit of cultural diversity is the boosting of creativity in the team and concludes to a more diverse set of solutions to specific issues.
Many solutions will occur when so many different groups of people with diverse ideas come together and work. Every individual has their way of thinking, operating, decision-making, and problem-solving skills. Employers and companies who promote diversity in the workplace inspire their workforce to perform to their highest potential.
More diversity means a happier team
Workplace diversity is important for the intangible factors in modern business, such as cultivating a sense of community within the company. Connected employees are enthusiastic, committed workers. Contemporary organizations know that a strong sense of community in the workplace can inspire their employees to do their best and boost overall job satisfaction.
The best workplaces forge bonds among co-workers of different political views, different backgrounds, different job titles. A connected sense of community will create an ongoing sense of mutual respect, which will add up to a more positive corporate culture for all employees. Working with different cultures can also be personally and professionally enriching. Bonding over cultural differences can help people become more globally minded and break down preconceived prejudices or biases.
The sharing of experiences can result in each employee gaining a greater sense of camaraderie, increasing their general sense of happiness working for a company that promotes such inclusivity.
Building a positive company reputation
Another benefit of cultural diversity in the workplace is the positive reputation that the company would receive. Companies that recruit and encourage individuals from a wide range of backgrounds generally gain a reputation for being a good employer. Potential clients often feel more valued and thus give more business to these organizations.
A diverse collection of skills and experiences allows a company to provide service to customers on a global basis because the company is able to relate and understand their clients better, and some even on a personal level.
Wrapping things up
Diversity in the workplace is not just a trendy topic; it is the future of work. For many companies, it is still a work in progress since it asks for a change in attitudes and different ways of working together. The biggest pitfall is the tendency to expect employees from several backgrounds to adapt to the ways of others. Instead, cultural, religious, and other differences should be embraced for their benefits.
Diversity and Inclusivity are more than catch-all phrases in the business world. In 2021, if you’re not prioritizing diversity and inclusivity in your workforce, you’re missing out on vital opportunities for your company to succeed.