Beyond the goods and services a company offers, it is the people who work there that define it. The workforce is the one that carries the entire business for growth and development. And the cultural differences among coworkers help bring out the best in the team—in terms of creativity, innovation, and productivity.
As many corporations started to embrace the remote culture because of the pandemic, hiring people based in different parts of the world became more common. Cultural diversity in teams began to emerge and grow. And in this article, we will help make your company’s work environment more inclusive. We will guide you through understanding, promoting, and even embracing cultural diversity in your workplace.
Let’s start with having a clear overview of what cultural diversity is.
What is Cultural Diversity?
As you might already know, culture is what makes us. It defines our identity, shapes our behavior, and explains why we hold particular beliefs. Therefore, cultural diversity is simply a representation of different cultural groups in society.
In the workplace, cultural diversity is not just developing a workforce composed of people with different backgrounds but building one that values the differences of one another. May it be race, ethnicity, sexual orientation and gender identity/expression (SOGIE), age, religion, language, or disability. This diversity at work goes beyond the surface-level definition.
Creating a culturally-diverse team also means including people with various political philosophies, immigration statuses, and educational and professional backgrounds. Acknowledging and embracing the differences of everyone is the actual definition of cultural diversity at work.
Why Is It Important?
Cultural diversity can help in growing your business, especially now that work-from-home setups are becoming more prevalent nowadays. Hiring people from different countries will create more collaborative teams, improving creativity and performance. Aside from that, people knowing how inclusive your business is will help your company gain trust and respect, which results in high revenue.
Ways To Create a More Diverse Workplace
There are several ways you can follow when it comes to creating a more diverse and inclusive workplace. Here are some of them:
Make Diverse Hiring Initiatives
One of the first steps to creating a diverse workplace is by making diverse hiring initiatives. You start by employing people from various cultural and economic backgrounds. Hiring HR experts and leveraging HR software can also help with sourcing people. Instead of simply advertising a job online and waiting for applicants, recruiters and HR departments may also use websites like LinkedIn to find individuals from various backgrounds.
Aside from that, creating employee resource groups (ERGs) can also help. Employees can engage with one another in these peer-led groups, exchange stories, and acknowledge their differences and commonalities in a secure environment.
However, you must know that it doesn’t end with hiring people. Companies must also foster inclusive workplaces to retain workers from various cultural backgrounds—creating an inclusive environment, which leads us to the next strategy, increasing cultural competency.
Boost Cultural Competency
Having people with diverse cultural backgrounds may also mean different ideas and expressions. Leaders must recognize these differences and foster an environment where diverse people may successfully coexist to do their best work. This principle is known as cultural competence—the ability of individuals from various cultural groups to work with one another effectively.
Making cultural competency a priority within your business is essential to empower diverse teams to do their best work; failing to do so may result in conflict and difficulties within the group. So, how do you boost cultural competency? The answer is by building diversity training.
Diversity training aims to make diverse teams work effectively and harmoniously. It helps navigate cultural differences, providing your team with the understanding they need to collaborate with their co-workers and do their best work.
Human Resource (HR) experts and outside educators play a significant role in this approach. They can help you succeed in your goal of diversity by making training programs based on your organization and the kind of training your team requires. That being said, you should allocate your budget for sourcing experts to make this successful.
Create an Inclusive Environment To Promote Cultural Diversity Within Teams
The last and most crucial step in creating a diverse place is promoting an inclusive environment. It will include acknowledging and respecting everyone in the team, regardless of ethnicity, age, gender, or disability. Aside from valuing their cultural identity, watching your language and avoiding ableist, sexist, racist, homophobic, and even coded remarks can help create an inclusive workplace.
In addition, consistently conveying and acknowledging an employee’s efforts and contributions professionally and personally will boost inclusivity. For this instance, you must be unbiased towards anyone and encourage different viewpoints around certain situations.
Moreover, celebrating one’s culture in any way you can also helps promote cultural diversity and inclusivity. Hosting holidays your employee celebrates like Pride will make them feel important. The point is that honoring their cultures will show your employees that they are seen and valued for who they are, where they are from, and what they bring to the table—and this is the key to fostering a truly diverse workplace.
Cultural diversity is essential in every workplace, knowing that everyone comes from different parts of the world with different ideals and experiences. With this guide, even if you’re a beginner, you can successfully employ cultural diversity in your business.