As technology continues to advance and the world becomes more closely connected, companies are finding ways to increase cultural diversity in the workplace. A diverse culture in the workplace is beneficial to companies and employees for many reasons. There is a positive correlation between the long-term success of a company and its cultural diversity.
When people from different backgrounds, including race, religion, and culture, work together toward a common goal, both the employees and the company benefit for this collaborative effort.
What Is a Diverse Culture in the Workplace?
Often, people ask, “What is cultural diversity in the workplace?” This is becoming a popular policy that is implemented in many different types of organizations.
Simply put, diverse culture in the workplace is an inclusive approach where companies make an effort to ensure that the differences in people across the world are represented within the company.
To achieve this, companies focus on including people with differences in race, ethnicity, socioeconomic status, religion, gender, age, sexual orientation, nationality, language, and skills.
A primary benefit is that the company is able to draw on perspectives that span the population so that it can better provide what people need in terms of products or services.
Companies need to embrace policies that promote a diverse culture in the workplace so they will succeed. When a company promotes these policies, employees come into the organization knowing that tolerance and mutual respect are expected.
That creates an environment where the workforce is more open-minded and committed to the benefits of learning about other perspectives.
Related article: How to Change Culture in a Company
What Are the Challenges of Diversity in the Workplace?
There are challenges associated with cultural diversity in the workplace, but usually, companies overcome them. One challenge is the language barriers that come from speaking different languages.
In addition, it can be difficult to get people who are stuck in their ways to be open-minded. Generational differences can also pose difficulties.
But companies that promote workforce diversity develop policies to prevent those cultural barriers. And then companies communicate those policies through regular engagement meetings. They also provide diversity training to show employees why cultural diversity is important.
What Are the Benefits of Cultural Diversity in the Workplace?
There are many benefits to workplace diversity and inclusion that go beyond simply learning to get along and tolerate differences. Take a look at the following 15 benefits that come when companies embrace a diverse culture in the workplace:
1. Diversity Gives Access to Perspectives Across the Population
When a company engages in the practice of promoting workplace diversity, they gain valuable insight into a wide range of perspectives. This is beneficial for developing business strategies and marketing campaigns.
When a business has an inside view on what different cultures want, need, and expect from them, they can develop a better strategy for providing the best products and services.
2. Workplace Diversity Increases Productivity
When you look at the large corporations in the world, you will see that most of them are culturally diverse, with a range of backgrounds, talents, and skills.
The same holds true within a medium or in a small size company. It is becoming clear that companies that promote workplace diversity see greater levels of motivation and productivity.
Cultural diversity makes the workplace a more interesting environment, and people are less likely to lose motivation and become stagnant.
When a company has diversity at the management levels, employees will work harder because they know that doors won’t be shut out based on cultural differences.
Having fresh perspectives to consider at work raises the productivity levels of employees, which directly benefits the business.
3. Cultural Diversity in the Workplace Leads to a Positive Reputation for the Company
Having cultural diversity in the workplace benefits a company’s reputation because it’s seen as promoting tolerance and acceptance. As a result, more people worldwide are able to relate to their brand.
Today the world is all about people coming together globally and knocking down the barriers created by cultural differences, so companies will foster a positive feeling in people by working toward cultural diversity.
4. Diversity in the Workplace Leads to Creative Solutions
Diversity enables people with many different points of view to come together to address specific problems. In creating solutions, all of these perspectives lead to creative problem-solving.
Employees are more engaged in brainstorming sessions, which leads to new and innovative ideas being formed. This allows for creative solutions to problems.
5. Culturally Diverse Companies Solve Problems More Quickly
When a company engages in cultural diversity, they are able to solve problems faster. During meetings, teams address problems. Because so many different perspectives are put forward, there are more possible ways to solve problems. This leads to the ability to find the best solutions quickly.
6. Companies with Cultural Diversity Have Employees with a Wider Range of Skills
Cultural diversity includes more than just differences in race, religion and socioeconomic status. It also includes the practice of hiring people with different levels of experience and different skills.
When a company opts to hire people based on what they can bring to the team as opposed to hiring people who check the right boxes, the company ends up with employees with a wide range of skills.
This enables the company to reach a greater number of markets and globalize their offerings.
7. Diverse Culture in the Workplace Fosters Insight and Discourages Racism
Racism often comes from a place of ignorance of other cultures’ customs and beliefs. A company that promotes diversity exposes employees to people from other cultural backgrounds and educates them on their beliefs and customs. Through working together, employees develop respect and tolerance for difference and become less afraid of it.
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8. Companies with Culturally Diverse Workplaces Receive Higher-Quality Job Applicants
Companies always want to hire the best and the brightest, but if these people aren’t applying for the job, they have to settle for those who do. When a company has a policy of promoting cultural diversity, they are able to draw in applicants who are the most talented in their fields.
9. Diversity in the Workplace Leads to Higher Employee Retention
A culturally diverse workplace leads to higher employee retention because people feel respected and appreciated. Most job applicants who are coming from universities are accustomed to being in a diverse student body, and they may expect the same at work.
Employees are also less concerned about future employment discrimination when a company promotes diversity.
10. Companies Realize Greater Profits When the Workplace Is Diverse
As the world becomes smaller and businesses need to cross borders to market to clients and consumers worldwide, having a diverse workforce leads to the ability to identify with global markets and cross-language boundaries.
That, in turn, leads to greater profitability, as businesses can offer more goods to a greater number of people.
11. Workplace Diversity Leads to Better Employee Engagement
One goal of companies that leads to growth and productivity is employee engagement. When people come together from different backgrounds and work in the same space, they get to know each other and learn about each other.
As employees get to know each other and build relationships during lunchtime or breaks, they become more engaged because work is an interesting place to be.
In addition, diversity leads to personal growth for employees, which helps them stay engaged. Many people list personal growth as an important factor in the workplace.
12. Workplace Diversity Reduces the Fear of Speaking Out
Often, people are afraid to speak their minds because there is a tendency to be afraid of standing apart from the pack.
When cultural diversity exists in the workplace, however, people aren’t afraid because they know that different viewpoints and ideas are not only accepted but even welcomed. This allows employees to speak their minds freely and can lead to new ideas and solutions that improve the company.
13. Companies That Are Culturally Diverse Can Offer More Products and Services
Companies that are diverse are able to develop and offer a greater range of products and services because they have the people in-house who know what different cultures want. This way, a company doesn’t get stuck in a rut by marketing to one specific demographic.
14. Companies That Promote Diversity Have Better Relationships with Their Communities
Communities are becoming more and more diverse, and companies need the support of their communities. When a company mimics the diversity of its community, people think more highly of them. As a result, the company is able to use its cultural diversity to learn new perspectives and make a difference in the community where it matters to people the most.
15. Diversity Will Improve a Company’s Customer Service
When a company has employees who come from different backgrounds and speak different languages, they can better provide customer service for their customers. Customer satisfaction and good impressions drive future sales and profitability and are critical for success.
Is diversity in the workplace important? As Always, I invite your thoughts