In the era of globalization and technology, many companies, large and small, are putting forth the effort to improve cultural diversity in the workplace. As a result of this change, there are numerous benefits to the company, employees, and the local community. Keep reading to learn about the benefits of a more diverse workplace!
What is Considered Cultural Diversity?
Cultural diversity at work is when organizations are open to hiring employees from a variety of diverse backgrounds, regardless of culture, race, or religion. When companies retain and recruit from a diverse pool of individuals, it provides numerous benefits to the company, the employees, and the community. If you consider humans, society differs across the globe with different beliefs, languages, and cultures.
Benefits of Diversity at Work
There are many positive advantages including:
Employee Engagement Improvement
What better way is there to learn about another ethnicity and culture than from working closely with someone from it? When employees work toward a common goal together, they can ask questions and learn more from each other personally and professionally. What results is a strong bond and understanding they might not normally get.
Encouragement of a Wider Range of Skills
Different employees from different backgrounds who have had varying experiences bring specific skill sets, which offers another layer of diversity. By having a wider range of knowledge and skills, companies typically enjoy an adaptable and more diverse range of products and services that can be offered to the consumers. Diversity in cultures equates to diversity in skills which trickles back to the consumer.
A 2013 survey launched by the Center for Talent Innovation determined that 48-percent of U.S. companies with increased diversity at the senior management level increased market share from the past year. Meanwhile, only 33-percent with a less diverse management structure reported year-over-year increases.
Racism Reduction and Insight Improvement
With a more culturally diverse workforce, employees tend to spend more time with others from different cultural backgrounds with whom they may not normally have exposure. This results in employees learning new cultural insights which reduces negatives like sexism, homophobia, and racism.
Reduction in Employee Turnover
Companies that embrace cultural diversity immediately entice a wider candidate pool for new jobs. Higher-educated candidates who experience diversity could view the company as more progressive and may wish to work there or remain within the organization.
Finally, companies can improve their reputation when focusing on cultural diversity. Organizations that recruit and encourage individuals from a variety of backgrounds earn a reputation for being a good employer, one that many types of candidates want to work for. Also, potential clients and customers feel more valued thus increasing business to that company. A diversity of experiences and skills allows diverse organizations to offer global customer service because the organization can better understand their clients, many on a personal level.
Benefits to the Community
Being a member of a community is critical to being human. Most of us are involved in distinct types of communities related to religion, family, school, or a specific neighborhood. As a community, people come together to support a value or share a common interest. For this reason, a shared goal of multiculturalism requires a strong community but offers many benefits, including:
An open community that fosters the exchange of cultural ideas and customs helps everyone learn more about their colleague or neighbor’s life and experiences. For communities with many children, this helps them be more accepting of differences, a skill which they will carry throughout life.
Research from a study conducted at Butler University shows that residents of inclusive and diverse communities are more economically competitive, entrepreneurial, and innovative, characteristics that boost productivity and development.
Diverse classrooms deliver an essential microcosm that allows students to prepare for professional success in a multicultural and diverse world. The Century Foundation determined that the ability to work with clients, customers, and colleagues from a distinct cultural background is considered important by 96% of employers.
In an April 2019 New York Times article, the research found that those U.S. cities with more racial segregation have higher pollution levels than less segregated cities. This leads to heart and lung issues and other chronic health problems. Less segregated cities do not experience negative health outcomes from extended pollution exposure.
Language and Heritage Diversity
A multicultural community promotes the acceptance of speaking native and second languages and validates that everyone’s language and heritage matter. This is critical for children with minority and majority backgrounds. Children from a minority group need to feel part of a community while children from a majority group learn to recognize the value of each member of that community.