The words on everybody's lips, and for good reason — cultural diversity aims to level the playing field but also brings substantial advantages for the company concerned.
Providing diverse solutions, increasing a team's adaptability, and supplying improved profits - many companies are seeing the intrinsic value of having a workforce that resembles the "real-world" population in terms of age, gender, sexual orientation, ethnicity, race, and ability.
The benefits of cultural diversity in the workplace stretch far beyond a company's image. Connecting team members from different backgrounds creates a holistic view of a problem. It also helps to challenge outdated views within certain industries. Here are some key benefits of a culturally diverse workforce.
For a disabled person, living in an able-bodied world requires intensive problem-solving. These skills are invaluable to businesses.
In fact, problem-solving is something diverse people are required to do on a daily basis. From perfecting a second language to educating their family about pronouns, diversity makes it necessary for a person to build mental flexibility and resilience.
By including people from different backgrounds in workplace conversations, an organization can bring diverse solutions to the fast-paced world of business.
Cultural diversity alone may not be enough to increase mental health in the workplace, but when inclusion strategies are put in place, the environment this fosters can be highly beneficial to all.
Strategies such as inclusion training can help build a supportive environment for diverse colleagues. Beyond that, they also build an atmosphere of accepting individuality, which builds confidence in all workers.
Cultural diversity brings varied perspectives to the table. As business innovation is constantly accelerating (particularly in terms of new technologies), diverse companies can have a competitive advantage.
Certain disabilities can cause a person to have enhanced capabilities in particular areas. For example, ADHD is thought to increase creativity, whereas a physical disability makes a person closely aware of the spacial layout and accessibility issues in a particular space. Of course, each person is unique so individual strengths should be acquainted with on a case-by-case basis.
Cultural competence refers to skills that allow an individual or organisation to effectively communicate with people of other cultures. Having workers from different backgrounds increases the value of cross-cultural communication within and outside of the organisation.
Diversity in the workplace can come in many forms. With language diversity, companies can grow and strengthen international connections. Companies can also keep an eye on innovations happening in other countries and respond promptly.
Finally, having a team from different social classes allows the company to maintain awareness and contact with the population as a whole. Social classes can have polarised political and philosophical standpoints so maintaining awareness of these worldviews can strengthen a company's voice.
According to Forbes, creativity is increased manifold by the integration of a different cultural perspective. Experiences such as living in a different culture have been shown in studies to increase creativity through expanding a person's openness.
When they promote diversity, companies develop an environment where differences of opinion are celebrated. This increases innovation as well as interpersonal acceptance.
When creativity is boosted by diversity in the workplace, this impacts individual company processes including marketing. Unique perspectives can provide a much-needed rehaul of the way a company markets itself, instilling a fresh look and maximising revenue.
Innovation is the act of implementing creative ideas - putting ideas into practice. As diversity in the workplace increases creativity, it is only natural that innovation should follow.
Innovation requires cooperation, positive communication, and a diverse range of talents to make things work out. By promoting diversity, a company promotes innovation.
By creating an environment of inclusion, a company is more likely to retain employees long-term. If employees feel valued and accepted for their individuality, they are more likely to hold on to a position.
Further to this, by improving the psychological climate, a company increases motivation. This means that skilled employees have the right environment to flourish in their position.
A study performed by Deloitte in Australia revealed that employees in a diverse workforce, who also feel truly included, are 80% more likely to report that they work in a high-performing organisation.
Further to this, diverse teams provide a more mentally stimulating work environment. Employees are also likely to engage more when they feel included.
Workplace diversity has been proven to speed-up problem-solving abilities. Harvard business review found that in a more diverse workforce, employees were able to solve problems faster than those who were in a non-diverse workforce.
Perhaps this goes without saying, after all, it is well-known that in order to reach a decision, we must obtain as much knowledge as possible. However, the study also demonstrates that any communication issues experienced within a culturally diverse workforce are exceeded by the benefits of intercultural knowledge-sharing. In simpler words: there may be
Of course, companies who are publically embracing cultural diversity are more trustworthy to the general public. By committing to workplace diversity, a company can demonstrate its ethics. In today's world, investors and consumers alike are increasingly concerned with the ethical standpoint of organisations. A diverse workplace is a key indicator of a good employer and an ethical company.
Further to this, cultural diversity is a marker of a forward-thinking company. This shows the world that a company is keeping up to speed with the fast-paced world of business.
Many companies now champion diversity and inclusion within the workplace. Names such as Sodexo, Accenture, Mastercard, and Marriott International all implement diversity strategies in their acquisition process.
Marriott International has made the list of "World's Best Multinational Workplaces", has been listed as one of the best companies to work for in Fortune 100, and has been achieving growing financial returns year on year since.
Many companies now report the positive impact that hiring diverse employees has on their business. Thankfully, we now have a wealth of data to prove it.