The Importance of Cultural Diversity in the Workplace

Cultural diversity in the workplace is not just a moral and legal imperative — it can also contribute to business success in many ways.

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The Importance of Cultural Diversity in the Workplace

These days, cultural diversity in the workplace is more important than ever. The workplace is constantly changing. The face of a company today may look totally different than it did 10 years ago. One reason for this is that many organizations are putting a high priority on building a diverse workplace.

The concept of cultural diversity is based on the advantages of a group of people being made up of different types of individuals. The diversity, the equity, and the inclusion of people, regardless of their age, gender, race, ethnicity, religion, or disabilities, all fall under the broad umbrella of diversity.

Let’s explore the different facets of cultural diversity in the workplace and discuss helpful tips HR pros can use to foster it. as part of its diversity, equity and inclusion efforts.

What is cultural diversity?

A population, like that of the United States, is made up of people of many cultures, genders, ages, races, religions, and disabilities. They view the world from the perspective of their cultural differences. In the workforce, strong culturally diverse groups are created through equal opportunity in hiring, advancement, and compensation.

Our cultural background shapes our ideas, thoughts, and behaviors, influences our identities, and helps to form our personalities. People from different cultural backgrounds often don’t share the same approaches or perspectives on life.

The development of a culturally diverse workforce is important in today’s business world. Companies can reap valuable benefits from hiring and cultivating employees who bring diverse backgrounds and perspectives to the workplace.

Why is diversity good for business?

Employees from diverse cultures can amplify a company’s success in many ways. Here are a handful of the biggest ones.

Diversity fosters creativity

People from different backgrounds with diverse skill sets bring unique perspectives to their roles. When companies put a priority on developing cultural diversity, they build teams that can churn out new ideas and new ways of doing things that can increase productivity and revenue.

Diversity attracts and keeps top talent

About 75% of job applicants consider diversity to be important when searching for a place of employment.

Team members, especially Millennials, yearn to work in a diverse atmosphere filled with employees from a variety of cultures. About 75% of job applicants consider diversity to be important when searching for a place of employment. If your company’s reputation is built on its promotion of diversity, it will attract more high-quality job candidates. Once you hire them, that diverse work environment will help to keep both employee engagement and employee retention rates high.

Diversity reduces harassment

A truly diverse workplace welcomes everyone, regardless of race, gender identity, religion, or sexual orientation. Those who can’t get along with folks who have different values aren’t going to choose to work in an organization that promotes diversity. When a business possesses cultural competency, it cultivates an inclusive environment built on acceptance and mutual respect.

Diversity increases minority and female representation

When you look at the “Leadership Team” page on your company website do you notice that everyone looks alike? They shouldn’t. Diversity initiatives during the hiring process are the basis for creating a diverse workforce. Recruiting and hiring minorities and females only starts the process; providing them with ample opportunities for advancement strengthens it.

Diversity leads to innovation and trust

Workplace diversity brings together people who have diverse sets of skills. The members of a culturally diverse workforce use their different perspectives to drive innovation, spark creativity, and create an environment of learning. Yes, some may come to the workplace with conflicting working styles, but this very friction may be the catalyst that gives birth to a game-changing new idea.

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5 tips to promote cultural diversity

A culturally diverse workplace, one in which high-quality candidates are empowered, doesn’t just happen. Organizations should take proactive steps to forge an inclusive culture — a culture made up of teams with religious diversity, gender and sexual orientation diversity, and racial diversity. How can you create a diverse workforce in your organization?

Organizations should take proactive steps to forge an inclusive culture — a culture made up of teams with religious diversity, gender and sexual orientation diversity, and racial diversity.

  • Revisit core values. Building a workforce based on cultural competence will only happen if the company decides that it’s a top priority. Make sure that the organization’s commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion is clear.
  • Revisit hiring practices and procedures. Is your hiring process fair to those from different cultural backgrounds? Building a workforce with more diverse employees means opening up more opportunities during your hiring process. Prominently state your commitment to diversity in the job description and on your website. Train everyone involved in the hiring process to be sensitive to, and accepting of, every person who applies and interviews.
  • Provide diversity training and include it in your team members’ continuing education. Diverse companies keep inclusivity at the top of everyone’s mind all the time.
  • Create internships and mentorships to attract diverse talent. Interns and new employees who have access to a trusted mentor are more likely to be engaged and to feel like part of the team.
  • Keep the lines of communication open. Managers, from the top down, should discuss workplace diversity in meetings, as well as one-on-one with each of their team members. They should solicit employee feedback through surveys that include targeted questions regarding diversity.

The impact of embracing cultural diversity

Embracing cultural diversity is a key element in maintaining a modern, forward-thinking organization. A workplace that promotes and respects diversity, equity, and inclusion will attract high-quality talent from diverse cultural backgrounds. This will give your organization an advantage over your competition, will help to increase employee engagement, and will elevate your company’s reputation.

Do you want to improve your workplace diversity initiatives, but you aren’t sure where to begin? Zenefits can help you craft policies and procedures that will improve cultural diversity in your workplace.

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