August 05, 2020
By Lauren Clarke, 6Q.com
In this era of technology and globalisation, many companies are making an effort to succeed in cultural diversity in the workplace.
There are some very positive benefits that can be hard from having a more diverse workforce. Let’s discuss eight amazing benefits to individuals and employing companies;
- Increased productivity
- Improved creativity
- Increased profits
- Improved employee engagement
- Reduced employee turnover
- Improved company reputation
- Wider range of skills
- Improves cultural insights
Before we dive in to the main benefits though, what exactly do we mean when we say diversity?
What is cultural diversity in the workplace?
Cultural diversity in the workplace is when companies are open to hiring employees from all sorts of different backgrounds; regardless of race, religion and culture. When companies recruit and retain a diverse pool of people, it brings about different benefits to the company as well as its employees.
Think of the human race as a whole; we are a very diverse species across the globe, with many different cultures, languages and beliefs. Why then, in this age of globalisation, should we not focus on ensuring our workforces are just as diverse?
“When employees respect each other and get along in the workplace, it’s amazing how productivity increases, morale increases and employees are more courteous to customers.”
– Maureen Wild
Cultural diversity can improve productivity levels
Do you know that a diverse company can lead to greater productivity? Diversity brings in different talents together, all of them working towards a common goal using different sets of skills.
In their research, The economic value of cultural diversity: evidence from US cities, the Authors conclude that “these findings are consistent with a dominant positive effect of diversity on productivity: a more multicultural urban environment makes US-born citizens more productive.”
Companies will also gain from each employee by learning from each other’s experiences and applying this new-found knowledge to their work. Employees from all sorts of different backgrounds get to learn from their colleagues’ experiences from a different perspective. Thus, they are able to bring fresh ideas to the project by thinking out of their comfort zone.
Remember that a diverse workplace combines employees from different backgrounds, ethnicity and experiences, and together breed a more productive environment.
Cultural diversity can increase creativity
Another benefit of cultural diversity in the workplace is the increase in creativity among teams, and the ability to have a more diverse set of solutions to specific problems.
In this Forbes article, the writers points out “Research on creativity and innovation has been consistent in showing the value of exposing individuals to experiences with multiple perspectives and world views. It is the combination of these various perspectives in novel ways that result in new ideas “popping up.”
With so many different and diverse minds coming and working together, many more solutions will arise as every individual brings in their personal way of thinking, operating and solving problems and making decisions. Companies that encourage diversity in the workplace inspire all of their employees to perform to their highest ability.
Cultural diversity can increase profits
Many recent studies have shown that increased cultural diversity in the workplace can lead to greater profits for the organisation.
A 2013 survey undertaken by think tank, Center for Talent Innovation, found that 48 per cent of companies in the US with more diversity at senior management level improved their market share the previous year, while only 33 per cent companies with less diverse management reported similar growth.
48 per cent of companies in the US with more diversity at senior management level improved their market share
This may be in part to global business trends, and the benefits of language diversity.
For example; with the rise of companies dealing their businesses in China, a company that hires employees fluent in Mandarin to increase the company’s reputation in Chinese communities. This could result in an increase in sales, and resulting in improved profits.
Cultural diversity can improve employee engagement
What better way to learn about other culture and ethnicity than from colleagues that come from a different background than your own? Forget about researching them online.
Ask and learn them from employees during lunch break or after work drinks. What is the point of having a pool of diverse employees when they do not learn more about each other’s lifestyle and culture.
When your employees are sharing their personal experiences when they were in high school or what each or every festive season meant to them, they have built a trusting relationship among their colleagues.
This is great because it increases employee engagement and at times increase employee motivation as well, which is great for the company.