Cultural Diversity at the Workplace to Increase Productivity
With the increasing globalisation, the world is becoming smaller and smaller in the sense that people from different ethnic backgrounds and cultures are migrating to different places in search of better jobs and livelihood. Employers have started to look at diversity as a major resource in terms of increasing the overall value of their company.
In this article we will discuss how cultural diversity can be created in the workforce and how it can help increase the overall productivity of the organisation.
What is Cultural Diversity?
Cultural diversity refers to the presence of people from different backgrounds of race, religion and locations within society. The presence and involvement of people from different cultural backgrounds give an organisation a lot of benefits and opportunities to increase their productivity.
Type of Diversity
Diversity at a workplace can be of various types based on the differences in their backgrounds and cultures. According to recent studies, the different factors that can bring diversity into the workforce at an organisation are:
- Ethnicity: This is the main factor which brings in diversity in any place. People from different races and ethnic backgrounds should be given a chance to work together and share their opinions. Ethnicity includes individuals of different cultures such as Hispanic, Asian, people of colour.
- Age: Age is a factor which allows for the blend of youthfulness and experience. By incorporating people of different ages, organisations can benefit from the outcome of their collaboration as the younger employees can come up with new and innovative ideas whereas the older more experienced individuals can help shape those ideas for the best outcome.
- Education: Regardless of the nature of industry an organisation is into, having people from different educational backgrounds is a necessity for any organisation to succeed. In today’s’ world, where the competition is fierce, and with the new developments in technology each day, having people with expertise in a varied scope allows the company to think dynamically and help increase its productivity.
- Religion: As globalisation increases, so does the spread of different religions across different countries. Every religion has practices which mould the thinking and working of an individual. Having people from different religious backgrounds enables the organisation to have a workforce with varied problem-solving abilities.
- Location: Location brings in the most volume of varied diversity. As people from different countries have different cultures, bringing them together as a part of a diverse workforce creates a fruitful environment for the development of creativities and perspectives.
- LGBTQ: LGBTQ stands for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer. The LGBTQ community have people of different sexual orientations. Although the sexual orientation of an individual has little to do with the work they do, having an individual from the LGBTQ community allows the company to have diversity in their workplace.
Benefits of Diversity in a Workplace
Having a diverse workforce in an organisation can have numerous benefits such as:
- Variety of Perspective
A diverse group of individuals working together in a workplace bring a lot of ideas and opinions to the table. A varied perspective can help the organisation succeed by considering all sorts of different possibilities. People from different cultural backgrounds can apply their critical thinking process and together come up with better ideas, which can help the company.
- Better Decision Making
With utilising a variety of opinions, the various outcomes and liabilities can also be analysed. By doing so, the organisation can take into consideration all of the issues and opportunities, and with the help of a diverse accumulation of ideas come up with the best possible way to deal with issues and make better decisions.
- Increased Creativity
Creativity in any organisation is increased drastically by employing people from different cultural backgrounds. As individuals are allowed to think freely for the betterment of the company, people can come together in coming up with new and creative ways of working.
- Better Innovative Abilities
Innovation is very important for any organisation to be successful. Cultural diversity can be directly correlated with innovation as with increased creativity, innovation can be enhanced which in turn will increase the overall productivity of the company.
- Increase in Profits
With all of the above benefits, the company can boost its profits to a much higher scale. Combining diversity in the workplace with effective planning and management, the productivity increases which in-turn maximises the profits.
- Enhanced Problem Solving
Problems arise in an organisation regularly, it is important to deal with them quickly and effectively. A diverse workforce can help in analysing the problem and figure out the best possible way to eliminate an issue so that it does not hinder the productivity of the organisation.
- Employee engagement
Having a variety of culturally diverse groups of people in the workforce allows for the employees to be more engaged in their job. It can also bring a sense of belonging with the new employees from different cultures.
- Better Company Reputation
The presence of a diverse workforce can help the company gain a good reputation among its customers and market itself to a wider base of potential customers.
- Better Hiring Abilities
With a better reputation, a much larger number of people will look towards being a part of the company. This creates a new opportunity for the company to widen its production process and bring in new and experienced talents which will further increase their productivity.
- Community Relations
Community relations are enhanced by having diversity in the workforce, as people from different communities can spread awareness and be helpful towards each other.
- Market Opportunities
As the interaction of the company with different communities increases, the opportunity to open its doors to new market prospects also increases. The diverse workforce can bring in market knowledge which can help an organisation to expand and prosper.
Diversity Management Techniques
Having a diverse group of people in the workforce can only be fruitful if managed correctly. Certain issues may arise in the workplace which should be dealt with proper management. The various measures which an organisation should take to make the diversity at a workplace successful are:
Training & Development: At the beginning of the induction process, all new employees should undergo mandatory, diversity training and development program. This program should be developed with the utmost care and should be in consideration of the diversity of the various employees. This will help in reducing conflicts and getting new employees used to the work culture of the particular organisation. As discussed here, diversity training facilitates positive interaction among employees having different cultural background.
Rules and Regulations: A set of rules and regulation must be in effect to ensure ethical transactions in the workplace. Since every culture has different practices, the organisation should carefully study and make regulations to allow those cultural practices which are acceptable at the workplace and which does not hinder the productivity of the organisation.
Strict Policies: With a diverse workplace environment, the main issue faced by companies all over the world is racial profiling and discrimination. Companies should establish zero-tolerance policies to eliminate discrimination of any kind and maintain a fair and impartial work environment for the employees in which they all get equal and adequate opportunities for growth.
Effective Communication: Interaction among the employees should be encouraged as only with effective communication can the employees get used to the people they work with and feel more comfortable at their place of work.
This article discussed the various ways in which an organisation can bring a change to create a diverse workforce and how it can utilise that to increase profits and productivity through effective management.