09 Oct Why does cultural diversity matter within the workplace?
Culture is something that shapes us as a species; our behaviour, beliefs, values and norms are what make us human. It is the lens through which people live their lives and for this reason it is important to have cultural diversity in the workplace. Naturally, people who come from different cultures have different worldviews and a different knowledge base, which presents excellent means for us to understand each other’s differences, respect them and to learn from one another.
Culture has great influence on a person’s perception of the world and their intellectual capabilities and insight. A variety in viewpoints offers teams new perspectives and ideas, making employees more likely to think outside of the box. This can present several positive opportunities for an organisation to grow and improve in many ways. A diverse workforce has been found to drive innovation and make the organisation more profitable. The different cultures within the workforces can give the organisation a competitive edge, for example, it can lead to a better understanding of how a product or service should be adjusted or adapted to thrive in other countries. According to Hult Business School, ethnically diverse organisations had an increased likelihood of 25% to be more profitable than competitors with less diversity.
Putting diversity first in the workplace is also likely to make your organisation more attractive to candidates and they have a higher propensity to stay with your organisation. Research has shown that employee turnover is less in companies with a more culturally diverse workforce, translating to a more diverse company culture; which is an important aspect in retaining employees. Having diversity in the workplace allows employees to feel more welcome to share opinions, ideas and perspectives, therefore driving innovation in the workplace.
Cultural diversity is something we should value in the workplace as it not only contributes to increased profitability for an organisation. It also allows us to learn and grow from other people’s cultures and experiences. It also complements our own experiences which help us create better work and improve collaboration. In addition to that, cultural diversity helps foster personal growth and development in regards to intercultural competencies. Therefore, fostering a solid workplace strategy to include diversity is highly important to create a more profitable organisation stemming from improved collaboration and innovation from employees.
For more information on creating a solid workplace strategy, download our most recent whitepaper “Why should you incorporate a healthy workplace strategy?“.