cultural diversity in the workplace

6 Amazing Benefits of Cultural Diversity in the Workplace

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 six amazing benefits to individuals and employing companies;

  • Increased productivity
  • Improved creativity
  • Increased profits
  • Improved employee engagement
  • Reduced employee turnover
  • Improved company reputation

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.

“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 worldviews. 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 decision. Companies that encourage diversity in the workplace inspire all of their employees to perform to their highest ability.

 

cultural diversity in the workplace

Photo: Kenneth Lu, Flickr

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.

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.

Cultural diversity can reduce employee turnover

A company that embraces cultural diversity in the workplace would immediately entices a wider pool of candidates for its job vacancies. Higher-educated candidates who experienced diversity while at university may feel that a diverse company is more progressive and therefore will want to work there.

The more candidates that applied for a job with a company, the company would generally enjoy a larger pool of candidates; the company is than spoilt for choice.

See also How We Encourage Diversity and Equality in Our Content Marketing

Companies who are recruiting from a diverse pool of candidates only mean a more qualified workplace. When companies recruit from a diverse set of potential employees, they are more likely to hire the best of the best for the industry.

In a constantly increasingly competitive economy where skills and talents are crucial to improving the company, put together the most diverse set of candidates is increasingly necessary to succeed in the market.

Do take note that job seekers are drawn to companies with diverse workforces because it is obvious that the companies do not practice employment discrimination.

Cultural diversity reflects positively on reputation

Another benefit of cultural diversity in the workplace is the positive reputation that the company would receive. Companies who recruit and encourage individuals from a wide range of backgrounds generally gain a reputation for being a good employer.

Potential clients often feel more valued and thus give more business to these organisations.

A diverse collection of skills and experiences allows a company to provide service to customers on a global basis because the company is able to relate and understand their clients better, and some even on a personal level.

“Diversity; the art of thinking independently together.”

– Malcom Forbes

In Summary

When next planning to hire new employees, consider making an effort to hire a diverse range of people, across gender, age and cultural backgrounds. Your organisation could soon see the benefits of;

  • Increased productivity
  • Improved creativity
  • Increased profits
  • Improved employee engagement
  • Reduced employee turnover
  • Improved company reputation

I wish you all the best in increasing the cultural diversity in your team and workforce!