Three Benefits of Cultural Diversity in the Workplace

What does diversity mean to you? Workplace diversity is beyond creating an equal male to female ratio. To be diverse is to acknowledge, accept, understand, and value differences regardless of race, ethnicity, physical and mental ability, spiritual practice, sexual orientation, and gender[1]. 75 per cent of Australian workers strongly support diversity and inclusion in their workplace[2].

The speedy rate of globalisation means consumers will represent an even more diverse mix, it is imperative for employers to acknowledge the significance of diversity and inclusion as a part of their organisational practices. Today’s global marketplace constitutes of a diverse range of individuals from various culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds (CALD) and employers need to ensure that their employees reflect their consumers.

Below are some advantages of cultural diversity and inclusion in the workplace.

1. Increase in Talent Productivity Recruiting individuals from CALD backgrounds creates diversity in talents. Employees in inclusive teams are 10 times more likely to be highly effective than workers in non-inclusive teams[3]. Diverse talents mean diverse skills, diverse experiences, and diverse perspectives, which increases the potential of greater productivity and increase in organisation’s competitive advantage.

2. Increase in Innovation Cultural diversity in the workplace brings in diverse innovative ideas. An individual is 9 times more likely to innovate when working in an inclusive team environment[4]. Individuals from different multicultural backgrounds bring in different levels of analytical and problem-solving skills. Working in a diverse team environment helps individuals perform to their highest level of creativity and productivity. Being innovative helps your organisation gain and maintain a competitive edge over your competitors.

3. Increase in Marketing Opportunities Having CALD individuals in your organisation is a priceless form of marketing your business to a group of people you might not reach without your culturally diverse employees. When customers see someone of their nationality employed by a particular organisation, it makes a brand more relatable, which is highly likely to increase your diverse client-base, generate new clientele and sales. it is a bonus when your employee is fluent in multiple languages. Employees in inclusive work environments are 19 times more likely to be very satisfied with their jobs than workers in non-inclusive teams[1], partly because you are interacting with colleagues and clients from various backgrounds.

In today’s globalised marketplace, promoting cultural diversity and inclusion in the workplace is essential for any business to succeed. A feeling of belonging in the workplace increases employee performance, gives every organisation a competitive edge, increases company’s reputation which would lead to increased brand awareness and market share on a global scale.

Does your organisation make a cautious effort to source culturally and linguistically diverse talents?

 

[1] See Esty, Katharine, Richard Griffin, and Marcie Schorr-Hirsh (1995), Workplace diversity. A manager’s guide to solving problems and turning diversity into a competitive advantage.

[2-5] Research findings by Diversity Council Australia, Inclusion@Work Index 2017 – 2018. https://www.dca.org.au/research/project/inclusion-index

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