Cultural diversity can refer to any differences in race, religion, sex, ethnicity, age, ability, socio-economic status, sexual orientation or language. In today’s world of political correctness, we are taught to value the differences between us and not discriminate against one another. However, it should not simply be this obligation to be politically correct that drives our thought processes and actions. Cultural diversity is very valuable to our society and in eSense Translations’ blog this week, we explain exactly how it can benefit us in the work place.
Thanks in part to the ease of travel and migration, over the last few decades, the U.K. has become a much more diverse nation. Particularly in cities, many races, ethnicities and languages live, work and socialise, for the most part, contentedly together. The workplace too has overcome a lot of discrimination over the last few years and cultural diversity is seen within most organisations. However, cultural diversity should not be something that is simply accepted. It should be enjoyed and valued. Having this diversity brings a wealth of different ideas and viewpoints that can only be a positive thing for businesses, as well as our wider communities.
Here are some examples of how cultural diversity can make an organisation stronger:
Problem Solving and Product Creation
A lot of business development is based on problem solving. Having a team of people who can offer differ viewpoints to critique a situation and offer a range of solutions, enables a business to function more effectively.
Marketing and Creative Processes
Being creative in any business is important if that business is looking to grow. Marketing and advertising needs fresh, new ideas and having people who can offer this will give a business the edge over their competitors. Fresh ideas and perspectives also lead to the creation of new and improved products for market. And having a workforce that comes from a wide range of different backgrounds enables a business to understand different customer bases, what they are looking for and how to engage with them effectively.
An organisation that demonstrates its appreciation of cultural diversity will allow the employee to feel valued and respected. This will create a stronger workforce, as employees are committed and prepared to work hard for their employers.
By welcoming a culturally diverse range of employees, the scope for recruiting the strongest employees for positions within the company is widened. Employers will be able to select the strongest candidates based on merit alone and equally those potential employees will be keen to work in an environment without discriminative barriers.
This feeling of worth extends also to the customers. Companies that embrace a diverse workforce will be attractive to a wider range of target markets and will gain increased trust from their equally diverse customers.
Cultural diversity is undoubtedly a positive thing, not only in the workplace, but also in the wider community. As shown in our blog today, there are a range of benefits to employing a culturally diverse workforce and it should never be simply to abide by today’s politically correct protocols.
It is imperative however that cultural diversity is met with open-minded and non-judgemental attitudes. If this is does not happen, differences in opinions can lead to uneasiness and conflict. The ability to work together as a team is likely to dissolve and ultimately weaken the organisation. Continuing to encourage cultural diversity, so that the positive benefits can be fully understood and enjoyed should help to avoid this situation.
By Lorna Paice