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Multicultural Effects on the Workplace

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Technology and globalization have changed the way we work and live. Increasingly, the work force is becoming a multicultural landscape. According to the U.S. Department of Commerce, multiculturalism can encompass a range of cultural, social, ethnic and economic differences; and businesses are learning to take full advantage of the range of skills and talents this changing work force is bringing to the table.

Multiculturalism And Diversity

Multiculturalism brings diversity to the workplace. The Commerce Department defines diversity as the unique characteristics and experiences people bring to the work force. Diversity may include, but is not limited to, many different facets of individuals and team members within a work place, such as race, gender, religion, age, disability, and national origin. Other elements that affect a diverse work force include an employee’s communication ability, geographical culture, socioeconomic status, and individual work style.

Policies And Procedures

Multiculturalism has effects on policies and procedures within organizations. Organizations have to develop policies that accommodate a diverse work force and that reflect the need to respect that diversity. Policies need to be positive and address possible harassment, which is always a concern when bringing people from many different cultures and backgrounds into a formerly static work environment. The Commerce Department recommends that organizations implement policies that foster inclusiveness, organizational effectiveness, productivity, customer service and day-to-day efficiency. This includes adopting employee training measures that reinforce the importance of diversity.

Recruitment and Hiring

Multiculturalism in the workplace has effects on recruitment and hiring. According to the Commerce Department, employers must work to increase the richness of diversity in their work force, and use creative strategies to recruit and retain the best employees. Recruitment efforts should highlight a businesses' efforts to promote diversity in their workplace, and recruiting should include as many different programs and resources as possible when seeking multicultural candidates.


Multiculturalism also affects employee training. Training programs must focus on organizational mission statements, which should incorporate elements of diversity and inclusion, as well as the company’s stance on harassment and intolerance for any type of discrimination. The company that has truly embraced a multicultural philosophy will implement policies and training that build teamwork and include activities that encourage employees to work together for a common cause; while also fostering individual team goals and independent successes.


Aanya Rose has been writing since 1998. Her work has appeared in "ADDitude," "Curl," "Diabetes Alternatives," "Fitness," the "Healing Path" and more. She has served as a channel manager for various websites and worked in consultation and training. Rose holds a B.S. and Ph.D.

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