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A culturally diverse workforce gives your business competitive advantages by bringing together different talents. It takes work, however, and a deliberate effort on your part to promote an environment that encourages and accepts diversity. A diverse workforce raises your company’s profile as an equal opportunity employer.
Diversity in your workplace begins with you giving all job candidates a fair chance, regardless of their cultural background. If you find yourself not able to do this, work on correcting your own biases or request the help of someone who is more open-minded. Doing so gives you an opportunity to have a more diverse workforce. Let the finalist candidates interview with your other employees and observe any issues that develop that should be addressed to avoid staff cultural biases.
Appreciate each individual employee for the unique qualities they bring to the work place. For example, the ability to assist customers by speaking a native language can add diversity. Recognize employees and compliment them for working as a team. This encourages the employees to appreciate each other’s differences and inculcates a team spirit. Appreciation also ensures that employees do not hide but embrace their individuality.
Encourage employees to communicate and interact with each other on and off the job. It helps the employees learn more about each other and communicate with each other. You can also initiate these interactions by organizing work place events, such as a sporting family day or a dance party that features music from different cultures . Such events encourage intercultural interaction and appreciation. Additionally, interacting away from the work place helps employees appreciate each other’s unique cultures' clothing, music and food.
Treat each employee fairly by respecting each individual’s uniqueness. For example, scheduling a meeting on a day that coincides with an employee’s cultural holiday may result to resentment and a feeling of oppression. However, rescheduling the meeting and communicating that to everyone shows your sensitivity and helps all your employees understand that your business respects individual needs. Additionally, give all employees equal opportunities at promotion by ensuring that no particular culture dominates all senior positions. Fairly address any discriminatory issues that arise.
Jane Quanbeck’s professional writing career dates back to 2004. She holds a Masters in Business Administration and a Bachelor of Commerce in finance from Richard Ivey School of Business, University of Western and Queens School of Business, respectively. She also has a diploma in journalism from Grant McEwan College.