Successful companies use diversity in their workforce as a competitive advantage. Increased diversity in a business leads to a boost in idea generation, the ability to understand a wide variety of customer segments and the ability to expand internationally with greater ease. The best strategies for cultural diversity in the workplace increase the cultural variety in your workforce as well as enhance the benefits of having employees of different backgrounds in your company.
Actively look for employment candidates from a wide variety of cultural backgrounds. Recruit from colleges or universities that feature a highly diverse student population, encourage referrals from current employees that come from culturally distinctive groups and place help-wanted ads at local cultural centers. For higher-level positions, you can increase the impact of your cultural recruitment by offering work visa sponsorship to both students from other countries who are completing their education in the United States and to highly skilled workers in foreign countries that could help boost your business’s available skills.
Enhance Understanding of Diversity Benefits
Enhance the benefits of the cultural diversity that currently exists in your organization. Use training sessions to explain the benefits of including diverse ideas in the company. Incorporate training on brainstorming methods and how to be inclusive and encouraging of ideas that may not familiar. Consider highlighting your culturally diverse employees through published interviews, discussions in small groups or even in larger group meetings. When your employees understand the impact of diversity on your company’s success, they will be more eager to look for ways to incorporate cultural differences into their everyday work patterns.
For all team-based work assignments, try to include as many employees from different cultural backgrounds as possible. Not only will employees become more familiar with cultural differences, you will benefit from an enhanced knowledge base on the team assignments. Whenever possible, create group assignments to help facilitate cross-cultural exchange among your employees.
Vision Statements and Corporate Policies
Construct a corporate vision statement that represents your company’s dedication to cultural diversity. Back up your vision statement with specific corporate policies. Include diversity issues in your discrimination policies, discuss diversity in employee orientation meetings and ensure that your time-off policies support cultural differences for holidays and religious observances. Train your managers to be sensitive to cultural diversity personnel issues as well as to be active listeners that recognize culturally distinct ideas that could enhance your business.