The beauty of living in a world that plays host to over seven billion people is the fact that no two of them are exactly the same. It is those inherent differences that exist between people that also contribute to them being true individuals as opposed to being dull and uninspiring members of the pack. These differences are routinely sought out by individuals as they even make it a point to travel to foreign locales just so they can experience different cultures. This is a culturally diverse world, and that reality is now also becoming evident inside the workplace.
Culturally diversity is a thing to celebrate, but it’s not always the easiest thing to deal with. The difficulty arises from the fact that since people come from different backgrounds, that also means that they have grown accustomed to different social norms and practices. Someone may already be performing an act that can be deemed offensive by other cultures without that person even realizing that there was something wrong with what he was doing.
This is the reality that cultural diversity imposes upon people, and for the most part, individuals are more than willing to deal with the differences that do exist. It’s easy enough to practice being accepting in everyday life, but things start to get different when the workplace is involved in the matter.
Right off the bat, you need to be cognizant of the fact that the workplace you are managing or supervising is going to contain a cast of characters that may be different from the ones in the past, but that’s a good thing, since a workplace that values talent and attitude over things such as culture and race is always going to be more productive in the long run. The business world is going to be unkind if you are willfully ignorant of the changes that are taking place in this world, so embrace the differences and turn your workplace into a happier and more engaging environment by using a few of these helpful management strategies.
The first and arguably most important step to promoting diversity acceptance in the workplace is to recognize the inherent differences that exist between people that possess widely varied backgrounds. It’s important to recognize the fact that these differences be physical or cultural. In order to truly everyone feel that they are accepted within the workplace, it would help you to become more inquisitive. Learning more about your employees and their backgrounds is a great way to celebrate the diversity that exists within your office.
The next thing you can do as the manager of a diverse workplace is to treat each and every employee fairly. You need to be mindful of the differences that exist between different cultures and use them as factors in the way you operate. Just be careful not to become too biased towards one person as this may render your efforts to bring about fairness ultimately useless. You’ve showcased fairness and understanding thus far, but your efforts will also be useless if the rest of your employees aren’t on board with making your workplace a culturally-diverse one.
More often than not, the employees that are resistant to all these cultural differences are also the ones that misunderstand them the most. So how can you effectively solve this problem? You can encourage each and every one of your employees to interact with each other. A conversation can do wonders for a relationship, and your employees can really benefit from getting to know their fellow co-workers. It’s a seemingly small step, but it can really promote harmony within the culturally-diverse workplace.
This article is shared by Ted Swanger; an HR practitioner in California and at the same time, a consultant for a marketing firm in Seattle. In some of his works, he tackled Emile Haddad seattle’s contribution to business management.