According to Wikipedia, the definition of cultural diversity is “the existence of a variety of cultural or ethnic groups within a society”.
The benefits of cultural diversity in the workplace can be huge – not only do we benefit from different ways of thinking when trying to solve tricky business issues, but regular interaction with people from other cultures can open our eyes to exciting traditions that are different from our own, which can enrich our lives.
So here are our three top tips on how you can embrace and promote the benefits of cultural diversity in the workplace.
1. Create a Culturally Diverse Holiday Calendar
There’s no rule anywhere stating that just because you live in the United Kingdom you have to strictly observe British Bank Holidays. The same goes for any country – why limit company-wide holiday days to those traditional to the place you are based?
Try to introduce popular holiday days from other cultures into your company’s holiday calendar – Chinese New Year, Eid and Hanukkah are all fantastic examples, but there are many more.
Your people will likely be motivated by your company’s respect for special days from other cultures – even if they don’t celebrate those days themselves.
2. Hold Regular ‘Culture Days’
Why not dedicate one day each month, quarter or year, to learning about a specific culture? This is especially useful if you choose cultures that are represented by people within your workforce, but it doesn’t hurt to go even further afield.
If you have a lot of people coming from a certain cultural background, you could even invite them to share what they know with the rest of the team, and ask them to suggest activities inspired by their culture that everybody can take part in on that day.
How you do it is down to you – get creative! But the important thing is to remain respectful, show a genuine interest, and to stay open-minded as to what you might learn.
3. Learn the Challenges Different Cultures Face at Work
You can even promote cultural diversity without doing anything obvious or ‘out there’ – and the way to do this is to simply research and understand the kind of challenges different cultures might face at work.
The more you know about your people, the better prepared you are to support them – and the more support them, the more motivated and engaged they will be at work.
How do YOU Promote Cultural Diversity in the Workplace?
We’d love to hear your suggestions on other ways to promote cultural diversity at work. Have you got a story to share? Are we missing something huge from this article? Let us know in the comments below!