Cultural Diversity Training in the Workplace. The goal is to create a series of strengths that allows everyone to grow over time. While these can be enriching and even beneficial in a diverse professional environment, they can also cause misunderstandings or ill feelings between team members. Moreover, local connections, native language skills, and cultural understanding can boost international business development exponentially. In a competitive global job market, demonstrating that your business is invested in fostering a multicultural and inclusive environment can make you stand out to the right candidates. According to Kravitz, both these claims are naïve and inaccurate. Discrimination and wars based on cultures are the sole purpose they are deemed as “not … A memorable McDonalds print ad in Finland may have been considered clever locally, but it was seen as confusing and even grotesque by foreign audiences. Hiring managers focus on leadership qualities too often.Diversity in the workplace seeks out experts who excel in their chosen career, job function, and team environment. Oppression, high stress and low job performance are just a few effects of cultural stereotypes in the workplace. Originally from Michigan in the U.S., she relocated to the U.K. in 2010 to pursue a master’s degree at Hertford College, Oxford. Interested in giving your cultural competency and business acumen a boost? The danger of making a serious marketing blunder, which can cause irreparable damage to a brand or business abroad, can be mitigated by employing a diverse workforce with local marketing savvy. Page calls it the "diversity paradox." Do these influence your professional life today? Cross-cultural understanding, along with local market knowledge, lends itself the production of more effective marketing strategy and materials. Here are the three common missteps: When it’s mandatory. To critically understand the benefits that diversity brings into the workplace, one must completely understand the term ‘diversity’.The Committee on Diversity of the Chancellor describes it as: “The variety of experiences and perspectives that result from differences in race, culture… Where a Japanese colleague may not feel it appropriate to leave work before their manager (or, indeed, anyone else), a Swedish professional may be used to a 6-hour working day. Sometimes, a little bit of humor is the best way to diffuse negativity. Make the most of what your career has to offer with a Masters in International Business from Hult. Beyond visas, further accommodations for a recruiting and retaining a culturally diverse workforce should be taken into account. The time and expenses invested may not have value if the company sees limited benefits of having a diverse workplace. Acceptance fosters mutual respect and prevents conflicts from arising. Fundamentally, an inclusive and culturally diverse business will attract talented, ambitious, and globally minded professionals who will appreciate the opportunity for personal and professional growth. It’s also critical to create an open and inclusive workplace environment, so all team members feel empowered to contribute. Positive effects can include building a sound knowledge base with in-house talent, which can make for smoother integration of the organization into foreign cultures.One negative effect of cultural diversity in the workplace … Even brand taglines can get badly lost in translation. Things like comfortable levels of physical space, making or maintaining eye contact, and gesturing can all be vastly different across cultures. Even something as simple as a greeting or handshake has cultural implications that should be considered in a work environment. Diversity can lend a competitive advantage to an organization if skillfully managed, but if not, an organization can be negatively affected by having an unwelcoming work environment. Elements of culture, such as language and dress, may clash with established norms within a workplace, giving rise to resentment and mistrust. An inclusive atmosphere of cross-cultural cooperation is an excellent way to bond colleagues and teams across the business. This Way: 7 Biggest Diversity Issues in the Workplace, FDI: Top Challenges of Diversity in the Workplace, Advantages & Disadvantages of Having a More Diverse Workforce, Benefits of Accommodating Workforce Diversity. Different perceptions of time can cause a great misunderstanding and mishap in the workplace, especially with scheduling and deadlines. A potential benefit is an increase in creativity … 13 benefits and challenges of cultural diversity in the workplace, Hult International Business School is a 501 (c)(3) non-profit educational organization registered in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and accredited by, Diverse cultural perspectives can inspire creativity and drive innovation, Local market knowledge and insight makes a business more competitive and profitable, Cultural sensitivity, insight, and local knowledge means higher quality, targeted marketing, Drawing from a culturally diverse talent pool allows an organization to attract and retain the best talent, A diverse skills base allows an organization to offer a broader and more adaptable range of products and services, Diverse teams are more productive and perform better, Greater opportunity for personal and professional growth, Colleagues from some cultures may be less likely to let their voices be heard, Integration across multicultural teams can be difficult in the face of prejudice or negative cultural stereotypes, Professional communication can be misinterpreted or difficult to understand across languages and cultures, Navigating visa requirements, employment laws, and the cost of accommodating workplace requirements can be difficult, Different understandings of professional etiquette, Download a brochure to find out more about the programs at Hult, emphasis on the independence of the individual, How volunteering prepared me for business school, Hult MBA ranked #15 in the world by the Economist Which MBA? Likewise, emphasis on order, rigor, and organization in the workplace versus flexibility and spontaneity can also reflect underlying cultural values. Where working in homogeneous teams can seem easier, it can cause a business to settle for the status quo. As our students develop into the global business leaders of tomorrow, they can certainly expect to encounter these 13 key benefits and challenges of cultural diversity in the workplace. Globally oriented companies can add to their service range by leveraging the skills and experience their international employees bring to the table. Our mission is to prepare our students to thrive in a fast-paced, unpredictable, and fundamentally international business environment. For instance, the centuries-long antipathy between the British and French, or the Polish … A significant bottom line effect of poorly managed diversity is high turnover. These changes may … For example, they differ in the balance between work and family life, and the workplace mix between work and social behavior. At Hult, diversity and global mindedness are integral to our DNA. A multicultural workforce can give an organization an important edge when expanding into new markets. Diversity means the workplace has employees from a wide range of backgrounds with regard to culture, race, gender, age, income level and other defining traits. Why Cultural Diversity In The Workplace Is A Win-Win Teams and companies that make diversity a priority offer a variety of ideas, perspectives and learning opportunities. Business Insider put together this useful infographic to highlight the differences in handshakes and professional greetings around the world: Despite the clear benefits, hiring talent from overseas can present an HR challenge. Hear how Richard Branson makes culture work in a multinational business by being flexible and open to different working styles: In many ways, the Hult classroom mirrors this experience, immersing you in a diverse and collaborative working environment from day one. Not least among this is the complicated process of navigating employment laws and visa requirements for international workers. Let us know in the comments below. People that come from different cultural backgrounds have different perspectives on how to handle issues or concerns that arise. The range of experience, expertise, and working methods that a diverse workplace offers can boost problem-solving capacity and lead to greater productivity. By and large, diversity and inclusion initiatives … Cultural diversity is becoming an increasingly important issue for companies in the U.S. More women and men of different ethnicities, … Written by Hult contributing blogger Katie Reynolds who is a freelance writer based in London. As a recent article in the Harvard Business Review argues, the challenges of working in a diverse team are one of the reasons why diverse teams perform better: “working on diverse teams produces better outcomes precisely because it’s harder.”. A broader skills base and a more potentially diverse offering of products and services can help your business to have the competitive advantage of adaptability. 1. Diversity, on the other hand, can breed healthy competition, stretching a team in a positive way to achieve their best. Culturally diverse workers have different opinions, … Poor communication fuels conflict and can be one of the biggest negative effects of diversity in the workplace, according to This Way. If not recognized and accounted, conflicting approaches to work can put the brakes on productivity. As national politics and discourse seem to grow more inward-looking and divisive across America and Europe, successful businesses must continue to think inclusively and globally. Diversity in the workplace helps companies begin growing. The effects of lack of diversity in the workplace are felt by individuals, which affects the business as a whole. Colleagues from different cultures can also bring with them different workplace attitudes, values, behaviors, and etiquette. Whereas others, such as Germany and America, put emphasis on the independence of the individual. The business risks losing top talent to competitors if the workplace does not provide a safe and motivating culture where employees from diverse backgrounds are welcomed and treated fairly. “One of the main reasons I chose Hult was the incredible diversity of students and the international element we possess here. And while outright prejudice or stereotyping is a serious concern, ingrained and unconscious cultural biases can be a more difficult challenge of workplace diversity to overcome. For instance, the expectation of formality (or relative informality), organizational hierarchy, and even working hours can conflict across cultures. One negative effect of cultural diversity in the workplace is the increased tendency of organizational personnel to indulge in interpersonal conflicts. Bonding over similarities and differences can help you to become a global citizen, abandoning prejudices or an ethnocentric world view—something that is increasingly valuable. Diversity in the workplace is far more complex than applying good and bad labels and often has both positive and negative effects. Requirements and regulations are different in each country and between countries, and can change frequently. When it works, diversity increases workplace productivity and profits. The Virgin Group is recognized as a leader in promoting workplace diversity and fostering a positive working culture. Have you experienced any particularly positive or negative aspects of working in a culturally diverse team? Here are the top 10 wrong (yet persistent) cultural stereotypes and the truth behind them: While quality translations are key for effective marketing, there can also be a real risk of communication getting lost in translation among multicultural colleagues. Providing diversity training and creating a cooperative culture takes on going effort for time and management. Workplace diversity refers to the division of the workforce into distinction categories that have a perceived commonality within a given cultural or national context and that impact potentially … Two-thirds of hiring managers say that a diversity initiative helped their company grow, creating new positions and opportunities for … Diversit… DiversityInc annually recognizes the top 50 most diverse companies and measures their success against the broader market. Although not all stereotypes are necessarily negative—like the notion that Americans are confident or Asians are intelligent—all are simplifications that can prove limiting or divisive in the workplace. Making diversity an important part of the recruiting process will broaden your talent pool of prospective employees. Negative cultural stereotypes can be seriously detrimental to company morale and affect productivity. A fundamental value that contributes to a successfully diversified workplace is respect among workers and employees. Employee resistance is just one of the potentially negative effects of a diverse workplace. However, a number of barriers or filters can prohibit clear and meaningful communication between employees. Cultural … Our culture influences the way in which we see the world. A recent study from Forbes echoed this notion, concluding that “the best way to ensure the development of new ideas is through a diverse and inclusive workforce.”. Working across cultures can be a truly enriching experiencing, allowing others to learn about perspectives and traditions from around the world. A variety of viewpoints along with the wide-ranging personal and professional experience of an international team can offer new perspectives that inspire colleagues to see the workplace—and the world—differently. By drawing from a culturally diverse talent pool, companies benefit from hiring professionals with a broad range of skills that are often not accessible when hiring locally. Each year, DiversityInc selects the 50 most diverse companies. Greater differences in a workplace produces more potential for conflict among employees. Language barriers are just one challenge. In today’s volatile and uncertain global business environment, nimble and adaptable organizations are the ones that thrive. Negative cultural stereotypes can be seriously detrimental to company morale and affect productivity. Understanding local laws, regulations, and customs, as well as the competitive landscape, can help a business to thrive. A company with cultural and cognitive diversity can be quicker to spot a gap in the market. How Cultural Diversity Affects Women in the Workplace. Patrick (2010) found that diversity determines not only the effects of the diversity within an organization but also the level of openness to dissimilarity characteristics among the organization’s members, work groups, and culture… This, in turn, fosters mutual respect among colleagues who also value the diverse culture, perspectives, and experiences of their team members. Studying and sharing a campus with students from different nationalities has been an awe-inspiring experience. For example, cosmetic giant L’Oréal attributes much if its impressive success in emerging markets to its multicultural product development teams. A frequently cited example is from KFC in China, whose chicken was marketed as so tasty, you’ll “eat your fingers off!” (A poor translation of their brand tagline, “Finger lickin’ good.”). He thinks the contrasting positive and negative effects of diversity can coexist in communities, but "there's got to be a limit." One of the main disadvantages of cultural diversity is its tendency to create language barriers. Not only does hiring from a more diverse talent pool makes your business attractive to ambitious, globally minded candidates, it also helps you to keep them on board. Collectively, it suggests that diverse work environments boost profitability, culture… Workplace diversity creates opportunities for companies to get broader perspectives on business situations and to improve global reach, but it does often create some negative impacts in the company. But effects of lack of diversity in the workplace can also be detrimental. Mandatory diversity and inclusion training can net an immediate and negative … Of course, these considerations and accommodations can sometimes be an added business cost as well as a logistical challenge. Cultural diversity affects the businesses in many ways including the staff recruitment/retention, management styles and decision-making processes, and relationships within organizations. Some cultures, including many in Asia and Central America, value collective consensus when working towards a goal. However, working styles and attitudes towards work can be very different, reflecting cultural values and compounding differences. Over the past two decades, as scholars have sought to quantify the economic effects of workplace diversity, a growing body of research has emerged. Poor communication fuels conflict and can be one of the biggest negative effects of diversity in the workplace, according to This Way. If a workplace has employees from different countries with different native languages, communication is especially difficult. Diversity, including diversity of gender, religion, and ethnicity, has been shown to improve retention and reduce the costs associated with employee turnover. Time: Cultures differ in how they view time. Effects of Multiculturalism on Job Performance & the Workplace. Language barriers are generally temporary in nature (most immigrants eventually learn the language of the country they move to), but the resultant segregation can endure, as exemplified in segregated neighborhoods and ethnic ghetto… For instance, providing a quiet space for prayer can make a workplace more welcoming and inclusive for employees with a range of beliefs, as can taking into account different cultural or religious holidays. Request a Brochure Apply Now Free GMAT Test. In fact, ethnically diverse companies were shown to be 35% more likely to have financial returns above the national industry median. Other differences include the perception of overtime, or even the exact meaning of a deadline. Embracing cultural diversity in the workplace is an important first step for businesses that want to be competitive on an international scale. What Are the Elements of a Diverse Workforce. In fact, studies have shown organizations with a culture of diversity and inclusion are both happier and more productive. It will also have the global (or market-specific) insight and experience to help a new or adapted product to meet changing consumer behavior—and succeed. For instance, professionals from Asian countries such as Vietnam or Japan may feel less comfortable speaking up or sharing ideas, particularly if they are new to the team or in a more junior role. 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