Companies have always faced and battled diversity issues for a long time but nowadays this matter has even intensified. Presently, in the age of globalization when country boundaries cannot block the flow of people in each continent to corporate in business matters, people from different background gather in workplaces. Diversity which has been a variety of gender, age and background in the past has more to do with nationalities, languages and culture difference. Diversity in language and culture is recently seen everywhere when companies became multinationals.
Diversity in workplace could be beneficial to the company and can take the company’s business results to the whole new level. This is because employees from diverse backgrounds have different experiences and views. When employees with different backgrounds gather, they could come up with more ideas in a short period of time which is strongly beneficial to decision-making processes to plan and reach company’s goal. On the other hand, if diversity is not coped properly it could do harm to work environment. This topic aims to advice how to maintain good work environment to leverage the advantages of workplace diversity which mainly focus on traits that the company’s members should keep in mind in order to properly cope with diversity in workplace.
1. Language: Communication is the key
We now live in a multicultural society where different languages are spoken. This condition can pose challenges since language provides a means for communication among individuals and groups. It serves as a vehicle to express thoughts and feelings. When it comes to diversity, language can be a bridge for building relationships. When people work together, they strongly rely on a proper communication to work efficiently to reach their goal. However, since different languages are spoken, misunderstandings could easily increase,and language can become an obstacle in workplace. Workers who are not fluent in the official language used in the workplace may have difficulty expressing their needs or responding to requests. Therefore, promoting proper communications and language training to have a better understanding among colleagues could be a solution for this issue. Not only it will help the company march towards their goal faster, but also is a good opportunity for each employee to improve their skills and to gain access to new perspectives and ideas as well.
2. Respect: Inclusion, not exclusion
Even though diversity is not something new, issues from cultural differences are still present in the workplace. Some people still hold prejudice against people who have different cultural backgrounds as their own which should never occur in the workplace. This may result in discrimination and exclusion which make employee work less efficiently. On the other hand, when employees feel accepted, valued and included, they will find a way to bring out their best for company’s goal and engage in business activity more. They are also happier in their workplace and be likely to stay longer with a company. As a result, companies will achieve a better success and have lower turnover rates.
3. Open-minded: Cultural sensitivities
People with different nationality and background also affects in a variety of perspectives when different culture is applied which also means there will be different thinking styles in one workplace. When people think differently, there’s a chance that they will disagree, and this could lead to conflict especially if it relates to cultural sensitivities. However, since diversity in the workplace means that employees have different characteristics and backgrounds, they are also more likely to have a variety of different skills and experiences which is highly beneficial when it comes to planning and executing a business strategy. One key solution for this situation is open-mindedness, the willing to look for evidence against one’s favored beliefs and to weigh such evidence fairly. This allows employees to have a better understanding of each other and create a lively working environment.
All in all, diversity is a very important matter that company and employee should battle in a proper way. A company should establish clear policies to prevent employees from demonstrating discrimination and exclusion as diversity awareness in the workplace not only can help address this issue but will also take the company’s business results to the whole new level and help each employee bring out their best as well.
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