The concept of cultural diversity has a very wide scope and is being practiced by people and organizations all over the world. Broadly this idea includes hiring people of diverse races, different religions and promoting the entry of working staff from different countries. Although the practice of this concept has gained momentum in the past few years, but its existence is quite old and cultural diversity continues to live all around us. It exists in different communities and households, from small suburbs to big cities and that too all through the world.
Diversity is an element of the society and has now become an important part of businesses as well. The many benefits of cultural diversity include: Cultural diversity is having different cultures respect each others differences. It could also mean the variety of human societies or cultures in a specific region, or in the world as a whole. It differs from multiculturalism in that multiculturalism is usually associated with the organizational promotion of multiple cultures whereas cultural diversity is a recognition of the diversity in cultures Promotes humanistic values.
When an organization has a group of employees belonging to diverse cultures, it demonstrates that the organization recognizes and celebrates and commemorates the diversity that exists in people of different backgrounds. It makes the people of the organization think that their value and worthy contributions are being realized by the organization and the management. Improves productivity and profitability. Apart from these humanistic values, cultural diversity also brings some tangible benefits to the businesses all over the world.
Active persuasion of diversity at the workplace directly impacts productivity and profitability of the organization as well as the employees. There is an enhancement of productivity of the workers and profitability for the organization. Cultural diversity makes our country richer by making it a more interesting place in which to live. Just think how boring a meal would be without Chinese, Mexican, Japanese, Italian, German, French or Indian food! Effects of cultural diversity What is cultural diversity? Diversity is nothing more than a difference from the majority.
In any culture there is a majority and many minorities. Culture is a set of norms that set standards for a society of what is acceptable behavior. In every culture there are basic standards for social interaction such as personal space distance, eye contact, amount of body language displayed in public, negotiating style, etc. In America, we stand about eighteen inches apart when engaged in normal conversation; prefer very direct eye contact; are pretty demonstrative with body language and negotiate very directly always asking the other party for their “bottom line”.
In other cultures they may stand closer or farther than we are comfortable, may view direct eye contact as rude, be more or less open to displaying body language and negotiate more indirectly. Helps to create a pool of talent. When any organization invests in diversity, it results in the creation of a bigger pool of talent. This is a win-win situation for both the employees and the organization. The employees exchange and learn each others positives and competencies. Such a pool of talent provides the organization with a competitive edge, which help it to progress in a huge and competitive environment.
Exchange of innovative ideas. When an organization comprises of people with diverse backgrounds, cultures and experiences, new creative and innovative ideas prop up in the minds of different people. It is natural that people with varying experiences and perspectives in life would be able to generate unique ideas and solutions to problems. This is of immense value to both the organization and employees. Such dynamic exchanges that take place between people having different perceptions yield creative results.
Such a situation is never created in groups of people who think similarly and belong to similar cultures. Many studies related to organizational behavior conclude that promoting cultural diversity reduces absenteeism rates, lower employee turnover, reduce the costs associated with hiring new employees and reduce legal responsibility in discrimination lawsuits. In this world of competition, where cultural diversity has so many benefits, it deserves a place in all organizations. This will not only bring profits for the organization but will lead to the development of competencies among all employees.