Diversity and Why It is Important in Today’s Work Culture

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With the economy and world becoming more interconnected than ever before, today’s work culture is now a melting pot of many people, from many places. This diversity within the workplace presents new opportunities, as well as some challenges. However with all things considered, it is a key factor in today’s work culture and is important to embrace and encourage to be successful in the global economy. Here is an overview of what diversity is and the reasons why it is important.

What is workplace diversity?

Diversity can account for any difference between people. These can range from the physical differences such as gender, race, and age, to cultural differences including how a person dresses, practices religion and speaks. In a productive workplace, people need to understand these differences, respect them and look for the opportunities they bring with them. Now let’s look at the ways in which diversity is important to work culture.

Increased Exposure to Different Perspectives and Opinions

Workplace diversity is important for many reasons, but the most important is that you will have a wider pool of resources, skills, and opinions at your disposal. Different cultural backgrounds mean different learning styles, different means of problem-solving, and different perspectives on solutions. It can also facilitate a more worldly view, which is important to have in a global economy.

Increased Exposure to Different Perspectives and Opinions

Workplace diversity is important for many reasons, but the most important is that you will have a wider pool of resources, skills, and opinions at your disposal. Different cultural backgrounds mean different learning styles, different means of problem-solving, and different perspectives on solutions. It can also facilitate a more worldly view, which is important to have in a global economy.

Fosters Mutual Respect

Differences can lead to conflicts, however in a diverse workplace, employees must learn to listen to each other’s ideas and find a middle ground. This creates an environment that fosters respect for others, regardless of differences.

Addressing any conflicts up front and clearly laying out the expectations for professional behavior, from all sides, is one way to promote a respectful environment. Another is to actively address those differences and show how they can be of benefit to both sides. Through this respectful debate of ideas, new solutions can be found.

Increased adaptability

Another bonus of increased diversity, is increased adaptability in your workforce. If your employees are made to examine situations from multiple cultural perspectives, it teaches them to be more open minded about finding solutions. This can help to create an environment that is not hesitant to change, but forward thinking and productive. In today’s fast paced world, the work culture needs to be one of continuous innovation.

Increased Language Skills and Global Awareness

In a global economy, you also want a workforce that recognizes the difference between cultures and knows how to quickly adjust to accommodate to them. A diverse work culture can help to facilitate an increase in cultural understanding, from employees learning new languages and understanding different mannerisms, to knowing the varying cultural rules.

As you can see, the more diverse a work culture is, the more opportunity there is for learning and mixing up the status quo. From employees seeing a broader perspective, to increased respect and greater adaptability, the benefits are clear. With diversity within work culture, employees will develop a wider skillset that pushes them to expand their limits.

 

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Bunny Robinson

About the Author:

Bunny Robinson is a Principal Consultant of the firm, with 10 years of Employee Communications and Human Resources experience in high tech manufacturing and defense systems industries. She has also worked in the fields of broadcasting, advertising, and market research. Bunny graduated from the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana and is pursuing a Master’s degree at St. Catherine University in St. Paul, MN. She enjoys volunteer work and has served as a board member for various community service and arts organizations as well as local government.
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