3 Benefits And Challenges Of Cultural Diversity In The Workplace

Multiculturalism is the bread and butter of Australia, especially when it comes to the workforce. According to the 2016 Consensus, 45% of Australians reported having a least one parent born overseas, and 19% of the population is born overseas; it only logical to have the workforce accommodate the growing melting pot that we have.

Having a culturally diverse team in the workplace means an inhibition to tackle a project from different perspectives, knowledge, and experiences. Chances are hiring staff from different backgrounds can be good for business.

Countless studies have reinforced the importance of having a culturally rich workplace. These are three key benefits that motivate a workplace to be culturally diverse.

  1. Enhance business performance and productivity.

According to Deloitte and the Human Rights Commission, fostering an inclusive and culturally diverse workforce will significantly improve business performance and productivity. When employees work with someone who has the same background as them, it gives them a sense of familiarity.

  • Employees’ ability to innovate increased by 83 percent.
  • Responding to changing customers needs to be increased by 31 percent.
  • Team collaboration increased by 42 percent.
  • There also find that employees likely to stay at work because they feel more included, which decreases the attendance rate.

As a result of having a culturally rich office, the 2017 McKinsey report, companies that have fostered a solid ethnic and cultural diversity in their executive teams were 33% more likely to bring in business than companies with homogenous teams.

  1. Thinking Innovatively by breaking language barriers

Reports have concluded that if cultural diversity initiatives are appropriately implemented, innovative thinking amongst staff members becomes more collaborative.

By the staff of different backgrounds, they can understand the intercultural differences and help decipher the dynamic between the company and their clients. As a result, overcoming language barriers by hiring staff with diverse backgrounds is viewed favourably by a client with the same background.

As for innovation, reports have shown that CALD workforces perform better on brainstorming solutions and ideas. Due to the diverse ways of thinking, experience, and perspectives from ethnic groups, they identify cultural nuances from an ethnic audience.

It’s also worth noting that as the world becomes increasingly globalised, there is a need for a company to establish an international presence, which means there is an advantage for CALD staff who bridge into Australia’s neighbouring trade partners in Asia.

  1. Promotes team morale, health, and wellbeing.

Although being a multicultural country, Australia has its fair share of racial discrimination. It’s never fun to be a token of an ethnic or racial group. It will lead to further ostracisation if the individual feels there are surrounded by the majority Anglo-Celtic workmates.

There is solid evidence to suggest that racism can be debilitating for a person of colour’s mental and physical health. Anxiety, depression, stress, and poor quality of life ensues if there is no sense of belonging when it comes to the workplace.

People who faced racial discrimination regularly are also more likely to be overweight or obese or engage in destructive habits (i.e. smoking).

When cultural diversity initiatives are correctly done, a multicultural workplace is beneficial as it maximises profits, efficiently solves problems by tapping into intercultural communication, and improving the overall team’s morale.