Skip links

Workplace Ethics #4 Embrace Cultural Diversity

CSP Fellowship 2016
My work has taken me places and definitely brought different people along the way. I have grown to appreciate diversity through my various exposures. Sometimes I have been shocked while other times I was literally overwhelmed by the differences. Over time I have developed cultural competence and can now easily adapt to any new setting without a struggle. I have come to terms with the fact that cultural diversity is here to stay.

I have had the privilege of traveling to different parts of the world and I have never found a place where all people belong to the same culture. Whether developed or developing country, communities are becoming more and more multi-cultural. As workforce demographics shift and global markets emerge, workplace diversity has become a business necessity that must be fully integrated into the structuring of businesses.

The 21st employee must be open to cultural diversity and be fully equipped to thrive in its midst. The world has become one global village and only those who can effectively integrate in its structures will be able to establish a niche in their industries. As an employee, you need to embrace the fact that you are bound to work in multi-cultural work environment as well as appreciate the benefits that this diversity offers.

Employers are becoming increasingly obsessed with cultural competence and as a result it is ranked highly in interview and selection processes. Cultural competence, in brief, is the ability to interact effectively with people from different cultures. This ability depends on awareness of one’s own cultural worldview, knowledge of other cultural practices and worldviews, tolerant attitudes towards cultural differences, and cross-cultural skills.

To successfully integrate into a workplace with diverse cultures, you must begin by analyzing and understanding the different cultures represented. Culture refers to the values, norms, and traditions that affect the way a member of a group typically perceives, thinks, interacts, behaves, and makes judgments. It even affects perceptions of time, which can impact day-to-day scheduling and deadlines. 

Research about the company you want to join, do a site visit before you start work or even ask an insider about the different cultures represented in the organization. Compare them with the organizational culture as well as your own personal culture. By finding the middle line between these three, you ensure a smooth transition into a workplace.

When you join a department, pay attention to the diverse cultural groupings that you will be working with. This background knowledge will equip you to effectively integrate as well as build rapport. Understanding where people are coming from makes it easy to appreciate the differences in our midst. Be open to learning even as you embrace diverse cultures in your workplace.

Whether you like it or not, you are bound to study and work in multi-cultural environments, so you need to build your competence in that regard. Your ability to thrive in these environments will greatly impact your effectiveness in a fast growing economy. Diversity offers great learning opportunities as well as creativity. Embrace diversity and get ready to thrive.

Leave a comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.