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The importance of diversity and inclusion in business: How cross-cultural training can help!

The Importance Of Diversity And Inclusion In Business: How Cross-cultural Training Can Help!

The working world has never been as multicultural and mobile as it is right now – employers and staff must understand the impact of having these different cultures at work, and what they can do to help create a supportive environment.

As an employer, even without comprehensive knowledge of every culture represented in your organisation, shifting your attitude towards prioritising diversity and inclusion will lead to benefits for both your staff and the success of your business.

The fact is, successful businesses rely on a diverse range of skills, talents, and perspectives – the trick is, this can only work if each employee feels valued for who they are and recognised for what they bring to the office!

This article is going to be looking at the importance of diversity and inclusion in the workplace, and how cross-cultural training, amongst other strategies, can help you invest in and support your staff.

 

Need help finding the best employee benefits to make your staff feel valued? Contact our friendly team of experts at [email protected] or use the chatbox in the bottom right.

Diversity and inclusion: what do they mean in the world of work?

“If diversity is the mix, inclusion is making the mix work well together”

Diversity and inclusion are two interconnected concepts – both are needed to make your business successful as well as a safe space for your staff to feel valued. But how do you make these terms work in your company?

Diversity: 

Diversity refers to the representation of different people in your workforce. Every single employee brings their unique backgrounds, experiences, and views to your business. It is vital to acknowledge these differences and recognise the creativity and innovation that comes with having a diverse workforce!

Below we have listed the differences that can be recognised for diversity at work:

  • Age of employees
  • Religion
  • Language
  • Physical and mental health
  • Sexual orientation
  • Gender
  • Ethnicity
  • Pronouns
  • Disability
  • National origin
  • Marital status
  • Socioeconomic status
  • Educational background
  • Training background
  • Sector experience
  • Family situation e.g., children or a dependant
  • Even personality traits could be considered e.g., introverts/extroverts

Diverse workplaces mean recognising each difference and cultural influence, where it is your role as the employer to make significant and long-lasting changes to improve your company culture for staff.

Inclusion: 

Inclusion is all about taking diversity to the next level, ensuring that your staff’s contributions, general work presence, and perspectives are valued and successfully integrated into the office culture.

Having an inclusive work culture makes your employees feel respected for who they are as individuals or groups. They should each feel a certain level of support enabling them to work to the best of their abilities.

A well-known example of when diversity is present at work, but inclusivity is missing: despite an organisation having a similar ratio of men and women, their actual roles, responsibilities, and opportunities are completely different. Your staff will start to feel undervalued and taken advantage of!

Inclusive practices can be far and wide, from offering progression opportunities within the company to more qualitative factors such as making staff feel welcome or involved in social outings. This shift in business mindset and culture will reveal visible effects on your company like participation in meetings, the physical organisation of offices, access to facilities or information.

 

Both must be used and practised together. Being open to diversity widens access to the best talent out there; workplace inclusion allows you to engage with this talent effectively and ensure success for your business!

Further reading: Has the way staff view employee benefits changed for good?

Cross-cultural training to help with your diversity needs

Cross-cultural training is a fantastic and results-producing employee benefit that ensures you are an organisation that prioritises diversity and inclusion! It is an opportunity offered to employees to learn how and when to recognise the differences and similarities between cultures amongst colleagues or destination countries.

Cross-cultural training targets four main concepts: awareness, attitude, knowledge, and skills. Each section ensures that staff are fully equipped to know how to respectfully address each other’s differences without causing offence or upset. It is a constantly moving programme – growing and developing constantly alongside the business. These programmes strengthen the workplace environment and build up inclusivity amongst employees and business relationships.

It is needed for all levels of employees – multicultural teams, business travellers, HR teams, short-term assignees, virtual teams, interaction with clients/vendors abroad. Cross-cultural training helps employees to:

  • Increase awareness & understanding of cross-cultural business and communication skills
  • Implement skills for communicating effectively with different cultures
  • Develop an understanding of non-verbal & verbal communication cues in different cultures
  • Assess how we each perceive ourselves in our own cultures / how others perceive us

With cross-cultural training, employers can create a work culture that recognises, respects, and values the differences between people at all levels of business.

Which other employee benefits support an inclusive workplace?

Although cross-cultural training offers employees a fully rounded course in workplace diversity and inclusion, there are also other employee benefits and policies that all lend towards making your organisation as culturally supportive as possible!

Below we have highlighted a few that stand out.

  • Mandatory flexible holidays: acknowledging holidays of all cultures to cater for different beliefs, practices, and religions
  • On-site childcare and support for parents
  • Review office facilities e.g., setting up non-gendered restrooms
  • Flexible working hours & remote working
  • Equal learning and development opportunities: training courses, further education
  • Tuition assistance
  • Financial education

 

Whether you are looking for specific advice on inclusive employee benefits, or simply have a query regarding the health insurance sector, our Hooray team are here to help. Contact us at 01273 222805 for advice and support.

Benefits of becoming a diverse and inclusive business

Investing time and money in diversity and inclusion policies, particularly cross-cultural training, inevitably leads to many benefits for your business for overall successful performance as well as protecting and supporting the wellbeing of your employees. Teams that are gender, age, and ethnically diverse make better decisions up to 87% of the time – diversity really does go a long way!

Below we have listed a handful of the benefits you can get from cross-cultural training, highlighting just how important workplace inclusion is in our current world.

  • Provides an equal opportunity for anyone from any background
  • Making your business desirable and appealing for future and current staff
  • Creates stronger bonds within teams
  • Reduces employee turnover
  • Increases profits
  • Different/broader perspectives lead to better-informed decisions
  • Increases customer base, broadening business marketing range to different communities
  • Boosts organisation’s reputation
  • Developing self-knowledge allows employees to understand how their own behaviour impacts those around them
  • Teaches how to value/appreciate different perspectives, communication, behaviours
  • Boosts morale & productivity
  • Enhances leadership skills
  • Encourages active listening skills

Supporting your staff 

Cross-cultural training has its roots in supporting the happiness and success of employees and is a vital benefit for any organisation in our multicultural world. Understanding and respecting each other is the key to success both in business and our personal lives!

Choosing the right employee benefits and policies is an incredibly important responsibility of being an employer, helping your business thrive today and in the future.

At Hooray, we can help you achieve your goals by ensuring the employee benefits you implement are the best for your team. Our friendly team of experts are here to find out more about your business, making sure your employee benefits match the wider business goals.

 

We help start-ups and SMEs negotiate the often confusing employee benefits marketplace. Contact us today and we’ll be happy to answer any queries. Call 01273 222805 or click on the bottom right chat box.

 

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