Celebrating diversity in the workplace: A guide

November 18, 2022

As the year draws to a close, we approach a period in which a myriad of festivals is celebrated across cultures from all over the world. From Diwali to Dia de Los Muertos, Thanksgiving day to Christmas, and finally the new year, the air is filled with joy and festivity. With most of these celebrations falling in the months from October to December, you might find a lot of your employees wanting to take a few days off or have their colleagues involved in their celebrations. Though this seems fun, you might be overwhelmed with the amount of planning, shuffling and paperwork that goes into making this happen, and the thought of “Is this really necessary” might pop up. In this blog, we would like to answer in the affirmative and list out a few reasons why celebrating diversity in the workplace can be advantageous to your organization. 

Diversity and Inclusion: What Is It?

According to the 2018 Gallup Report, "diversity" refers to the "whole spectrum of human variances," including people's distinct gender, sexual orientations, religious convictions, ages, ethnicities, races, places of origin, cultures, social classes, and physical abilities. A company's adoption of a set of strategies, policies, and missions to foster an inclusive workplace and draw in a wide pool of people from various cultural origins is referred to as diversity and inclusion.

Companies with D&I policies and procedures are more innovative and supportive of multiple viewpoints, which attracts the best people in any field. This is in addition to being a business advantage. 

Historically a culturally diverse workplace wasn't feasible and in an attempt to help people overcome obstacles at work, many organizations have created diversity and inclusion programs.

In this globalized and technologically advanced era, many firms are seeking to prosper in cultural diversity in the workplace. There are several advantages for both a company and its employees when it hires and keeps a diverse staff. Due to the pandemic, most firms didn't really pay much heed to the location they were hiring from, they just wanted to hire top talent. This has led to a vast range of cultures, dialects, and beliefs being present in most office spaces.

Benefits of having cultural diversity in the workplace

Creating a fully diverse workplace has a number of significant advantages. Both the  organization and employees gain from diversity and inclusion when they are a part of key organizational values in the following ways:

  1. A culture of respect and collaboration

A sense of trust and respect between colleagues is nurtured and developed in diverse settings. Everyone is encouraged to present their complete self to work, differences are celebrated, and no one is singled out or shunned. People are more likely to open up and interact with coworkers when they feel psychologically safe, which improves teamwork, increases productivity, and boosts employee engagement.

  1. Inspires Innovation and Creativity

Metrics or checking boxes are not the point of diversity. The diversification of your team's thinking and functioning is the fundamental value of diversity. Without embracing, celebrating, and empowering people to manifest their entire identities, you won't achieve that. Diversity inhibits groupthink and promotes inventive, creative workplaces.

  1. Significantly reduced harassment and discrimination

Homogeneous environments are more likely to experience discrimination and harassment. When they belong to the cultural majority, people are more likely to act out their prejudices. People from underrepresented backgrounds may experience pressure to integrate when a dominant culture predominates in the workplace. Diverse settings can act as a barrier against hostile work conditions.

  1. Introduces new values and skill sets

There are a variety of abilities that people from various backgrounds bring with them. Cross-cultural learning is promoted when people share their education, professional expertise, and personal experiences. People develop their capacity for problem-solving and become better, more flexible thinkers. Employers who take on staff from a variety of backgrounds, experiences, and occupations foster a more inviting and inclusive work environment. This enhances the company's reputation among customers, employees, executives, investors, and the general public.

  1. Improved retention and recruitment

Recruiting people of color is merely one piece of the puzzle. A diverse staff can be effectively retained if the proper environment and culture are present. Workplaces with a strong culture of belonging and inclusion are ones where different employees feel seen, respected, and welcomed. Job seekers are increasingly mentioning work culture as a deciding factor in choosing a new job, making these places appealing to them. Additionally, there is a link between employee loyalty and employer net promoter scores (ENPS). According to the findings, people perform better work and are less likely to want to quit when they feel like they belong at work.

5 Best Practices to Improve Diversity and Inclusiveness

  1. Establish a Culture of Tolerance and Respect

It is crucial for businesses to foster a spirit of respect among the many groups that make up their workforce. They should accommodate the events, occasions, and celebrations of various groups in an impartial manner. This will aid in giving the staff—particularly those who are members of minority groups within the organization—a strong sense of belonging.

  1. Be mindful of your language 

It's important to take another look at your marketing and brand guidelines if you haven't changed them recently. Many once-common words are now understood to be offensive in everyday speech. Remove any language that is ableist, sexist, racial, homophobic, or coded from internal (material that employees see) and external (content that clients see). Make sure you ask questions about culture addition throughout the interview process rather than queries about culture fit.

  1. Encourage diverse forms of thinking

The choice to hire a diverse workforce encourages diversity in the workforce's way of thinking. Such diversified thinking should be encouraged by organizations as it results in the creation of fresh concepts and improved business growth methods. Additionally, the organization is able to advance toward the accomplishment of shared corporate objectives thanks to the cumulative influence of varied thoughts and viewpoints.

  1. Offer your staff diversity training

Employees occasionally encounter obstacles to appreciating differences or discover that, despite efforts to promote diversity inside the organization, unique perspectives and views are swiftly neglected when recruiting is complete. In order to ensure that DEI programs and learnings convert into a more inclusive environment in practice as firms scale up their DEI initiatives, it's critical to provide staff with the appropriate type of diversity training and support.

  1. Encourage diversity in hiring

Organizations should consider promoting diversity at all levels and points in the employee lifecycle, including hiring and advancement. A diversified workforce benefits from having a wide range of talents, deep knowledge, and vast expertise. Each of these elements has the potential to significantly increase the organization's competitive edge. Additionally, it gives businesses a greater knowledge of their client's requirements and expectations and shows them how to effectively meet those needs and expectations.

To Conclude

People want to be accepted at work for who they truly are, which includes all aspects of who they are, not just one. The benefits of cultural diversity in the workplace are numerous. Yes, it improves the image of businesses. But more significantly, it makes them feel good, and happy employees perform better. Building a strong, inclusive, and expanding organization require consideration of cultural diversity.

Chezuba is an online volunteering platform that can connect your employees with people in need from around the world virtually. With partners from more than 100 countries, your employees can choose diverse opportunities and skill sets to volunteer. Designed with all the needs of a modern workplace, Chezuba also offers gamified volunteering opportunities and challenges to engage employees and encourage them to volunteer more. Schedule a free demo with Chezuba to learn more.

Don't miss these stories: