Today’s tech-enabled work environment breaks down barriers of distance, country, culture, and language. As we move toward a workforce that’s more representative of our diverse world, it’s vital that employees have an appreciation for and an understanding of the many perspectives, experiences, cultures, and references that comprise this landscape. With our cultural diversity and cultural competence webinars, you can discover ways to improve empathy, communication, and collaboration across your workforce.
In a culturally competent workplace, employees are sensitive to and aware of cultural differences and how they affect thinking, behavior, and interactions. The goal of training on this complex subject is a to create a workforce that doesn’t just know about cultural variations but also appreciates those differences and understands their value.
Cultural competence is a continuous dialogue and process. Here are some ways to get the conversation started:
● Maintain a Global Holiday Calendar
Create a shared, collaborative calendar for all employees to contribute to that makes everyone aware of global holidays and those specific to different cultures and religions. For example, while Christmas and Thanksgiving may lie at the heart of Christian-centric American culture, holidays like Yom Kippur, Diwali, and Eid Al-Fitr are canonical to large groups of people all over the world. Keeping this calendar is a great way to show employees that you respect their important holidays.
● Develop Employee Affinity Groups
Creating opportunities for employees to network, connect, and share common ground outside of job-specific subjects helps build stronger connections and encourages individuals to bring their full selves to their jobs. Employee Affinity Groups help people who share common cultures and backgrounds connect and celebrate their individuality. It also encourages others to experience a new culture and identity, creating organization-wide conversations.
● Continue to Educate
Stay up to date on diversity training trends, share information about culture, and regularly engage in cultural competency workshops. It may also be helpful to create an online platform where employees can share the latest news as it pertains to their unique identity. This is a great way to foster an organic dialogue where people feel comfortable sharing more of themselves and their backgrounds.
● Set Goals and Solicit Feedback
As an organization, hold yourself accountable for embedding cross-cultural exchanges and promoting diversity in all facets. From the start, work with employees to create KPIs for diversity and inclusion success, such as: holding four cultural events per year, starting six employee affinity groups, aiming for 9/10 employee satisfaction metrics, etc. You can make this an ongoing conversation by sending out regular surveys that allow employees to give feedback and provide suggestions. Remember, this is all about inclusion. The more employees can feel included, heard, and valued, the more satisfaction and engagement you’re likely to see.
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