Diversity in the workplace makes teams perform more creatively and innovatively than teams with similar backgrounds. When people react and think differently, approach challenges and solve problems differently, it can mean that customers receive a better level of service and teams achieve their goals. Diversity can cover:
Let’s take a closer look at cultural diversity.
Australia is often referred to as a multicultural nation because:
This means that in our society there are many cultural groups and sub- cultures that will impact on your work and work relationships. You will need to work co-operatively and responsibly with these diverse groups. To do so you need to understand a little about what culture is and how it affects you and the team members you will interact with. Culture can then be defined as:
As such, culture has a great influence on people, their needs, wants, expectations and preferences. In order to create a synergy within your team and also provide quality service to all your customers you must be aware of ways in which culture influences people. Cultural influences are so ingrained in us that we automatically behave in a certain way. This is part of the reason why we find it hard to understand behaviour that is not the same as ours. If you were bought up in a society where it is polite to avert your eyes when talking to someone, you will probably be quite uncomfortable when people look straight at you during a conversation.
Common Cultural influences:
Respect for cultural diversity includes valuing their unique characteristics, qualities, cultural practices and that their needs are recognised. Recognising the individual and cultural differences of the people you are working with is the first step in being able to set up a culturally safe environment.
These principles of equity are based on the fair employment and treatment of staff and the organisations customer and staff relating to:
When accommodating diversity you need to;
Awareness of cultural differences includes realising that various cultural groups have different rules for:
Non- verbal messages comprise a large part of our communication in normal circumstances. When communicating with people from other cultures, and a different language base than your own, you must be even more aware of body language. Body language includes:
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