By Kimberlee Leonard

Multiculturalism brings together a diverse set of cultures and ethnic backgrounds in the work environment. Whether people are from various socio-ethnic backgrounds or different countries, employers should seek a diverse business culture because it offers many advantages. As a business owner, consider how you can incorporate more diversity and multiculturalism into your recruiting efforts and management style.

More Ideas and More Creativity

Different cultures have different ways of approaching problems. When you have a group of diverse cultural backgrounds, everyone is looking at situations through a different lens, a unique perspective. The wealth of viewpoints brings in a wide array of ideas that benefit any team. Encouraging employees to provide input or feedback during meetings empowers them to be part of the process and develops an engaged workforce.

Builds Respect Among Employees

People often say things or do things that are disrespectful of others out of old-school beliefs and ignorance. When employers hold diversity training and teach team members about diversity, positive things can result. Role-playing puts workers in one another’s’ shoes to provide perspective. Potluck lunches use the love of food to engage employees in a dialogue about family or cultural history. These small things lead to increased conversations. The resulting communication leads to respect among employees who have a better understanding of appropriate interactions and an appreciation of their co-workers and the viewpoints they bring to the team.

Improves Customer Service

Your customers come from all walks of life regardless of how you target your company’s marketing efforts. Having a multicultural workforce shows a different face to the public. Customers have a chance to speak with someone who knows their native tongue or understands certain customs. Whether it is language or understanding specific holidays, a multicultural workforce engages even a small business in a global marketplace.

Enhances Work Environment

Embracing multicultural concepts at work helps people feel appreciated for who they are and the unique skills they offer. Many of those skills might have nothing to do with cultural background, but the fact that diversity is embraced lets employees know they are valued. Valued employees tend to be happier, and happier employees tend to be more productive. A diverse corporate culture has a direct impact on getting things done well and is a huge advantage for business owners.

Where Multiculturalism Goes Wrong

Cultural barriers can get in the way of a truly integrated, multicultural workforce. You can overcome these by maintaining clear diversity policies and explaining what is, and what is not, acceptable behavior. Set protocol for dealing with problems. Take the time to build employee diversity skills to improve understanding and awareness to reap the benefits.

See original article at Chron