April 24, 2024

Have you ever considered how diverse today’s workplaces are? Workplaces are a melting pot of unique backgrounds, experiences and perspectives. People from all walks of life bring a variety of ideas, beliefs and values to the table, creating a unique tapestry that enriches and strengthens company culture.

Being culturally aware allows us to leverage multifaceted cultures to our advantage. By embracing everyone’s cultural identity, we can help to make them feel valued and respected, and empowered to bring their authentic selves to the table. 

Why does cultural sensitivity matter?  

When your company understands and appreciates cultural differences, it approaches business strategy through the lens of diversity, inclusion and belonging, leading to higher profitability and stronger competitive advantages. Diverse workforces are 35% more likely to see higher financial returns and 70% more likely to capture markets compared to their non-diverse counterparts.  

“A great company culture fosters a great employee experience and visa-versa,” said Maggie Smith, Senior Human Resources Manager at Traliant. “They work together to create valuable business benefits like increased teamwork, greater productivity and reduced turnover. Providing team members with the skills to effectively work with people from different cultures increases success by reducing misunderstandings and conflict.”  

A survey by Deloitte found that 94% of executives and 88% of employees believe that workplace culture is important to business success. A Glassdoor study also found that 56% of employees prioritize company culture over salary when considering a job offer.

How cultural diversity training prevents miscommunication and conflicts 

Cultural diversity training fosters a more inclusive and understanding environment to minimize workplace misunderstandings and disputes. It does this by:  

  • Including exercises in empathy, active listening and use of respectful language to ensure that all team members feel understood and valued. Employees learn to appreciate different perspectives, heading off misunderstanding based on cultural assumptions.  
  • Educating employees about inappropriate language and behaviors that could be offensive to different cultures. Employees learn the importance of word choice and actions to minimize the risk of offending colleagues and promote more respectful and considerate interactions. 
  • Leveraging scenario-based learning where employees can engage in role-playing exercises to simulate potential workplace situations. This approach allows employees to identify and address possible conflict areas, such as language barriers or different approaches to work, before they escalate into real conflicts. 

Ways cultural diversity training helps companies stay competitive 

Cultural diversity training plays a vital role in elevating a company’s competitiveness in the marketplace. Here’s how: 

  • Training equips employees with the skills to effectively interact with diverse clients, customers and colleagues.  
  • It enhances creativity and innovation by bringing together varied perspectives and ideas, leading to more effective problem-solving and decision-making.  
  • Culturally diverse workforces can more effectively adapt to changing customer demographics, evolving markets and changing business priorities to drive long term success. 
  • Companies that prioritize diversity are more attractive to top talent. They are seen as progressive and attractive, distinguishing themselves from competitors who overlook the importance of a diverse and inclusive workforce. 

Benefits of cultural awareness in the workplace  

Creating cultural awareness significantly contributes to company success by:  

  1. Sparking creativity and thinking outside the box: When you work with people from a variety of backgrounds, you get the benefit of different perspectives and approaches to problem-solving that you might not have thought of on your own. This diversity of thought sparks creativity and drives innovation, leading to new ideas and solutions.  
  1. Encouraging everyone to speak up and be better collaborators: Cultural sensitivity creates a space where everyone feels comfortable speaking up. It sends a message that everyone’s voice matters. It’s like saying, “Hey, we’re all in this together, and we want to hear what you have to say.” That strengthens communication and teamwork so we can collaborate more seamlessly to get stuff done. 
  1. Resulting in better decisions: When we’re sensitive to cultural differences, it’s like putting on a pair of special glasses that help us see things from other people’s points of view. It allows us to make better decisions because we’re considering a wider range of factors.  
  1. Effectively reaching more people and markets: When we show that we respect and value cultural diversity, it builds trust with our customers, employees and partners. They feel like we understand them and their needs, which can lead to stronger relationships, increased customer loyalty and more opportunities for growth.  
  1. Boosting morale and retention: When you feel like your background and culture are respected at work, you’re happier and more likely to stick around. When we feel valued, we’re more motivated to do our best work.  
  1. Mitigating risks: When we take the time to understand each other’s cultures, customs and beliefs, we’re less likely to accidentally offend or misunderstand each other and avoid discriminatory behavior. 

Embracing cultural sensitivity isn’t just a smart move—it’s the right thing to do. When we try to understand and respect other people’s cultures, we create a workplace where everyone can thrive and reap a multitude of benefits. And who wouldn’t want to be a part of that?  

How Traliant Can Help  

By providing comprehensive cultural diversity training, organizations can foster a workplace environment where every employee can thrive without barriers to boost morale, productivity and collaboration. Traliant’s Cultural Competence Training, identifies practical actions employees and managers can take to avoid misunderstandings and ensure communications and interactions are effective, respectful and successful across any culture. Click here for a free trial. 


Join our mailing list


Mark Hudson