What Is Cultural Diversity in the Workplace?

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Defined as the cultural differences found within a certain group of people, cultural diversity in the workplace refers to ethic variety and cultural differences among employees of the same company. Cultural differences may vary according to values, norms, traditions, religious observances, beliefs and behavior.

Communication styles vary among cultures. For example, according to Diversity Resources, Inc., people from Asian cultures typically do not like to talk about failure or defeat. American culture, however, encourages exaggeration, which can lead to communication issues when a problem or setback arises.

The modern workplace continues to become increasingly diverse, which makes it necessary for companies to properly manage the cultural diversity among their employees. To this end, many companies have implemented cultural competency training. This training helps co-workers to respect the differences of one another and learn to work together despite differences in communication styles.

Diversity changes the way an organization manages its workforce in numerous ways. Not only do individuals from different faiths observe different holidays, individuals of some faiths follow strict prayer schedules, making it necessary for breaks to be given during these times. While most companies give time off for Christian holidays, they have begun to give time off to people of other faiths so they can observe their holidays as well.