Multiculturalism in the workplace

Nowadays many businesses are putting a big emphasis on diversity in the workplace. Is this just to fill a quota or is diversity a factor of success?

Does diversity equal profit?

At the beginning of the year, McKinsey produced a report that looked at over 1,000 companies in 12 countries in terms of diversity and profitability. They found that companies with the most ethnically diverse executive teams are 33% more likely to outperform their peers on profitability.

The report suggests that having a multicultural team directly impacts on financial success. So how can companies benefit from multiculturalism?

Open-minded office

Employees that work in a multicultural environment can have a greater understanding and respect for cultural differences. This helps workers to become more tolerant, flexible and open-minded. Workers can be more able to accept that others do things differently to them and can learn from them. This can make teamwork more productive and effective.

Creativity can improve as workers are able to bounce different ideas off each other and offer feedback that might not have otherwise been suggested. Teams can come together with a pool of knowledge, different ways of thinking and bring it all together to come up with innovative and exciting ways to problem solve.

Global reach

Companies that employ a multicultural workforce are able to form deeper relationships with customers globally. This is because workers are more likely to be sensitive towards other cultures and understand how other countries do business. Being a diverse company can even become a competitive advantage.

In McKinsey’s report, they say that they believe that more diverse companies ‘…are better able to win top talent and improve their customer orientation, employee satisfaction, and decision making.’ It is this diversity that directly correlates to better financial performance than less diverse businesses.

L’Oréal is a great example of a diverse business enjoying impressive financial returns. The company acknowledges the fact that to be successful on a global scale, team members need to be diverse and inclusive. This is good news for expats as they could have the competitive edge in a job interview abroad.

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