The creation of a stable and healthy workplace made up of people of varying cultural backgrounds is a matter of increasing importance in the global business environment. Employers must take into consideration the impact cultural diversity can have on both the homogeneity of the workplace and potential legal implications for improper discrimination.
The objective of training programs is to foster the four characteristics of preparedness, sensitivity, patience, and flexibility in managers and other personnel (Czinkota et al, 2005). Methods of training may range from factual preparation involving books and lectures to experiential training involving simulations and field experience. Some topics to be addressed in training might be, but are not limited to:
- comfort levels of trainees’ with people of a different background
- impact of trainees’ behaviors on others
- understanding stereotypes
- transforming knowledge into empathy
- embracing diversity as a source of strength
- learning a new language
Businesses with diverse cultural backgrounds must maintain an environment suited for every constituent so that the objectives of the business can be efficiently met. Installing cultural diversity training programs can help accomplish this by defining what cultural intelligence is, teaching employees to accept and work effectively with others from different cultural backgrounds, and taking advantage of advice from those who have cross-cultural experience.