Effective Communication in a Diverse Workplace

Topics: Communication, Culture, Cross-cultural communication Pages: 10 (2594 words) Published: May 4, 2013

Effective Communication in a Diverse Workplace
Ritu Rana
Programme Associate, Indian Institute of Foreign Trade, New Delhi, India riturana2222@gmail.com

Abstract: Due to globalization, today’s work environment has become diverse as people from different cultures, religions and backgrounds have come together. They bring with them, diverse skills, knowledge and expertise. They have their own views, ideas, perceptions and opinions which are totally different from one another's as they all come from different walks of life. To succeed in a multicultural society, an organization must value the differences of its workforce, respect the individuality of all employees and maintain a climate in which everyone is treated with dignity. Everyone in business today needs to better understand other cultures, as well as other age groups, gender groups, and lifestyle groups. All this can happen only if there is an effective communication among all the employees, from top to bottom. This paper explains how important is it to have a diverse workforce, what difficulties could come in the way of effective communication in such diverse workplaces and how to overcome these difficulties in an effective manner. Keywords: Diversity, Effective Communication, Globalization, Workplace, Strategy.

Introduction Effective communication is an important part of business success. It becomes more important, and even complex, when the workforce is multicultural, or, is diverse. Diversity makes good business sense in today's globalized world, so we cannot ignore it and cannot limit our organization to a uni- cultural environment. Building a productive workplace with employees from many backgrounds can enrich a company on many different levels—but it's not a process one can take for granted. Language barriers and cultural misunderstandings can get in the way of effective communication and create complexities in the workplace, including problems with safety. Let us see how we can overcome these complexities and can make a diverse workplace, a harmonious, enjoyable and creative place to work. For this, we shall, first of all, understand how important is it for an organization to have a diverse workforce, how can effective communication make difference within an organization, and how we can communicate effectively in a diverse workplace. Importance of Diverse workforce Businesses are recognizing the need and importance of investing in diversity and inclusion as part of their overall talent management practices and to continually challenge their organizations to make the connection between those principles and their corporate performance. Diversity is especially crucial in today’s global marketplace, as companies interact with different cultures and clients. The payoffs touch every area of the business by potentially resulting in increased creativity, increased productivity, new attitudes, new language skills, global understanding, new processes, and new solutions to difficult problems. Greater agility, better market insight, stronger customer and community loyalty, innovation, and improved employee recruitment and retention. The businesses that fail to see the importance of Diversity and inclusion might find themselves unable to attract and retain the kinds of customers, employees, and business partners that constitute our changing world in 5 to 10 years. Among the advantages of diversity in the workplace are: 1. 2. 3. Increased Productivity: Diversity and Inclusion brings in diverse different talents together working towards a common goal using different sets of skills that ignites their loyalty and increases their retention and productivity Increased creativity and Problem solving: With so many different and diverse minds coming together many more solutions will arise as every individual brings in their way of thinking, operating...

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