According to research by Randstad, 89 per cent of employees in Singapore value workplace diversity, while 80 per cent believe they currently work for an open and inclusive employer.
That should be reason enough for Singaporean companies to embrace diversity in the workplace. But employing a culturally diverse workforce also comes with a range of important business benefits. Here are five of them.
- Expands your global reach
All cultures have vastly different ways of doing business. If you’re looking to enter a foreign market, you will need the cultural knowledge to ensure appropriate etiquette is adhered to. When doing business in China, for example, exchanging business cards is very important. You should receive business cards with two hands and look carefully at them before putting them away. Maintaining a culturally diverse staff will help you understand the many cultural nuances involved in doing business away from home.
- Boosts innovation and creativity
People from diverse cultural backgrounds tend to bring a wide range of perspectives, skills and thinking methods to the table. For example, some cultures tend to possess a more open and vivacious communication style, which can be balanced by people with other cultural backgrounds that favour a more measured and thoughtful approach. Getting this cultural balance right can improve collaboration within your team and generate more creative ideas to drive innovation.
- Expands your talent pool
As competition to attract top talent becomes fiercer, opening your recruitment process to people from a diverse range of cultural backgrounds will expand your talent pool. People who come from different backgrounds often have varied strengths due to diverse socioeconomic and political factors. These can prove invaluable in business, both locally and when entering new markets.
- Improves your marketing efforts
Companies that operate across regions face the challenge of creating culturally sensitive marketing material that is targeted to each territory. For example, a slogan or advertisement that is humorous in one culture could be seen as deeply offensive in another. Employing people with a range of cultural backgrounds in your marketing department can ensure your communications are based on market-specific local knowledge and cross-cultural understanding. This will also mean your brand values are not lost in translation and will see your product or service tailored to the specific needs of each market.
- Builds stronger employee relationships
Giving your people the opportunity to learn from colleagues with different cultural backgrounds is important to both their personal and professional development, and encourages a more international perspective that’s vital to succeed in a globalised world. And as your employees learn from each other and grow together, you may find they build stronger relationships that will positively impact staff morale across your organisation. This can boost your bottom line, as motivated employees are typically more productive workers.
Employing a culturally diverse workforce is not only good for your people, but better for business. Embracing workplace diversity will ensure your organisation is set up for success in a globalised economy.