Ways to Improve Cultural Competence in the Workplace

Cultural competence can be defined as a set of skills, values and principles that recognize and respect effective interactions between people of various cultural and ethnic groups in a person’s workplace and personal life. Connecting with coworkers and relating to them without judgment is an important aspect of organizational culture, and it promotes diversity, equity and inclusion. 

With Human Resource Professional Day quickly approaching on September 26, we’ve compiled a few tips for organizations to implement to improve cultural competence in the workplace.

Create Opportunities for Collaboration 

Workplace collaboration is key to creating a healthy organizational culture. Studies show that employees are 17% more satisfied with their job when engaging in collaboration at work and that three in four employees rate collaboration as being very important. 

Teamwork and collaboration can help create bonds between employees of different cultures, improving inclusivity for those who may feel misunderstood. By creating a space for more collaboration, diverse teams are formed that produce innovative ideas and drive market growth in businesses. Research shows that organizations in the top quartile of ethnic diversity were 36% more likely to financially outperform those in the bottom quartile. 

Host Workshops and Trainings 

Being knowledgeable about other cultures is essential to building a space where all cultures are welcome in the workplace. From communication styles and preferences to holidays and religious events, understanding other cultures and exemplifying tolerance is crucial for a healthy workplace culture. Organizations can implement regular training, workshops and programs to address the gaps in cultural competence, awareness and sensitivity. 

Encourage Transparency 

As an employer, it’s important to be proactive when recognizing and resolving workplace issues that are a result of different cultures or intolerances. By providing a clear method for reporting these types of workplace issues and ensuring that all employees have access, organizations can promote transparency and encourage every employee’s voice to be heard.  

Organizations can gain employee trust and show them their value by implementing impartial third-party solutions like Work Shield to manage the process of reporting, investigation and resolution. By working with Work Shield, organizations can ensure that any harassment or discrimination issues, including those due to cultural or ethnic intolerance, are investigated and resolved swiftly. For more information on Work Shield, please contact us here.  


About Jennifer Pope

Jennifer is the Co-Founder of Work Shield, the complete, tech-enabled workplace harassment and discrimination reporting, investigation and resolution solution that protects employees, employers and cultures at the same time. Jennifer's background as an attorney fueled her desire to help others. She leverages her experiences from Hewitt Associates, Thompson & Knight, and SMU's Dedman School of Law to help employers shift the paradigm related to workplace harassment to ensure that everyone has a voice.   

Connect with Jennifer on LinkedIn.

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