There is a definite trend toward diversity in the American workplace today, driven by research that shows a positive impact on profitability and a growing cultural awareness that people of all ages, races, genders, and other diverse backgrounds can add value to the company by sharing different perspectives and learning from each other.
Diversity in the workplace is still on the upswing and is likely to increase even more in coming years. If your workplace has not yet been affected, chances are that it will be in the near future. Whether it’s a division being outsourced to another country or the executive board directing more hiring of diverse candidates, most workplaces will be impacted by diversity at some point.
The Impact of Diversity
The impact of diversity on today’s work force has led to many new initiatives. The workforce is not only more diverse in its makeup, it has also become more globalized as the benefits of being located in different countries around the world have become better known. A more globalized workforce must by necessity incorporate knowledge and acceptance of different cultures as an integral part of doing business.
For some employees, diversity seems as natural as breathing. These employees may have grown up in a diverse environment in their homes or schools, and have been exposed to a number of cultures at a formative age when it had a profound impact on their awareness and the development of their values system.
The majority of today’s employees, however, may need help adjusting to a more diverse work environment. It may not come naturally to interact with people of different cultures and backgrounds, and it can be paralyzing to try to figure out what to say and what topics might cause offense to someone of a different cultural background.
Continuing Education Can Help
Most workplaces have some kind of training intended to teach acceptance of diversity and give guidelines about how to handle cultural and other differences. These trainings may be helpful, but many fall short of giving practical methods and best practices for a diverse workplace. Continuing education courses can help to teach practical skills for handling diversity of all types. Courses are typically more in-depth and involve hands-on training and practice to reinforce skills taught.
An employee’s approach to diversity in the workplace could impact the ability to advance and the respect of co-workers, and even the ability to keep their job in some cases. Learning the skills necessary to thrive in a diverse workforce is not only a nice thing to do, but could be absolutely necessary for success as diversity becomes a way of life rather than a new initiative.
CCSU offers many continuing education courses that help teach needed skills for the workplace, including diversity training for communication skills and greater cultural awareness. View open courses to see all the available options for this important and meaningful addition to your skill set.