Cultural Intelligence And Diversity


To maintain diversity in the workplace, it’s important to consider cultural intelligence or EQ. What is cultural intelligence? It is when coworkers of different backgrounds are able to work together effectively. 

Workplace Diversity 

These days, companies are interested in hiring workers with different cultural backgrounds. While this is a great goal, putting it into action is challenging. You’ll want to embrace CQ to bring diverse talent into your organization and make sure that your company’s hiring steps are unbiased. 

What are the Benefits of a Diverse Workforce? 

A diverse workforce includes different races, gender identities, generations, nationalities and abilities. It’s important to be able to leverage their differences. When you have a workforce that is different and fail to focus on CQ, you’re likely to have a work environment with misaligned expectations and conflict issues. 

Your company is more likely to experience deadlock situations and decreased productivity if you don’t implement CQ. However, when a diverse team has high CQ, research shows that they outproduce a homogeneous workforce in all areas. This includes innovation, leadership, making decisions and establishing trust. 

Ensuring Equity 

To establish equity, plan to vigorously challenge and react to individual and universal biases. Continue this mindset when it comes to behavioral policies and practices. These steps will help you ensure that everyone in your company has equal access to work opportunities. 

Guaranteeing Inclusion 

Promoting a work atmosphere where employees with a variety of identities feel important to the team, valued and useful is an important part of managing diverse teams.  

Keep in mind that diversity focuses on representation while inclusion is about welcoming diversity. Inclusion will help you create a work atmosphere in which every worker thrives. 

The pandemic and economic issues have pinpointed how fast some companies are ignoring their commitments to diversity and inclusion. When a crisis occurs, it’s natural to turn to a safe management style. This often means preserving and promoting workers who you already trust and rejecting employees who you don’t think understand the country’s culture. Try to avoid returning to these old techniques and continue to embrace the diverseness of your team. 

What are the Struggles with Cultural Diversity?

Managing workers of different cultures is challenging. Western management techniques like intense brainstorming sessions, contributive management and immediate negative feedback is often uncomfortable for workers of other cultures. 

The United States work culture is task-based. This means that decision makers will quickly fly wherever needed to complete a work transaction while relationship-based cultures make decisions slowly. They take the time to get to know the person who they are doing business with.  

When managing diverse teams, consider how to lead cultures that are task-based and those that are based on relationships. You’ll need to embrace a flexible management style. 

Turning a Risk into an Asset 

According to a study of workers from 90 different countries, an estimated 89% of them worked on global virtual teams. Cultural intelligence will help you turn a risk to your business into an asset. Companies that have well-maintained diversity programs thrive and outperform the competition. If you need guidance, contact me at the Productivity Intelligence Institute.