June 27 is Canadian Multiculturalism Day, a day to celebrate Canada’s cultural diversity and commitment to democracy, equality, and mutual respect and also to appreciate the contributions of multicultural groups and communities to our nation’s unique identity.
As Canadian employers, we are lucky to live in a country where we have the privilege of building and bolstering culturally diverse teams. There is much evidence to prove that a diverse workplace equals business success and provides a host of benefits to your workforce.
Much like what we’ve discussed in our article on the advantages of multilingual employees, the impact of having a multicultural team is that by embracing the diverse skills and perspectives of your people, you are allowing each and every team member to feel a sense of belonging within your organization.
Here’s how your company can take opportunities to highlight cultural diversity in your workplace.
Prioritize diversity and inclusion in your values
Show a commitment to D&I within your organization from the start of the people experience by incorporating it right into your company values. Form a corporate diversity policy to emphasize the importance of cultivating and supporting a diverse workforce. With this in place, you will encourage the acceptance of all employees, regardless of their cultural identity and background.
Diversify your people and culture initiatives
When celebrating multiculturalism in the workplace, it’s key to integrate people and culture initiatives and programs to promote the cultural diversity of your workforce. To begin, ensure that all of your team members have the opportunity to take part in the decisions and planning for social activities within your P&C committee. From international potlucks to celebrations of heritage awareness days, provide opportunities for your people to take pride in their ancestry and for everyone to learn about each other’s unique cultures, cuisines, and traditions at the office. As a result, your employees will gain a deeper understanding of their colleagues, building the bond needed for your teams to thrive.
Provide flexibility for cultural observances
Along with increasing your awareness of cultural and religious holidays and events observed by your team members, as an employer, you can show even more consideration by allowing the work-life flexibility for your people to participate in these observances. Consider offering flex days for employees to use at their discretion to participate in culturally significant events. In doing so, your employees will gain stronger appreciation and loyalty towards your company.
Strengthen diverse team-building
To truly live up to the diversity and inclusion ideals set forth in your company values, your organization must continue to support the growth and advancement of diverse employees through the employee journey. From sponsoring membership into professional organizations that provide support to career-minded people from diverse backgrounds to demonstrating an equal opportunity mindset when hiring and when promoting from within, you have a responsibility to uphold inclusive perspectives and practices when it comes to your teams.
Over to you
Taking steps to prioritize, support, and celebrate cultural diversity in your company culture will help keep your employees feeling included and cared for within a positive working environment. In workplaces that take the time for to honour different cultures, people learn to practice greater tolerance and acceptance, form stronger bonds with one another, and develop greater loyalty toward the company.