Cultural inclusion or inclusiveness refers to the process of addressing and supporting individuals from diverse cultures, valuing their unique perspectives and contributions to the workplace. 

What is cultural inclusion?

Cultural inclusion (or cultural inclusiveness) is the recognition of people’s cultural diversity, as well as the distinct contributions that individuals from diverse cultures can bring to the table. Its main focus is to improve employee engagement and retention through inclusivity programs that combat racism, sexism, ageism and homophobia. The goal is to increase innovation and productivity in the workplace, which in turn can result in increased profitability. 

Why cultural inclusion is important

Globalization has brought new characteristics of cultural diversity to the workplace. A culturally diverse workplace allows individuals to express their ideas and develop their talent. Understanding and being sensitive to a wide range of cultural identities is an essential part of a company’s global communication strategy.

According to a Business Review study published in 2018, organizations with above-average diversity scores earned 19 percent higher innovation revenues than companies with below-average scores. An inclusive work culture is respectful of all employees, regardless of their origins. 

Organizations with inclusive work cultures support these differences in perspectives and experiences, building high-performing teams who are invested in the overall success of the organization.

The benefits of cultural inclusion

Organizations with diverse and inclusive cultures can see major benefits in a number of areas:

Building a more inclusive workplace

Inclusion is an essential principle for any business looking to cultivate a healthy and dynamic workplace. It is a difficult task that requires clear communication, respect and understanding. A culturally inclusive workplace welcomes different approaches and experiences, regardless of race, ethnicity, age, gender or physical condition. 

Here are some steps for creating a more inclusive workplace culture:

Being respectful of employees’ religious and cultural holidays: Within a diverse workforce there are diverse cultural and religious practices to be mindful of. Make sure there is a private space for employees of any religion to pray. This is also an opportunity to educate employees and lessen the stigma around religious practices in the workplace.

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