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The Impact of Cultural Awareness in Today's Global Workplace

Cultural Awareness
Image by Wix Media

As workplaces around the world struggle to redefine "normal," leaders of tomorrow recognize the opportunity to embrace globalization and to evolve. As the workforce continues to diversify with multicultural teams, a deeper level of cultural awareness has become an integral pillar of innovation and business longevity. It will continue to shape the global workplace and how companies choose to foster their employees. In this article, we will take a look at the role of cultural awareness in the modern workplace and how to foster it for your company growth.

Table of Contents:

Cultural Awareness Should Be the Norm in a Global Economy

Faux pas and misunderstandings may have been hilarious in the heyday of "fish out of water" buddy cop movies, but in this age of multinational enterprises, there is no place for ignorance and disrespect. Team members around the globe are just a click away. What millennials and Gen Z may understand better than their predecessors is that there is significant strength in diversity. Effective partnerships can only be built on communications that reflect sensitivity to the similarities and differences between individuals.

Taking a deeper look into cultural awareness in the workplace, we find that it is not just a vital means to an engaged, collaborative, and loyal employee base. It is merely the first step.

Cultural Awareness Enhances Morale and Performance

Cultural Awareness Enhances Morale and Performance
Image by Wix Media

When employees feel that all backgrounds are welcome at their place of work, they feel less of a need to hide their cultural identity and more able to freely express themselves. The ability to be authentic allows us to share ideas more confidently, be more inspired to work collaboratively, and even build stronger relationships with colleagues. 

Culturally aware employers are more cognizant that different cultural perspectives allow problems or scenarios to be analyzed from multiple angles because relevance and valuation are tied to differing expectations and cultural norms. It's not so much dissension amongst team members but rather another set of factors to consider on the way to a better solution. For employees, knowing that their unique views and opinions will not be dismissed goes a long way to facilitate buy-in with overarching corporate goals. Respect and appreciation often beget increased productivity — and going that extra mile to ensure the team's success.

Cultural Awareness Is an Important Core Value That Will Enhance Your Corporate Culture

Successful business leaders know how personal values help guide us towards success. Their job is to create a workplace that is shaped by values and guiding principles. Consider for a moment, what guiding principles do you use? When your personal values evolve into guiding principles, you have the power to mould corporate culture. We have compiled some key principles for culturally aware professionals to thrive in any community. These will help attract the talent you desire and informs people in the organization how to deal with contentious issues. 

When an organization decides that it wants to be culturally aware, it has chosen to stay in step with this age of global citizenship. It recognizes that having personnel from different cultural backgrounds is not only inevitable but can be an advantage. It promotes learning about the different ways things can be done and about how to leverage different experiences in the course of its business. It not only treats its employees with respect and equity but also teaches them to recognize their own biases. This means that analyses will start off on more solid ground and recommendations will have tested presumptions.

Then, some amazing things will start to happen. Professionals from other countries will become more interested in joining the organization and excited to impart valuable knowledge and experience, and symbiotically contribute to the company's growth. If the organization continues its awareness journey, it will be in a position to evolve.

Cultural Intelligence (CQ)
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Cultural Awareness Is a Prerequisite for Cultural Intelligence (CQ)

Knowledge is power, but acumen is might. If cultural awareness is the recognition of different cultural groups and that culture shapes experience and understanding, cultural intelligence (CQ) is the ability to leverage it. By increasing your exposure to different cultural groups, your cultural awareness is bound to improve. Then you'll be on your way to developing CQ, which helps individuals to assess cross-cultural situations strategically and organizations to adapt accordingly. CQ is already becoming a corporate game changer for performing in a diverse environment. 

Learn more about the CultureQ Code — increase your cultural awareness and cultural intelligence simultaneously, and transform your workplace into a safe and innovative foundation for visionary change.


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