Diversity Training Tool
Multicultural Training - The Next Level in Diversity Training
by Luke Smith, http://www.thirdwaveworkforce.com
In the modern business world nearly all large American corporations have implemented some form of diversity training. Big Business recognizes the need for the appreciation of individual uniqueness. Diversity training teaches us to celebrate the differences that manifest as personality. But does diversity training alone really prepare people to work in today's multicultural workplace?
The recent immigration boom in this country has impacted not only the corporate culture, but also the buyers' market. Demographers predict by the year 2050 the non-Hispanic white population will actually become the minority, giving way to a culturally diverse majority. People continue to migrate to this country for a chance at a better life, but when they enter the American workforce they will undoubtedly face many culture-based challenges, and the people with whom they work will also experience those challenges.
While diversity training can prepare workers to interact with different personalities, it does not prepare them to work with people from different cultures. Unlike diversity training, multicultural training has been developed specifically to address cultural concerns. When cultures collide in corporate America many challenges can arise such as communication breakdown and involuntary discrimination.
It is not uncommon for managers to mistake culture-based workplace behaviors for performance or attitude issues. Here's an example: a foreign-born employee follows his boss around all day continuously asking, "What do you want me to do?", never acting without specific direction. This boss may think that this employee cannot think on his own and shows no initiative. What the boss does not realize is that the workplace culture in the employee's native country is hierarchical, and therefore initiative is discouraged and workers only do what they are told.
Cross-cultural communication can be a slippery slope with many potential pitfalls. Many immigrants who come to work in this country learn English before they arrive, but few Americans understand the difference between the Standard English learned internationally and the street language known as colloquial English. This disparity can lead to ineffective communication, which can negatively impact productivity. Many HR managers understand the challenges posed by cultural difference and the need for training that prepares managers and staff to work with or for people from different cultures. Today if you have a multicultural workforce, then multicultural training is critical. It's your next level of diversity training.
For more information on multicultural training visit http://www.thirdwaveworkforce.com