People from culturally diverse backgrounds can bring enormous strengths to an organisation. These talents, skills, expertise and relationships can increase staff confidence and improve client service. For this to occur, the organisation must ensure that work practices consider the needs of clients and employees from diverse backgrounds, and provide training and encouragement to staff.
Culturally appropriate practices in working with people of diverse race, ethnicity, class, ability, sexual preference and age may relate to the following:
- collection and provision of information
- employment and promotion opportunities
- provision of assistance
- contact with families
- physical contact
- handling personal belongings
- provision of food services
- workplace health and safety.
The ability to speak and understand English may also affect a person’s ability to move within an organisation in regard to processes and promotion prospects.
Let’s not squander our natural advantage ─ The business advantages of Australia’s productive diversity ethos.
Let’s Not Squander Our Natural Advantage. Mary Kalantzis and Bill Cope. The Australian, 7 November 1996.