“A diverse mix of voices leads to better discussions, decisions, and outcomes for everyone.” - Sundar Pichai
Do you wear layers of clothes - Woollen sweaters, scarves, and warmers in the hot summers? No! That would make it impossible for you to breathe! Thus, you dress in sync with the environmental context.
Similarly, an organisation cannot be non-inclusive and ignorant of the cultural context if it wants to breathe. Companies often fail to understand that it is the people who make or break an organisation. When the world is diverse, your organisation must reflect the cultural situations around you. Aim to grow your company in the cultural context and success will soon follow.
What Is Cultural Context?
Cultural context refers to racial diversity, religious practices, norms, cultural beliefs, personal values, etc. in your organisation. It is a social symbol of the city or country that you work from.
Your recruitment policies and diversity initiatives must be in sync with the cultural context and respect the entire workforce. Some methods include having gender-neutral signage, chairs that are comfortable for people of all sizes, using multiple languages for internal communication, and a multi-cuisine cafeteria, among other things.
Why Should You Be Aware of the Cultural Situation in the Area Where Your Company Is Located?
The significance of cultural context goes unnoticed by many but has a massive impact in human lives. Whether it is at work or home, knowledge of the cultural situations and social conditions around your company’s location is important because:
It is a sign of respect.
It improves communication.
It helps you understand your employees' psyche.
It provides you with the knowledge of how people work (For example, do they accept punctuality? Do they prefer long-term goals or short-term goals?).
It aids in setting a code of conduct within your organisation.
Knowing the Cultural Context Allows You to Keep Your Employees Happier
Creating a company culture for security and the happiness of your employees is important. When your employees leave work, they are spending their time in the cultural situation that exists outside and that inadvertently influences them.
For example, making your employees work on a local holiday can foster negative vibes. They may feel that you have no regard for their faith or beliefs. If you decide to let them take a personal day off or let them leave early, they will value it and feel happy. They will reciprocate. Happy workers are 13% more productive!
The Importance of Building an Inclusive, Non-Discriminatory Organisational Culture
How do you define organisational culture? Think of it as the secret ingredient behind your business's personality. This refers to the psychological and social environment of your company. This environment must be not for SOME, but, for ALL. Inclusion, diversity, and equality must be a fundamental part of your company’s culture. A non-discriminating working culture is not extraordinary, but a natural, human phenomenon.
Different perspectives are valuable: Seeing the same thing from different angles opens new doors of possibilities and grows your company.
Diversity offers insights into your audience: When your employees are from different cultural backgrounds, you'll know how your product or service will be received by your audience.
Equips your company for the global stage: When you want to scale, you go global. When you understand the cultural context everywhere, you'll know what will work and what won't.
It is important to question: Questioning mindsets and questioning assumptions grows people. When people grow, so does the organisation.
It facilitates better decision making: Diverse teams make better decisions 87% of the time.
Practice D&I to Stand out From the Cultural Context
Building a great company culture is difficult, but possible. It's certainly worth the effort. Studies have indicated that inclusive companies are 1.7 times more likely to be leaders of innovation that outperform the industry norms by 35%!
Practice diversity in terms of race, religion, sexual orientation, gender, nationality, way of thinking, age, etc. Then make sure everyone practices inclusion, while adapting to the cultural context. Think of the country you work in to be a habitat of a kind. If you are a creature of that habitat, you'll be able to thrive. This habitat is the cultural context.