4 Benefits of Boosting Cultural Intelligence in a Diverse Workplace

Cultural Intelligence HR Team Needs
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www.worldexecutivesdigest.com | 4 Benefits of Boosting Cultural Intelligence in a Diverse Workplace | Diversity and inclusion are two workplace concepts that are becoming more popular year after year. Diversity in an organization means that its workforce is made up of people of different genders, ages, ethnicities, cultural backgrounds, physical abilities, religious beliefs, and socio-economic statuses.

Inclusion, on the other hand, refers to the feeling of the employees in the workplace. They have to feel accepted, valued, and safe when they are at work, regardless of their background and other unique characteristics.

These two concepts are considered hot topics in the business world since they can provide a number of unparalleled benefits to organizations.

Reasons to Invest in Cultural Intelligence Training

Businesses that want to harness the benefits of diversity and inclusion in the workplace can achieve this goal by investing in training programs for cultural intelligence for their employees.

Cultural intelligence or CQ pertains to the ability of a person to relate with and perform optimally in a culturally diverse workplace. It is now one of the crucial skills employees have to develop and organizations have to help hone if they want to run a more productive and successful business.

Providing employees cultural intelligence training programs is one way of helping them boost their CQ.

Through these structured learning opportunities, your team will have a deeper understanding of cultural intelligence. They will also be given learning materials about this concept and different exercises on how they can improve and apply them inside and outside the workplace.

When the training program is a success, you can expect to see these benefits in your workplace:

  • Improved employee performance

People who have high CQ can easily and successfully adapt to multicultural settings and situations. When your employees have honed this competency, you will see positive changes in your workplace, especially if you have a highly diverse one.

One of these changes is their ability to adapt to meet the demands of their work environment. If your employees work with customers of diverse backgrounds, their higher CQ can help them deal with both their current and new clientele better.

They will be able to understand their customers’ needs better and find the best ways to assist them.

Additionally, you will see an improvement in your leaders’ performances as well. With their enhanced cultural intelligence, they will be more competent in leading their teams, even those based in other cities or countries. Moreover, they will be able to handle conflicts better, thanks to their deeper understanding and respect for different cultures.

Leaders will also know how to minimize conflicts in the workplace and even prevent them from blowing out of proportion if they have the proper CQ training. This, in turn, can also help employees experience less burnout, which always has a negative impact on business operations.

All these translate to the continuous smooth operations of your business and an improvement in employee productivity.

  • Better communication and collaboration

In a diverse workplace, communication is often an issue. Even if everyone uses the same language, misunderstandings and some level of distrust among employees are common situations.

When your employees improve their cultural intelligence, miscommunication would be minimized in the workplace. There will be lower cases of wrong assumptions, perceptions, and judgment.

Additionally, your employees can dispel their perceived notions of the interpersonal risks of speaking up. They will have the confidence to talk to others, which will result in reduced instances of in-office clashes and missed development opportunities and better teamwork.

Additionally, a well-designed CQ training workshop will help your employees learn to trust each other more. This will result in better information and idea-sharing in the workplace. This enhanced collaboration will enhance the individual performance of your members and your team as a whole.

  • Enhanced creativity and innovation

With everyone communicating, collaborating, and trusting each other, your workplace can grow into an effective problem-solving hub where all members are allowed to be creative and think outside the box.

When you have a workspace that encourages creativity and innovation, you will inspire your employees to perform better, even beyond your expectations. They can provide recommendations and solutions to improve processes in your workplace.

Additionally, when your employees feel that they are free to act and think differently, they can introduce changes that will result in the improvement of your company as a whole.

Whether you are asking for your employees’ input in marketing, recruitment, or management, and whether they came up with their own ideas or are sharing ones they have read, this collaborative atmosphere will improve your organization as a whole.

  • Improved negotiation and decision making skills

Lastly, higher CQ will help your employees enhance their negotiation skills. Whether a situation involves diverse company colleagues, customers, or suppliers, your team can show more patience and greater ability to persist and collaborate to come up with agreements that favor all parties involved.

More importantly, the enhanced collaborative atmosphere in the workplace will help your team work better to find mutually acceptable solutions to issues within the company.

Advanced cultural intelligence can aid your employees in understanding and evaluating situations involving various perspectives that call for making a choice. As a result, they are more likely to make smarter decisions — ones that can benefit all involved parties.

Since your business stands to gain these benefits when you invest in cultural intelligence training, choose the right provider to lead your team’s workshop. By doing so, you will be sure to see these positive changes in your workplace.


Salma El-Shurafa is an experienced Executive Coach and founder of The Pathway Project. She is a Professional Certified Coach by the International Coaching Federation (ICF), a Certified Professional Co-Active Coach from The Coaches Training Institute (CTI) and a graduate of CTI’s Co-Active Leadership program.

How to Talk the Talk: Workplace Communication Problems & Solutions from Institute of Business Publications