Like everything else in the world, working effectively across cultures is different today than it was 20 years ago. Back then, we were primarily concerned with understanding and teaching people to appreciate cultural differences. While that’s still important today, it seems that most people are now fairly well aware of cultural differences—and better prepared to address them.
Nowadays, more and more evidence points to the critical connection between engagement and business success. This means that today’s challenge is to not only reinforce the awareness and appreciation of cultural differences, but to create inclusive work environments that foster collaboration and encourage full participation from all individuals. That includes diversity of all kinds—cultural and otherwise.
But achieving inclusivity throughout organizations with thousands of employees isn’t easy. That’s why we’ve created an integrated Global Inclusion Course.
What Exactly is an Inclusive Workplace, and Why Does it Matter?
Inclusion is the ability to make everyone in an organization feel they belong and that they are empowered to contribute in an unfettered way because they are in an environment that appreciates differences. When diverse people come together and are free to be themselves, employees are more engaged, more innovative, and businesses perform better. But organizations cannot reap the benefits of diversity without inclusion.
To develop an inclusive workplace, people must learn to understand and appreciate cultural differences. We have found that people best overcome differences when they recognize their own perspectives, hidden preferences and assumptions. In that way, individuals can start to look at their own implicit biases and attempt to change the impact these biases may have on their behavior. Of course, these skills are also critical components of a Global Mindset.
The best way to achieve an inclusive workplace—and further your journey in developing a Global Mindset—is through organization-wide global cultural inclusion training, like our Global Inclusion Course.
Why We Created a Course on Global Inclusion
Our goal is to help everyone—corporate organizations and individuals within those organizations—gain greater engagement, personal satisfaction, and overall success at work. When it became clear that cultural understanding and workplace inclusion were converging, we realized that, in order to address the global skills development needs of today’s workforce, we needed to create a learning course that combined the two. The idea was to develop a program that could have enormously wide reach while still offering the depth of understanding people require to change their behavior.
We were well aware that we were entering a marketplace where a wealth of diversity learning content already existed. But our researching revealed a gap in the field. There was still a need for a contemporary, succinct, digital diversity & inclusion course that addressed the global workplace—and could be easily accessed by an entire organization.
Soon after, we conducted focus groups with global clients to learn about their workplace needs and challenges. They offered plenty of valuable ideas and solutions that helped shape the course during its development.
How Our Global Inclusion Course Works
At CultureWizard, one of the unique ways we approach teaching culture and inclusion is that we begin each learning journey with a comprehensive personal assessment. In our new Global Inclusion Course, the introductory assessment teaches all users to recognize their own cultural preferences and where their implicit biases may lie so they can begin to better understand how to be more open and flexible in their organization. The course then presents learners with a way to develop personalized tactics so they can gain the competencies they need to act more inclusively, regardless of their role in the workplace.
The next step is practice—a key requirement that we had found lacking in so many other courses. It’s one thing to know how you want to behave; it’s another to actually change your behavior. As we’ve learned in the decades of teaching about cultural differences, changing your behavior requires you recognize your own reactions to differences and then consciously try to flex your preferred style so you can bridge those differences. Understanding and awareness are only the first steps. In order to truly be effective, you have to act differently. Thus, practicing behavioral changes is an invaluable step to creating an environment where all kinds of people feel a sense of belonging.
Understanding cultural diversity and overcoming the barriers that cultural differences create is the essence of what CultureWizard has been teaching since its inception. Now, we’re excited to weave together cultural understanding and inclusion to further help organizations improve collaboration, enhance engagement, and boost overall performance. If that sounds like something you’re interested in, we’d be happy to have you preview the course.