The increasing ethnic diversity in the workplace in NZ requires a new skill set from managers in how to understand staff and build a workplace culture of respect, to capture the benefits of diversity.
An understanding of the meaning of the term ‘culture’ and the ability to have insight into one’s own culture is the starting point for respect and valuing of other cultures, before progressing to listening, and developing policies and behaviours relevant to the cultural partnerships which are specific to the organisation.
Stereotyping is to be avoided! Emotional intelligence is also a valuable asset.
Cultural responsiveness is best achieved through the ability to reflect on attitudes, to acquire knowledge, and then to apply basic communication principles.
We recognise that there are multi-factorial influences which have contributed to the values and practices of a multicultural society, and that within this kaleidoscope there is the unique individual who is the best exponent of his/her own reality.
This approach is practical and specific, and encourages an analysis of the cross cultural context of the organisation to identify strengths and opportunities for development of a culture of responsiveness.