Diversity at the workplace simply means that employees are individuals. They are of different age and gender. They come from a wide range of cultural, linguistic, educational, experience or ethnic backgrounds, represent different religions or belong to a sexual minority. They have grown into different social practices. One shakes hands, the other bows. One is passionate about cricket, one about ice-hockey, and one begins the morning with tea and one with coffee. Deepen your knowledge of diversity by looking at the Government working life diversity guide that explains the concepts in an understandable way and provides comprehensive tips for the development of leadership and the work community.
How is diversity taken into account in your work community?
The work community can do its best and feel well when all of its members are taken into account and a working environment is created where they feel comfortable and whose practices they are familiar with. Company management plays a key role in this: employees must be managed fairly and in such a way that each member of the work community feels equally involved in it. It is important for supervisors to ensure that their management skills are up to date with current needs. Good and inclusive management ensures that diversity can be harnessed as a company resource.
Getting started is easy. If you were working abroad yourself, how would you feel if your employer served cinnamon rolls in the break room on your birthday or wished you a happy Independence Day on December the 6th? Doesn’t sound too difficult, does it? Think of the impression on an Indian or Vietnamese expert if the employer in Finland took into account the Diwali or Tet celebrations, for example.
The key is to familiarize the employee so that they adopt the new working culture and the company’s working methods. Care must also be taken to ensure that the new employee is not left out of informal discussions either. It is also important to teach and explain them the rights of employees - the situation in the employee’s home country may differ a lot from that in Finland. Support and perspectives can be found e.g. inequality planning guides.
All measures aimed at integration improve the comfort of the experts and commit them to the company. Start small and move on to bigger things. This brings direct benefits as creativity increases and results improve.
Global ways of working are here - is your company ready?
The key is to prepare your own teams for diversity and internationality. Finland is part of the global market and a diverse work culture has already arrived in the Nordic countries. A study shows that in the future, all companies will need international experts to succeed. According to the diversity guide of the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment, there is brain drain from Finland. In addition, there is a labor shortage that needs to be addressed in an innovative and flexible way in a timely manner: “It is critical to attract new talent and retain existing talent in Finland.” International experts boost the success of the company.
Prepare for what’s to come. The positive attitude of the company’s management towards internationalization is an excellent start. You can and should improve your management skills, and we will help you to do that.