Harmony and productivity: Maximising the value of diverse workforce

Australia’s workforce has been progressively shaped and enhanced by the contributions of people from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds.

Within Australia’s economic and commercial history, strong evidence points to the effectiveness of a culturally diverse workforce. Australia’s post-war immigration boom had a significant and positive impact on the economy, and reshaped the nature of Australia’s workforce by making use of new skills and expanding our commercial and business interests. Removing restrictive immigration policies in the 1970s further opened up Australia’s economy, and provided new opportunities and markets.

Today, with global financial challenges, increasing labour demands and market competitiveness, Australia’s greatest opportunity is in making the best use of the skills and resources of our culturally diverse workforce to benefit employers and staff. One of the greatest challenges, however, is to recognise and effectively manage cultural diversity to maximize its value and fully enjoy its benefits.

These resources aim to assist organisations in creating an inclusive workforce, and enhancing productivity through diversity. The resources will also support employers, managers and leaders in developing strategies to foster a diverse and harmonious workplace, including organisational policies and action plans.

Harmony in the Workplace – Delivering the Diversity Dividend

Comprised of a series of ten factsheets, the resources cover a diverse range of issues, from exploring cultural diversity in the context of Australia’s broader workforce, to legal frameworks concerning workplace discrimination. They also discuss myths and commonly held misperceptions about cultural diversity in the workplace, as well as tips on maximising cultural diversity for the benefit of organisations and their employees. The factsheets were developed by FECCA in conjunction with industry experts and professionals, aimed at fostering greater awareness and appreciation of cultural diversity in Australian workplaces.

Workplace Cultural Diversity Tool

The Australian Human Rights Commission has developed a free online tool to help businesses enhance productivity through a culturally diverse workplace.  Based on international best practice, the Workplace Cultural Diversity Tool is a ‘how to’ guide to workplace cultural diversity.

The tool:

  • Offers practical steps to effectively manage a culturally diverse workforce;
  • Let’s organisations assess themselves against 30 measures of competence;
  • Provides a starting point for those considering a focus on cultural diversity;
  • Helps those committed to cultural diversity move towards best practice.

Try the free tool here to receive your confidential report tailored to your workplace: www.culturaldiversity.humanrights.gov.au.

Diversity in Disability Toolkit

These are resources designed to help you and your organisation make a difference for people with disabilities from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds (CALD).

Developed as part of the Diversity in Disability initiative of Ageing, Disability and Home Care (NSW Department of Family and Community Services), this toolkit comprises a suite of exploratory resources on how to:

You can use these resources to think about how you can start to make a difference with creating a more inclusive future for people with disabilities from CALD backgrounds; and how you can bring your organisation, and its people, along for the journey: www.diversityindisability.org.