Diversity Acceptance and Inclusion: A Winning Formula
Dr. Lloyd C. Kilmer
There is no doubt that many communities, big and small, across the Heartland are becoming more diverse. The state of Illinois is home to more Latino residents than any other state outside of Florida California and Texas. Employers are increasingly looking to non-traditional sources of labor as the unemployment rate is reaching an eighteen year low.
The real estate business is being impacted as well. Fully a third of first time home buyers are “minority.” This means that ethnic and cultural minorities, same sex partner households, and other co-living groups are moving towards home ownership. Along with the agents who work with these customers are the mortgage bankers, home inspectors, stagers, landscapers, painters and remodelers who support the industry.
Larger firms are also trying to diversify their workforces to better serve customer needs. There are challenges for human resource leaders as they try to adapt processes, procedures and policies for employees from different countries and cultures. Miscommunication and perceived “unfairness” can negatively affect the individual’s and company’s performance.
Is your firm ready to engage with and form a relationship with these potential customers? Even if agents and frontline staff are experienced travelers, this does not insure that they are “culturally competent.” The key characteristics of Cultural Competency are:
- The capability to shift cultural perspective and adapt—or bridge–behavior to cultural commonality and difference.
- Deep cultural self-awareness;
- Deep understanding of the experiences of people from different cultural communities—in perceptions, values, beliefs, behavior and practices;
- Behavioral shifting across various cultural differences.
- Understanding of “transaction” traditions within various groups.
So, to be an inclusive service and product provider, consider training and discussion among your staff to better attract diverse customers and to achieve more success in closing the deal.
Check out the video featuring Dr. Darlene Von Behren, a Performance Learning Consultant, on our Youtube Page. https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCIWx7mWFu-H_sUkH2tj7rRA