Managing Cultural Diversity in the Hospitality Industry

The hospitality sector is the highest recruiter, the managers face a challenge of managing workforce diversity as there is a higher level of labour mobility across nations.The managers need to recognize the benefits of a culturally diverse workforce which would help them to handle the challenges that such a workforce presents. Cultural diversity can create innovation and a wider perspective in problem-solving. Since the customer base is diverse, a diverse workforce can easily be in tune with the customers. A culturally diverse workforce can enhance the public image of the company, give it a competitive edge and enhance productivity (Devine, Baum, Hearns, Devine, 2007).While individual differences can foster creativity and innovation, these become the root cause of conflicts and harassment (Baum, 2007). People are not homogenous and the cultural differences cannot be ignored. The managers have to ensure that the needs of the individuals meet the requirements of the organization. The greatest problem that arises due to cultural differences is in communication. The managers need to be aware of the significance of communication which will help them to enhance intercultural communication.Culture is a system of shared symbols and experiences and the lack of these shared symbols and experiences makes communication across cultures difficult (Celaya Swift, 2006). An examination of the cultural traits would help the managers to understand behaviour across cultures and decide on suitable actions to meet these challenges. A ‘fit’ between the national culture and managerial practices significantly impacts the outcome such as employee attitudes and work performance (Testa, 2004). National culture, according to Hofstede, has been defined as the values, beliefs and assumptions learned in early childhood that distinguishes one group of people from another. This influences how the employees from different nationalities perceive and relate to their work environment.