If you wish to promote multiculturalism in the workplace, the first step you have to take is that of hiring people from a diversity of cultures. This is how you will end up with a multicultural workplace, in the first place. Before you can start talking about promoting multiculturalism in the workplace, you need to have a multicultural workforce first. And, we reiterate, the way to have the multicultural workforce is by hiring people from a diversity of cultures.
When we talk about hiring people from a diversity of cultures, we don’t necessarily mean having an international workforce (though that would be great too). The reality is, however, that we tend to see a diversity of cultures emerging within the same nation, and even within the same locality. Within a given locality, and due to social-economic differences, you may end up with a diversity of cultures or subcultures emerging. And as long as you are not discriminative in your hiring, you are likely to get job applicants from the different cultures or subcultures, whenever you float job adverts. That approach of being non-discriminative while hiring is also likely to have another benefit of making it possible for you to tap into the entire available talent pool, thus ending up with truly great people in your staff. You may therefore end up with employees who come from the same state, indeed from the same county, but who represent a great diversity of cultures.
Having hired people from a diversity of cultures, the next step you need to take is that of creating a workplace culture that encourages mutual respect. Here, you have to take deliberate steps to promote the mutual respect, because there is a tendency by people to feel that their cultures are superior and the other cultures are inferior. You therefore have to inculcate it, as part of your organization’s policy, that the people from the diverse cultures have to respect each other. If, for instance, you have people who come from the ghetto subculture and people who come from the uptown/middle class subculture, you have to tell them directly that they are expected to respect each other, regardless of their socioeconomic backgrounds, which manifest as ‘subcultures’.