InterMED is a European project which aims to promote intercultural mediation as a skill for managers employing an international and/or intercultural workforce.

Across Belgium, the United Kingdom, Poland, Italy and Portugal, and through a tailor-made training programme for managers who have, or wish to have, foreign employees. The programme objective is to improve the integration of migrants in their workplace and, thus, into society. In fact, when migrants, refugees or asylum seekers are well integrated into the labour market, their productivity and contribution to the national economy is more important.

However, managers and companies are not always aware of the importance of intercultural mediation within the workforce, and, therefore, do not make it a priority. They can also feel confused and helpless when making newcomers feel comfortable in their new environment and this can prevent them from reaching their full professional potential. To address the lack of knowledge and competences in the intercultural mediation field, the InterMED project aims at supporting SME managers who are: Currently managing an international workforce.

About to recruit migrants and want to successfully integrate them in the workplace.

Currently not managing an intercultural workforce and need more information about the business case for diversity in the workplace through recruitment, retention and progression strategies.

“Business case for diversity” is a state-of-play concept started many years ago and often discussed within organisations. Many organisations use it to justify corporate diversity and inclusion initiatives, but very few managers know the exact meaning of it nor know how to apply it to their own companies.

The “Business Case for Diversity Management” guide is aimed at showing managers (currently managing an international workforce, willing to integrate immigrants into their workforce, or just curious about recruiting and managing an intercultural workforce), both the benefits of employing migrants and how to manage a diverse workforce so they can benefit fully from diversity. It aims to facilitate and encourage understanding and respect for other cultures and perspectives.

This guide is made of five main sections:

Section A. Introduction to InterMED project and the Guide: this first section includes the general goals of the project, the main stakeholders, the methodology and the expected outcomes.

Section B. Migrants in employment in Europe: case studies: this section includes examples of good practices of how the intercultural mediation was realised within companies with migrants’ employees.

Section C. A business case for diversity: the benefits of diversity linked to business profitability: in this section, the focus is on the positive correlation between human diversity in a business and its profitability.

Section D. Managing Diversity, Tips and Tricks for Managers: this section includes tips, tricks, outcomes and recommendations based on the expertise of all partners and the experiences gained during the pilots (especially the feedback received from the business sector).

Section E. Links to the platform and the training materials: this section enables readers to further develop their education around intercultural mediation and management

What are the top 5 universal benefits of a business case for diversity?

There is a huge list of benefits of a business case for diversity. Some of the benefits, which will be applied whatever the business is, are the following:

  • Increased engagement from part of the workforce, which leads to higher productivity and quality of the work/performance.
  • Improved creativity, with different inputs from different perspectives and life experiences.
  • Improved decision-making process, because more perspectives are utilised.
  • Improved organisation image and corporate reputation.
  • Improved capacity of dealing with a wider range of customers, coming from different countries, languages, cultures, races, ethnicities, etc.

In order to be able to apply the principle of intercultural mediation correctly, fully and with sufficient depth, it is important that you do the exercises in the order as described below.

  1. Beyond the differences
  2. From differences to synergy
  3. Nonviolent communication skills

Each main theme consists of the same steps:

  1. Main aims of the chosen theme: We explain why we have chosen this theme and how it will help you to mediate in an intercultural context. We will explain what you will achieve when you successfully complete the exercises.
  2. General framework: We will give a short introduction to the theory we use
  3. Exercises to test if you understand the general framework: The exercises are application exercises at knowledge level and kills.
  4. Reflective exercises in which you can apply what you have learned to a situation from your own daily practice
  5. Extra tips