In today’s society, physical borders between countries are becoming less and less rigid, making it easier for people to relocate. This is why, especially in big companies, management is faced with an abundance of cultural differences between employees.
Below are some tips on how to manage and promote cultural diversity and how to make each and every employee feel valued and respected, no matter where they come from.
If you want to be able to manage cultural differences, you must first be able to understand those cultures. People are taught to speak and act in a certain way, based on where they come from. Germans, for example, are more straightforward in communication and prefer to be more business-oriented in discussions, leaving jokes and humor aside. Italians, on the other hand, prefer a more personal connection and can often forget the boundaries between work and friendships.
A good HR manager should spend time learning about the culture of foreign employees, so they know how to handle various situations that may come along the way.
For people to be able to feel included, they need to feel they can speak their mind. Most conflicts happen because of small misunderstandings, and when you put people from different cultural backgrounds in the same room, it can happen quite often.
Some people might take the politeness and friendliness of Americans as being fake, while others might think their French colleague is too much of an arrogant, simply because he does not speak much. Encourage employees to speak their mind in a way that does not offend or affect others.
If you want to be considered a company that promotes cultural diversity, then you don’t only need to acknowledge those differences, but to also show consideration. Some cultures are more focused on their family life, while others are more centered on their business life. You cannot expect them to change those beliefs, as it is the way they are accustomed to behave.
Immigrants may sometimes have trouble understanding legal paperwork, so it may be a good idea to have the documents translated into their native language as well. Professional translation services, such as PickWriters, can be used to make sure the papers are correctly translated and nothing is left for interpretation.
Part of embracing and managing cultural diversity involves being familiar with their holidays and respecting their traditions. Some cultures celebrate various holidays on different days, so giving them the day off on the 25th of December may not do them any good. If the work environment allows, discuss those particular situations with your employees and try to find the middle-ground.
Again, with open communication and consideration, anything is possible.
Cultural diversity is more and more present in work environments, which is why companies should take a step forward towards embracing it and finding the proper ways to manage it.
It's time to start positively moving the needle on your culture to create a happier workplace full of passion, purpose, and profits for your organization!