Bridging Cultural Divides: Managing A Team of Different Nationalities
International Migrants Day - 18 December
A multicultural team is becoming the new normal at the workplace. Yet interactions among cultures, while common, are also complex and filled with differences in lived experience. How are companies turning these differences into opportunities?
Talent management & the global citizen
Awareness and adaptation
Acknowledging challenges people face coming from different cultural backgrounds is the first step to shepherding a multicultural team. Adapting to each employee's way of handling a matter requires patience and an open mindset. Companies can turn this situation into a high-performing collective by cultivating an environment where everyone feels comfortable asking questions to clarify any doubts.
Maximize the benefits of a culturally diverse team
People of different nationalities grow up in totally different cultures and thus have their own unique ways of handling situations. Their viewpoints and behavior will differ from another. The advantage of having people of various nationalities is that you get to attack problems from multiple angles. Navigating each individual’s differences is how to optimize team performance.
Related Article: How to create a culture that promotes ideas, goodwill, and happiness
Over-communication is favorable
In a culturally diverse team, individuals experience and react to situations in a totally different way whether they choose it or not. Most of the time, we presume that team members completely understand what we say and suppose they have the same cultural background as us.Therefore, deliberately communicating more than normal is necessary to minimize information gaps and prevent misunderstandings.
Team building sessions allow team members to build connections through activities that are not related to work. Shared experiences help them connect better and learn how to work with each other.
Related Article: How Engaging Your Employees Increases Your Company Growth
Companies that celebrate a multicultural environment retain employees better. Employees who feel accepted and appreciated for who they are feel happier and are less likely to leave.
In today's world, companies are challenged to understand a wider and richer assortment of work styles than ever before. It is essential to bear in mind that there is no culture that is “right” or “wrong”. It's all about cultivating an open mindset. Promoting diversity is an extraordinary source of enrichment for any company’s performance.
Human Resources @ work:
How do you manage a multicultural team of employees? Are there HR policies in place to encourage variety in opinions and backgrounds? Do you make it a point to recruit for diversity?
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