Multicultural Work Environment


Globalization has brought our work environment many advantages as well as challenges. Today many companies are actively recruiting the best of the best from all over the world. A Japanese company can hire an American professional or an American company may hire a Chinese professional depending on the job requirements. In this diverse environment, communication is the key to successs of any team and company.  Developing communication as a conscious skill is a must while working in a global environment.

In order to work effectively together first of all companies must decide on the most effective ways to deal with cultural differences in the office. Companies must remember that differences of culture or values should not be reason for communication gaps. Since communication is ruled by cultural preferences,values and differences, it is very important to understand those while communicating with your colleagues.

So how can a company overcome the challenges that a multicultural work environment presents? Companies need to set up an action plan on how to deal with these cultural differences effectively.

First of all companies must be able to recognise one’s own cultural norms and values, and they must provide awareness of cultural differences. Workers should not try to impose their own set values on the other members of the company. Companies must be able to manage uncertainty of multicultural situations.  It is very important to find out the effect of these cultural differences on the behavior of people in the office. One thing may be well  tolerated in one culture but may be unacceptable in another. Great examples are also avaılable in the article Culture Clash on our blog.

Finally every member of the company must be treated fairly regardless of their cultural, ethnic and religious background. Members of the company must know that they all are equal. During evaluations, an employees’ work performance must be the only criteria to depend on.

A company’s success is directly related to its employees success. Especially with multicultural companies it is a big achivment to be able to manage diverse cultures. Companies must see multiculturalism as an advantage rather than an obstacle in the work enviroment. Different cultures may lead to new business opportunities as every team member brings a different point of view.

Don’t let personality or cultural clashes ruin your work environment.