The idea of Earth being a global village has never been more accurate. We can contact each other instantly online and translate text at the touch of a button.
Despite this, many companies still find themselves in a rut when it comes to diversity among their employees.
Dealing with cultural differences seems to ignite hostility among some people. But for businesses, embracing multiculturalism is both necessary and highly beneficial.
Communication is something that many people struggle with.
When managing a team, excellent communication skills are a must. In a culturally diverse team, they’re even more so. Effective communication in the workplace improves performance, and the next level—learning how to communicate across cultures—can boost a company’s performance even more.
This article will look at how cross-cultural communication can drive workplace success.
A company that’s keen to recruit the best in the business can’t afford to discriminate against cultures other than their own. As an employer, limiting your scope and only looking for others like you brings your business down.
Not wanting to work together with a variety of cultures means you’re missing out on many skilled professionals who are being passed over for no reason. Other than having a different background. When spelled out like that, it’s easy to see why this is bad practice.
In a workspace with a wide variety of cultures, every employee needs to be engaged and proactive when communicating in a constructive and effective manner. In some places, there is the assumption or insinuation that a company practicing diversity (in terms of who they employ) is discriminating against another culture, race, sexual orientation, religion and/or gender. There are people who maintain that proactively pursuing diversity results in the best candidates getting overlooked. While other, less-qualified people are able to land jobs due to their ethnic background.
This theory couldn’t be farther from the truth
Deliberately focusing on including a multitude of cultures in your office actually improves productivity and financial performance.
Encouraging people from a variety of backgrounds to join your team means you stand a chance of employing many experts from different cultures. Each of whom brings a unique perspective to the table. The process of cross-cultural communication brings personal and professional growth to everyone involved.
When different cultures come together, there are opportunities for learning, understanding, and the open exchange of ideas.
Existing in an echo chamber is one of the most toxic states in terms of encouraging (or discouraging) personal and professional growth. In this monotonous environment, employees and employers sit comfortably within their bubbles to avoid facing challenges and change. ]
In that time, communication skills stagnate and people lose the sense of innovation that comes with cross-cultural interaction. Working with colleagues from a wide variety of cultures forces people to engage. Two people from dissimilar backgrounds can often offer two completely different perspectives on any given situation, which stimulates creativity.
Different cultures often have distinct ways of living, including different attitudes towards work and life in general. One culture might revere the elderly while another considers them as lesser contributing members of society. In some cultures, there is an emphasis on hard work. While others see work as a task that requires completion so that leisure time is enjoyed as often as possible.
At times, these cultural differences bring about clashing opinions. But for the most part, coming together and communicating without judgment results in stronger relationships between colleagues, and an increased openness to varying perspectives.
True communication isn’t just about stating facts and opinions. It’s about putting aside expectations and remembering that you (we) aren’t an authority in every aspect of the business world. Cross-cultural interaction gives workers opportunities to increase their knowledge and skill set.
Workplace culture and cultural diversity aren’t one and the same. But they are related, and they have a significant influence on each other. Company culture doesn’t mean a homogenous workforce, but rather describes the ethos of a business that reflects its values and approach to life. Workplace culture is founded on the principles and values of staff members and can have a huge impact on performance.
Being part of a diverse team automatically increases the need for clear and effective communication. In the era of remote working and all the additional challenges and stresses this brings, clear communication is more essential than ever.
Different cultures need not mean different languages, but they can often mean different beliefs and habits. For some people, this seems to provoke hostility. However, it’s an excellent opportunity to work on interpersonal communication and relationships between management and staff.
Colleagues learn how to communicate clearly out of necessity, which creates a company culture of engagement and learning.
Effective workplace communication is, of course, essential for success even if all employers come from the same kind of background. Working with a culturally diverse team, however, makes everyone more aware of their interpersonal relationships and improves communication in general.
Being open to new perspectives encourages creativity and innovation that wouldn’t exist without the input from different cultures.
Nurturing diversity in the workplace isn’t just something to do to keep up with trends; it’s proven to stimulate productivity. Plus, when factored into how to calculate profit margin, it shows that it increases turnover too.
Research conducted back in 2015 suggested that the clash between people of different political leanings actually enhanced the quality of contributions to Wikipedia pages. Their drive and need to convey information accurately and effectively was increased as they tried to communicate across a political chasm. Coming up against viewpoints you don’t agree with can be a great opportunity for growth. And growth is a fundamental part of excellence in the workplace.
Looking further afield, a culturally diverse workplace can improve marketing and customer relations. Employees who engage constructively and sensitively with colleagues from other backgrounds are more likely to be mindful of the impact of different marketing strategies on a diverse target market.
A culturally diverse workforce that strives for excellent cross-cultural communication can improve a company’s productivity and boost revenue.
Being willing to listen and collaborate has no drawbacks and offers many benefits in any and every industry.