Did you know that 51% of knowledge workers work hybrid while 20% work remote? Working from home is bringing many benefits to both employers and employees. One of these benefits includes hiring from different cultures around the world.
In our globalized world, workplaces are more diverse than ever. This brings so many advantages like a mix of perspectives, creativity, and innovation. However, it also comes with its fair share of challenges.
Especially when it comes to ensuring everyone, from every background, feels valued and included.
Are you looking to make your company culture more inclusive? Keep reading for more.
Understanding Different Cultures
We’re living in a global world where our colleagues might be from different corners of the globe. When we understand where folks are coming from culturally, we can avoid misunderstandings that might stem from different cultural norms and traditions.
It’s all about creating a comfortable and inclusive environment, where everyone feels respected and valued. Being culturally aware not only fosters positive vibes, but it’s also great for business since diversity brings innovation.
Common Cultural Differences
Every culture has its own unique set of traditions, values, and customs. These can have a huge impact on how business is done.
For example, in some cultures, people value hierarchy and would strictly follow the chain of command. In others, a more egalitarian approach is favored.
Timing is another fun one. In some places, being ‘fashionably late’ is the norm while in others, punctuality is a must. These cultural differences can sometimes lead to bumps on the road when you’re trying to get things done, so it’s important to understand these norms and navigate them effectively.
How to Understand Different Cultures
There are plenty of strategies for understanding different cultures.
Research the cultural norms of your colleagues, partners, or clients. The internet has plenty of information on these. There are also plenty of cultural sensitivity training programs out there, which can be useful.
And let’s not forget the most effective strategy: direct communication. Don’t be shy to ask your colleagues about their cultural norms and traditions. Most people appreciate the genuine interest.
Just remember, understanding comes with patience, openness, and loads of respect.
Building a Culturally-Inclusive Company Culture
Picture a workplace where everyone’s unique experiences and perspectives are valued, and their differences are seen as assets rather than obstacles. It’s a place where people of all backgrounds feel welcome and respected.
It’s not just about tolerating differences, it’s about celebrating them and seeing how they can add value to the work we do. It’s the key to success in our globalized world.
How to Create an Inclusive Culture
First, we need to take a good, hard look at our current company culture. Are we already encouraging diversity and inclusion, or do we need to make some changes?
Next, it’s time to get our employees involved in shaping this culture. After all, they’re the ones living it every day.
We can also implement diversity and inclusion training to make sure everyone’s on the same page. And of course, we need to encourage open communication and feedback.
This way, if someone’s feeling uncomfortable or excluded, they can speak up and we can address the issue.
Tools and Resources for an Inclusive Workplace Culture
Luckily, there are a lot of tools and resources available to help us build a culturally-inclusive company culture. This can include:
- Online courses
- HR platforms that help us track diversity metrics
Some companies even hire diversity and inclusion consultants to guide them through the process. The important thing is that we’re not trying to do this alone. There are plenty of resources out there to help us succeed.
Overcoming Challenges in Cross-Cultural Communication
You might have experienced these firsthand or seen them play out in your workplace. Simple things like differences in body language, tone of voice, or the meaning of certain phrases can create misunderstandings.
Also, differences in how cultures view hierarchy, time, and negotiation can lead to some serious confusion. Not to mention, language barriers can be a major roadblock too.
Promote Cultural Intelligence
This is all about understanding, respecting, and effectively interacting with people from different cultures.
It’s not just about knowing cultural facts, but being able to adapt your approach based on that understanding. A team with high cultural intelligence can learn to navigate cross-cultural interactions!
Encourage Language Learning
Encouraging your team to learn new languages or at least some key phrases can do wonders in breaking down barriers. Plus, it’s a sign of respect for other cultures, which always goes down well.
Providing language resources, like access to language learning apps or even arranging language lessons, can be super helpful here.
Use Clear Communication
When we communicate across cultures, it’s vital to keep our language clear, concise, and simple. Avoid:
- Complex terms
Clarity is your best friend when it comes to cross-cultural communication.
Evaluating Company Culture Across Different Cultures
Monitoring and maintaining our company culture is crucial. It’s not a set-and-forget kind of deal.
Think of it like a garden. If we don’t keep watering our plants and pulling out the weeds, everything can go sideways pretty quickly.
There are key performance indicators we can look at. Things like employee engagement, retention rates, and feedback from employees can give us some pretty good insights. Even client feedback can tell us a lot about our culture.
Make sure we’re regularly revisiting and revising our company values. Just like our teams, our values should grow and evolve over time.
We also need to celebrate our cultural differences, not just tolerate them. This could be through events, acknowledgment, or even something as simple as sharing a meal from a different culture.
Finally, we need to reinforce our culture through our internal communications, policies, and practices. This makes sure our culture isn’t just words on a wall, but something we live and breathe every day.
How Is Your Workplace Culture?
Your workplace culture can set the tone for how your company operates. Fostering healthy cultures is not only the right thing to do, but it brings about innovation and increased productivity.
At Nizek, we believe in fostering workplace diversity and respecting different cultures internally with our employees, but also in how we interact with the rest of the world. Are you looking to work with us? Contact us today!