Do you have a multicultural team? Here are the best practices for working with different cultures
Globalization, remote work, migration, and the modern world mean that many companies have adopted employees from different cultures. This is not only a benefit to the employee but also to the companies. However, cultural differences come to the forefront when everyone meets remotely or face-to-face.
Previously, and more common in transnational companies, executives or management positions traveled from one headquarters to another in different countries encountering habits or customs that were not their own, but now this practice is the most normal because the cultural exchange between teams increased because of the pandemic expanding the range to positions that were not considered before.
In addition to language or religion, which can be compelling reasons, it is important that the company maintains its own corporate culture where it addresses the differences and diversity of the team. Corporate culture is about the company’s values, which should reflect that no matter the differences, employees are valued for what they do.
These are some practices that organizations should follow and transmit to work teams:
Both company and employee should talk about what they expect from each other in terms of objectives, expectations, and way of working. Keeping the “door open” to receive any comments, complaints or suggestions is crucial to ensure harmony.
Frequent meetings are the ideal space to share any problems and find solutions. Maintaining informal communication is also a way to integrate new employees into the original team.
Despite differences and lifestyles, remember that in the end, we all have a common goal, and teamwork fosters and strengthens the bonds of integration, and it should be something that everyone should enjoy and not something that makes them feel uncomfortable.
When hiring team members from a different culture, it is important to keep xenophobic or racist remarks to a minimum. Respecting and appreciating other cultures is a way to broaden our knowledge of the world.
Some cultures are rigid with time were being one minute late is considered lousy. There are other cultures that “relax” a bit and do not see the established times as urgent. The relevant thing should be to take good practices and explain to those who integrate the importance of attending or being present at certain times.
No matter how remote a team member may be, there are commonalities to be found. We are all driven by a passion for what we do, which is the first point that must coincide when finding a new employee in another latitude. A good attitude, willingness to help, and ability to not take themselves too seriously, can be attitudes that will make the relationship between an established team and the new multicultural members easier.
It is a new era, and companies that do not yet dare to do so should consider it. It is an enriching and learning experience for both parties in a world that sometimes forgets that in the end, we are all the same.