Cross-Cultural Training
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Tips for Managing a Diverse Workforce

  1. Acknowledge and allow for differences. People’s expectations and behavior are influenced by their background as well as their own unique style of working with others.
  2. Create an understanding of differences in individual behavioral styles by using one of the widely accepted assessment tools that place people in one of four behavioral dimensions. Each of us has a unique way of working and interacting with others. For example, some people interrupt when others are talking, if one is aware of this she will learn to listen and wait before responding. Also, others will become more forgiving since they know it is not intentional rudeness.
  3. Create a common ground for communication by conducting training that specifically delineates dimensions of cultural differences and how these differences affect our everyday work. For example when an Anglo manager assigns a task to a Hispanic employee, do both of them have the same understanding of what is expected? Do you understand differences between delegating, motivating and evaluating employees from different backgrounds?
  4. Create a more inclusive corporate environment by examining your organization’s values to determine if it is biased toward a certain point of view. For example, if most of your employees are engineers, are marketing employees at a disadvantage? Or does your corporate environment value direct and assertive behavior? In this case you might view some of your Asian and Hispanic employees negatively since their original culture encourages the opposite behavior.
  5. Make clear that the purpose of understanding other’s cultural values is not to learn to accommodate them or to change them, but to create an environment for better communication where everyone is put to use based on their strengths and qualifications.
  6. After you understand the differences, focus on similarities. The human heart is the same all over the world. We have similar wants and needs although we might express them differently. Make your corporate culture more inclusive, and it will be the bond of respect and affection, motivating employees to work with commitment and passion.

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