A diverse workforce undoubtedly brings the desired results to your business, but cultural differences will create a lot of barriers between your employees, which will hinder the progress.
Having the best capable hands around the world on a project will yield better results since all your workers have different experiences, which play a major role in executing a project.
As interesting as this may sound, cultural differences can make a project fall off; if your employees do not understand themselves, then your business is on the verge of collapsing.
Creating A Multicultural Environment At Work
As a business owner, the goal is to maximize profit by solving problems people encounter and to do this professionally; you need experts.
For a business owner based in Africa, where there seem to be food constraints, hiring professionals from other parts of the world to tackle the issue of food security will be a huge bonus.
Due to cultural diversity, there might be some loopholes if the employees can’t communicate between themselves. In such an instance, how do you create a multicultural environment to boost your productivity?
1. Language And Cultural Barriers
The first challenge an international employee will face at work is a language barrier and cultural barriers. All countries have different ways of doing things, from rules and regulations to official spoken language. Even states that are present in a country differ in language.
The first step to eliminate the communication barrier is to find a common language spoken by all your employees and set the pace from there.
Provide adequate language training to all employees and make them respect one another. During meetings, make them understand that asking a colleague to repeat himself for clarity is not a big deal; this will make the employee trying to learn the new language feel comfortable.
Another useful tip to overcome the language barrier is to employ the use of technology tools that helps in building a multicultural environment at work. One of such is video remote interpretation. This helps to provide interpreting services, and it is done by a remote interpreter.
2. Preparation Time
According to studies, learning a new language takes time, which should be considered at your workplace. To avoid language barriers, let your international employees take their time in learning the language you chose as the main language of communication at work.
For starters, making a point or presentation might lead
to stuttering and stammering, which is normal; during this period, be patient with such employees and don’t interrupt even when you have the intention of helping. Interrupting the employee might affect his self-esteem and make him feel uneasy in meetings and decision-making circumstances.
Grant such employees additional time to prepare and come back stronger. This will boost his morale and also make him feel comfortable to express himself better.
3. Be Open To All Cultures
This is where most business owners get it wrong; your job as the CEO is more than the office you’re occupying. It takes a great deal of experience and sacrifice to attain that position. One of the sacrifices you make is taking out time to learn about your international employees’ culture.
Learning about your employees’ culture will make them feel special and loved. Try to communicate with them in their local language; you can learn a few words to exchange pleasantries.
Embracing all cultures will make your employees give their best, knowing fully well that their employers promote a multicultural environment. In Africa, most countries have different festive periods; this is another great chance to eliminate cultural barriers.
Setting up decorations to celebrate all employees’ cultures during their festive period is a great way to eliminate cultural barriers. Also, promotions should not be based on cultures but on merit.
There is a thin line between cultural barriers and stereotyping; avoid this at all costs. When you have this belief about a group of people and think that everyone who comes from that region behaves in that same way, then you’ve crossed the line, which is bad for your business.
The fact that one of your employees is from Africa, Asia, or Europe doesn’t dictate every action he makes; know that every individual is prone to error. To avoid stereotyping, understand that truly culture shapes behavior, but it doesn’t dictate it.