Managing Cultural Differences in The Workplace

Managing Cultural Differences in The Workplace

Brown-Eyed Asian Woman Wearing an Orange HeadscarfAt Affirmative Portfolios, we understand the committing to the management of cultural differences in the workplace can be an extremely challenging task to achieve, simply because it can be hard to find common ground between two people. If you look around your office, you may notice a few, if not many, different races and cultures and, as a South African, we should embrace the diversity.

5 Tips for Creating a Tolerant & Harmonious Workspace

With so many opportunities to gain knowledge and form meaningful relationships, we are sharing how you can manage cultural differences in your workplace. Keep reading the blog as we reveal 5 ideas on how to make your workplace a happy and welcoming place for all.

Tip #1: Spread Awareness

When dealing with a team of individuals from multiple cultures, it is important to ensure that they are aware of the cultural mix and know that it is celebrated. You can do this by hosting cultural days in the office, where different cultures bring traditional meals, or you can encourage traditional attire to be worn to work. Creating a cultural accepting environment opens up a conversation between staff members, where they feel comfortable to ask questions and learn about one another.

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Tip #2: Practice Effective Communication

It is important to ensure that you are familiar with the different cultures in your team. If you are familiar, you can research the various non-verbal behaviours and cultural customs that will ensure that you communicate with your co-workers effectively. Always keep cultural differences in mind, especially when there is an issue needing to be resolved, as tone, non-verbal cues and language barriers are often most prominent in times of conflict.

Tip #3: Insist on Appropriate Behavior

When hiring new employees, you need to make it clear that discrimination is not tolerated in the company. By enforcing policies, your team are given a clear and direct explanation on what is considered inappropriate behaviour; therefore, any disregard for the written policy can be swiftly and effectively dealt with using a pre-determined plan. You can also insist on appropriate behaviour by leading by example and showing employees behaviour that celebrates and welcomes those from different cultural backgrounds.

Tip #4: Encourage Teamwork

In a busy, multi-cultural office it is vital that teamwork is encouraged. By having your staff regularly interacting with each other whilst collaborating for projects and teambuilding activities, you are strengthening their bonds and giving them the opportunity to see one another as more than just co-workers; friendships and solid working relationships are a definite way to eliminate differences.

Tip #5: Handle Conflict as it Arises

In the unfortunate event of cultural misconduct in the workplace, it is of utmost importance that the issue is dealt with thoroughly and effectively. Leaving conflict to build up until it needs to be addressed is bound to flare up and cause a substantial amount of damage than if the conflict had been dealt with immediately. Regardless of how small, the conflict that causes unhappiness or discomfort for one of your staff members needs to be taken seriously and dealt with in a sensitive manner.

Let Affirmative Portfolios Help You Find the Perfect Employees

When recruiting employees from Affirmative Portfolios, you are guaranteed the best. Our clients are thoroughly screened to ensure that your business is getting only the most professional, accepting and communicative individuals. Contact us today and let us know how we can help you.

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