The value of understanding the necessary skills for building relationships across cultures is continuing to grow in its importance. As our world becomes more globally connected, companies are hiring from, merging with or working in a significantly wider variety of countries and with those from various cultural backgrounds.
If your company is on the verge of transitioning into a new culture (or has already made the change) here are four tips to help you in building solid work relationships with your new employees.
1) Provide channels for communication: If you’re not proficient in the native language of your new employees it is critical that you provide translators and training materials in their language. If your employees are unable to communicate concerns, understand expectations or benefit from clear training your workplace environment will rapidly lose productivity.
2) Pay attention: A manager who is engaged with the needs, concerns and suggestions of his employees is a manager who is trusted. Make sure you inquire about beneficial workplace improvements, communicate about necessary policies or expectations and celebrate the good work completed by your staff.
3) Listen to concerns with an open mind: If and when your new staff members express concerns about tasks, policies or the workplace listen to them. Yes, some of their concerns may be influenced by unique traits of their cultural background but, writing off their concerns without taking the time to truly listen gains you nothing – least of all your employee’s confidence in your leadership and desire to deliver the best possible results in the workplace.
4) Understand cultural beliefs about time, discipline and personal space: Do your homework before you meet your new staff. Research aspects of their cultural background relating to time management, the appropriateness of male bosses alone with female employees (in situations such as job performance reviews etc.) and their understanding about the role of discipline, honor and shame in the workplace.
Contact us for more beneficial tips to help develop the cross-cultural aspects of your business. We look forward to assisting you in your journey towards cultural awareness and sensitivity.
Read more about cross cultural training