How to manage a multiethnic workplace

multi With the onset of globalization companies have expanded their areas of operations across continents. The world has become one huge marketplace. The trend is not of having skill-sets that are relevant to a particular region; rather it is of having skill-sets that are global. Education systems have undergone sweeping changes, with inculcation of curriculum that are in line with global standards.

This situation has given rise to multiethnic workplaces. Companies’ are now trans-migrating resources, and funtion in an integrated human resource ecosystem. This integration is back-ended by reliable support systems, and universal processes and policies, like human resources, business ethics, corporate law etc.

Multiethnic workplaces and business environments are now commonplace. But one also needs to understand certain implicit rules to smoothen the communication, interaction and collaboration between multiethnic individuals. The following are some things to look into.

Cultural awareness

Cultural differences have an impact on consistency in communication across the workplace, because different people respond to different things in different ways. This is due to the fact that they have been bred in cultural petri dishes that create their personalities. Cultural awareness workshops are very important, as it elucidates on differences in attitudes, approach and outlook of different cultures.

This understanding can create an awareness of culture and make the multiethnic members work towards a workplace where communication, interaction and collaboration have the same tone. Also, efforts have to be made on making the employees build their knowledge on different cultures. The more they build their knowledge, the more likely that misunderstandings do not rise.

Avoiding assumptions

Generalizing must be avoided. If a person from a particular ethnicity has done something, it is unlikely that another person from the same ethnicity will follow suit. But people tend to generalize by taking ‘sample’ tests. They assume and equate one person’s character as that of that person’s culture as well. Although culture does influence a person, prudence, honesty and values are self-made disciplines.


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