Creating a Culturally Intelligent Workplace

We live in a global village. The world is more or less encapsulated and reaching any odd place on the globe has become effortless. Indian corporate is now miniature globes with employees from various parts of the world. Never before was the culture of the corporatedom so globalized. Never before in World History was work sphere so culturally diversified.

In a scenario like this, it becomes even more important to deal with the question of cultural and ethnic diversity more sensitively and even more sensibly. Since the workplaces, these days have employees from various ethnicity and cultural backgrounds fine-tuning of HR policies that are mutually productive and congenial is very important.

Creating a Culturally Intelligent Workplace

In a culturally diversified workplace having intelligent policies in order to safeguard the interest of each and every employee is very important and crucial to the smooth functioning of organizational procedures. We shall now discuss various ways of creating a culturally intelligent workplace.

The first step: It is very important for us to realize that the sole purpose of being offered a job is to become part and parcel of organizational processes. Skills and merit should be the only criteria for recruiting a person, not the person’s creed and the ethnic background. It is better for companies not to show favoritism for certain political parties or show an inclination towards debatable or disruptive issues pertaining to religion, culture etc. This might damage the employee’s self-esteem.

Ethnic sensitivity: However evolved a company’s policies might be. It still recruits people carrying with them their own cultural background and personal experiences. In a scenario like this, it is very important to inculcate to the employees a feeling of secularism. It is very important to tell them to be sensitive and empathetic towards others’ cultural needs.

Creating a Culturally Intelligent Workplace

Effective listening: For an organization to be culturally evolved and intelligent it is very important to listen to the opinion of the diversified workforce. It is important to involve the employees during the important processes of decision making. By using effective tools like Ethnography a branch of Anthropology that deals with cultures, an organization’s cultural awareness could increase. Competent Organizations should have departments specifically catering to this requirement.

The celebration of various cultures: Corporates, Companies should organize the get-together for every festival not considering any specific religion or culture. This will increase the sense of belonging to the organization. During these cultural parties, employees should be oriented to cultural aspects different from their own. They should also subtly be trained to respect all cultures.

Empathy and understanding: Employees must be trained on being empathetic. It is always better if they are considerate. This way there won’t be much room for any dispute or misunderstanding. The gossip levels in the working groups will gradually thin.

It’s a matter of significance that employees be trained on the do’s and don’t in a culturally diversified workplace. This will create a conducive and intelligent environment, wherein employees start respecting each others’ ethnic uniqueness.

Employees will then start concentrating on the organization’s performance and in turn their own growth as a professional rather than fall a prey to petty, unintelligible disputes and conversations that will certainly play foul with the organization’s productive policies.

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