Globalization is here to stay and a company that can only operate on a local or national level is unlikely to survive in the long-term. Even without cause for international travel, there are many circumstances in which individuals and companies will be required to demonstrate cultural intelligence. The global demographic is shifting; a shortage of skilled workers in specific industries, means companies will increasingly need to recruit from a diversity of nationalities and cultural backgrounds.
There is a strong need for leaders and their teams to work efficiently and effectively within a global context, creating an environment of trust and influence, which can only be achieved if they are culturally aware. Companies can expect to operate with multi-cultural teams and a key area for insight and understanding is therefore the recruitment stage. Training will address expectations of both employer and employee, within their cultural framework, as well as legislative consideration with regard to relevant employment law. Embracing a culturally diverse workforce, as well as creating a health working environment, can positively impact a company's credibility and opportunity on the world stage.
Did you know?...
- There is no word for 'please' in Finnish, Danish, Swedish or Icelandic.
- Different cultures have a varied approach to timekeeping - for some being late to a meeting is frowned upon, others to be expected. In Venezuela it is downright rude to arrive at someone's house for dinner on time!
- In Japan it is considered very rude to point at someone with the narrow end of a chopstick, which should also not be used to pick-up pieces of shared food.
- 'Splitting the bill' for a business lunch is not usual in Turkey. The host will expect to pay, but a reciprocal invitation for a meal at your expense would be a welcome gesture.
- Strict Norwegian table manners mean that nearly all foods are eaten with a knife and fork - even sandwiches.
- Gifts of flowers have a divers association across cultures; In Russia yellow flowers indicate deceit and infidelity, while in China all flowers are associated with death.