Cultural Differences in the Workplace Essay
Considering the current condition of the modern society, it could be realized how diversity has become a normal scene to consider especially in workplaces. Relatively such occurrence in the society, being a common scene, affects the being of each individual therefore creating a connection between performance and the distinct normative situation that people have to deal with while they are at work. Due to the impact of globalization on several areas of the world, it has become rather important for workers to become adaptive to the modern ways of working culture that they have to contend with. It seems the cultural differences are to become a common-stay in work areas no matter what scale the business or the organization belongs to.
The research discussed through presentations shows a great connection on how cultural differences and general population diversity in the workplace does affect the condition of work and performance that each individual puts forward. The emotional degree of working with someone who has great differences with another appears to create a strong contrast on how one is able to perform at work. The team’s research proves such instances through experiential aspect which provides the research a stronger backbone that shows how cultural diversity is affecting work performances and how such issues could be dealt with through the application of proper management.
The research thrives on the consideration over the theories of globalization and how developments of businesses and work environments specifically call for better action of management. True, it defines the distinct diversity has already been a constant element in dealing with human resources ever since the beginning of time, especially relating to the rise of need for employment during the years after the years of the great depression. Notably though, such differences among the working body cannot amount to the intense diversity realized around the globe today. Problems and ethical considerations are expected to arise under the working condition that involves people from all ages, nationalities, culture, language and religion. Because of this, conflict between workers becomes an inevitable condition at work.
Managers are then given the grueling task of respond to each aspect of conflict and misunderstanding to make sure that the workflow of tasks given to the employees for completion need not be affected by such situations. Even pressured by the legal sanctions requiring organizations to take in every single individual who passes the requirements of positions opened for filling, no business organization is supposed to deny a person from being able to work at a job position that fits him just because of his nationality or other points of discrimination that could incriminate the organization to being biased and imbalanced in dealing with its responsibility towards the society of providing people equal opportunity of work.
Hence, the theory that binds this research entails the condition of providing employees with a better working environment amidst diversity among themselves and their colleagues. It is assumed that through this aspect of development in the working environment, tolerating differences between each other would be much workable; easing out any particular points of conflict that could cause commotion on the process of work that is adapted in the organization. Through the inclusion of different world views on the matter and involving the different aspects of diversity into close distinction, the research presented by the team defines the most crucial points of consideration especially when it comes to creating efficient procedures of management that would define the distinct capacity of an organization to become more capable of handling diversity as an organization’s “main-stay”.
It is believed that if the environment is changed, then the people would change. Considering this particular though, the research tries to explore different aspects of working condition that does impact the working capacities of employees. Given that humans are among the most critical elements of work, the research entails to show that working around factors that affect the attitude and the working condition of humans would provide them a better way of realizing their capacities while also embracing the fact that they are specifically different from others.
Instead of utilizing ‘diversity’ as a means of separating one group of individuals from the other, this research hopes to create a sense of unity among all others. Relatively seeking to create a connection among the individuals involved through exploring different aspects of their being as humans, this research tries to carry into consideration that diversity is a vital part of organizational development that administrators should specifically give attention to.
Recognizing such a fact is expected to give the administration a strong sense of control on how to manage the situations and the people in a more efficient manner that would provide them [the workers and the administrators] with the best benefits they deserve to receive for the efforts they put forth.
Research methods and sampling
The researchers specifically utilized particular references to serve as the basis of their study. These references provided the foundation for the exploration that the researchers established. To validate the research details that they have collected from the said references, the researchers conducted a questionnaire-based survey that involved several nationalities which they contacted through facebook and other social networking sites.
This approach allowed the researchers to get actual reactions from actual people allowing them to see the reality of the claims and theories they have read through the references they used for the discussion of the issue at hand. Ten individuals were considered for each country; these individuals are considered to represent the general members of the society that they represent based on their nationality. There were five nationalities involved in the process namely that of the Arabs, the Americans, the Asians, the Russians and the Swiss nationals. From their responses, it has been learned that dress code is very important among the Swiss nationals; this implies that when it comes to dressing up for work, there are instances when the Swiss nationals tend to become more specific as to what they wear, how they look like and how they are able to represent their country with what they are wearing.
When it comes to defining religious practices, the most specific individuals are the Arabs. Being that they come from a Muslim country, these individuals have a strong connection to their religion. They are used to compelling to particular religious practices that they are supposed to follow even when at work. Particular times dedicated to prayer should then be given attention to for these individuals. Customs also appear to be an important factor for the Arabs among all the other nationalities. Social Values could also be included in the line. It should be recognized that among all the other nationalities involved in the survey procedures, the Arabs are the most traditional ones, following their religion and cultural customs to the point. Hence, when working with them, administrators should know how to make sure that their cultural conditions are met and are balanced out with the original culture that the organization follows.
Family obligations on the other hand affect Swiss nationals the most. Being family-oriented and all, the Swiss nationals are noted to give high importance to occasions that involve family reunions. They are also notably family oriented, not letting anything come between them and the members of their family especially when it comes to special occasions like birthdays or particular school occasions that parents are supposed to attend to. Given such attention, administrators should be able to create policies that give their employees a sense of capacity to exercise such concentration on the obligations they have towards their families.
Analyzing and interpreting non-verbal behaviors become a crucial point in dealing with individuals who come from the Asian regions. Being highly sensitive as individuals, Asians tend to interpret matters even when they are not spoken directly. For instance, a glance or a look towards them might already create conflict if such action is misinterpreted by another individual. This is the reason why disseminating rules and regulations on open communications between members of the organization should be clarified during the point of orientation.
From the data collected through the survey procedure applied in the study, several points of understanding could be realized. Among such learning is the actual definition of workplace diversity. Relatively, such diversity involves different aspects of individualism. The said aspects include the following points:
As noted from the result, the Swiss nationals put high value to their families. This means that the administrators should be able to adjust to particular requirements involving their desire to complete particular tasks for their families. Should this be considered negative? Not necessarily. It should be remembered that it is also this value that makes them more reliable at work as they have the ‘reason’ to be at work and to complete their tasks thoroughly, they work for their family and not for themselves or the for the organization alone. Such motivation is strong enough to make sure that they perform at their best. Utilizing such option of motivation to the best benefits of the organization would help administrators find a way to make sure that the personal requirements of the workers relating to their family connections are seriously met.
Norms and Religion
Arabs were considered to be the highly religious individuals among the groups surveyed during the study. Their involvement in strict religious and cultural norms especially in relation to dress codes and appearances should be given serious attention to. Note that women from Arabia are expected to wear headdresses, the men are also expected to follow such norm but not as strict as to when it comes to the women. Whether or not they are working for an Arab company, they are commanded follow such rule.
Celebrations, occasions and other points of certainties that may not be connected to the regular holidays; these traditions are most often than not less important to some, but are highly crucial for the others. What then should the management do to create relative policies that could balance out the regular norms and traditions recognized by the general public with that of the traditions that are not considered that ‘normal’? When it comes to issues like this, it is best to know what those traditions are and how they may affect the working condition of a person.
As based from the study performed, Asians were noted to be highly sensitive to non-verbal actuations. Conflicts often arise because of misunderstandings developed through personal perception. Hence, making sure that such occurrences are managed accordingly would be the only viable solution to the said matter.
Language barriers between workers are specifically considered as the main problem that diversity brings into the workplace. Making sure that there is a single language used in the workplace is even hard to implicate. Extreme points of understanding and adjustment is then required from the management team as they lead the people to better options of seeing themselves as part of the team and not as outcasts of an organization.
Basing from the results garnered from the study, it is assumed that there are particular solutions that could be applied to develop a better sense of working environment that could hose several hundreds of workers coming in from different countries, carrying in them different attitudes and traditions that they ought to adjust with. Upon research, the study points out that there is one effective approach to create balance in a highly diversified nature of work and that is to establish an organizational culture.
What is an organizational culture? From the term culture, it denotes a distinct way of completing things and dealing with situations that involve worker-camaraderie. Given that the workers are expected to come from different nationalities and having different attitudes and behaviors towards each other and the different aspects of their being, they should be subjected to a culture that both identifies their uniqueness and establishes the unity that they should have as they work alongside each other.
To establish an organizational culture, the administrators should come up with a single yet generally acceptable mission [apart from making profit out of the work being completed in the business]. Being general, the said mission should be able to avoid any point of bias especially involving gender, religion or a differential consideration on the nationality that a person might belong to. What each organization desires is progress. In the field of dealing with the global pressures of being at work, it could be realized that each individual also desires progress among themselves and the families they are supposedly supporting with the jobs that they are involved in. The general indication of the desire to develop one’s life into a more progressive state is a considerable element to put in place alongside the business-defined-mission of an organization. This way, the organization does not only recognize its aim towards attaining growth, but it also allows the employees to see themselves being part of their dream and their personal missions to be a part of the said attainment of organizational goals. With such an approach, the administration binds itself with the people [no matter how different they may be from each other].
Along with the mission comes the establishment of the condition of work that the employees are to be subjected to. They ought to be given the chance to explore their capacities as individuals. Allowing them the chance to learn and improve as persons is an essential part of creating a workable organizational culture. People in general desire to learn and improve personally; developing their skills is one common ground that human individuals give high regard to. Giving importance to such concern could provide the administration a relative stance that makes their form of direction acceptable to the general population of their workers.
The freedom to communicate with their colleagues and the administration with their concerns is also a vital part of the organization’s capacity to embrace the need of assisting their employees to realize their position in the overall setup of work that the organization implies. With such freedom, they are given the chance to become a part of something bigger than their personal dreams shared with the organization.
Considering these primary aspects of operating as an organization, the management team [specifically the human resource department] should be able to come up with amicable policies that recognize diversity as a stepping stone towards organizational development. Allowing the people to grow and giving them the chance to embrace amicable progress shall give them enough motivation that they need to work alongside the organization’s goals and not against it. In dealing with human resources, managers should be able to recognize that they are indeed ‘humans’ and not robots who will simply accept and complete commandments given to them. They have their own perceptions about life, they have their own concerns and they have their own desires to achieve. Apart from gaining salary from the efforts they put forth at work, these individuals hope to be satisfied with what they do. Recognizing this fact apart from simply seeing how different they are from each other would help managers create a common ground that could assist the workers perform as one team directed towards the progressive stance of the organization.
What the people [employees] must develop is the idea that they, as a team, is a community working towards one goal. True, they may come from different nations and they may practice different beliefs. However, no matter what they do, as they enter an organization to gain a particular opportunity to earn money for their needs and that of their families’, they should recognize that they are entering another form of community that will define who they are and what they believe in. No, they are not to be asked to leave their old ways and take on a new one, but they are expected to adapt to the situation and the culture that their work-organizations imply them to follow.
The crucial point of making people realize how they are a part of a community when they are working within an organization intends to create a specific point of working focus that management administrators should give attention to. Gaining achievement from such challenge of operating with a highly diversified group of employees would provide an overall sense of satisfaction to the organization later on.
What constitutes a good organization is that of the policy it creates to bind the people that work for it. In a world challenged by the operations of a global community, business organizations are in need of finding better ways to equipping themselves in assuring that their employees would follow through a single culture that would unite them as individuals that have one specific goal. With progress and growth as the general condition of motivation that each person is likely dependent upon, human resource managers are expected to create policies grounded on such desire. While administrators are directed to specifically respond to the personal needs of their employees and give consideration to their thoughts and concerns about religion, social issues, norms and other traditions, they are also expected to create balance on how such options are given particular attention to.
Diversity of workers may indeed imply a sense of chaotic and conflicting situation among organizations. Nevertheless, working around these differences would provide administrators with the best tool of facing the challenges of global operations. Diversity in itself could be considered an advantage especially for organizations aiming to operate a larger global scale. Using the differences of the people to their advantage is a challenge that administrator should take into account. While doing so, they should also recognize the responsibility they have in providing their people with what they need and what they demand for at a relatively balanced scale of seeing how matters could best work for them, for their people, and for their organization as a whole. With this in mind, organizations [both small scale and large scale] would be equipped with the most important tools they need to deal with human resource diversity as needed in dealing with a highly modernized and global society.
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