The workplace is a rapidly changing environment and it’s never been more important to appreciate the importance of cultural awareness. Doing so can ensure that an organisation has a diverse make-up, and that different talents, viewpoints, and perspectives can be shared openly and without fear. Not only does this create a welcoming environment for all staff or members of your team, but it promotes business success too.
Cultural awareness refers to the idea of understanding cultures that are different to your own. It involves being sensitive and accepting of other traditions and beliefs that are held by other people. This idea is particularly important in the workspace because organisations usually employ staff from all kinds of backgrounds. Not only that, but clients and other people that you interact with can come from all over the world, meaning you need to know how to work with them in the best possible way.
The importance of cultural importance cannot be overstated. Basically, a person’s culture can have significant bearing on how they behave in the workplace. This can influence everything from how they speak to how they interact with other team members. Understanding different cultural traditions can help to prevent misunderstandings and serious problems from arising. Better yet, a culturally aware environment will benefit everyone, as staff will be united to achieve broader goals.
You can improve cultural awareness in a number of ways.
One of the first things you can do to improve cultural awareness is offer training to your employees. This can involve training classes that provide education around different cultural traditions. We recommend framing such services in a way that encourages everyone to learn about the value of working with people from different backgrounds.
Ensuring that everyone has good communication skills can go a long way towards creating a welcoming environment. This is key in a workplace that employs staff from different cultures. Why? Because how you communicate with others makes all the difference in terms of efficiency. Keep in mind that this doesn’t mean you need to learn a whole new language. But having an open mind and a healthy interest in other people and their culture will go a long way towards improving the situation.
Never underestimate the importance of good manners. In many cultures, something as simply as saying ‘thank you’ or ‘please’ can go a long way to making interactions pleasant and issue-free. This is important when workers deal with each other, and clients or potential sales. Good manners can also come down to being formal or relaxed, depending on the person you’re dealing with and their cultural norms.
Being culturally inclusive involves understanding traditional holidays. This is important because it shows that you are caring and willing to recognise events that may fall out of your commonly celebrated ones. Not only this, but being respectful of important dates by not engaging in business is a good way to get off on the right foot with everyone you come into contact with.
Remember to always be receptive to foreign team members so you can create a culturally aware environment. This will help to make everyone feel supported in the workspace, and it will also bring new perspectives to the organisation. The outcome being a welcoming and efficient business that benefits from unique points of view.
It’s easy to think that everyone is working off the same clock. However the reality is that in the online age, people are logging in from all over the world. This means you should be aware of different time zones and understand that accommodations might need to be made to ensure that everyone can work to their highest potential.
Want to improve cultural awareness in your workplace? Get in touch with Performance by Design. Our team offers expert training so you can operate at your best. Look to us for on-going support that will help you to create an environment that is inclusive and welcoming of everyone, regardless of their background. Boost team satisfaction, increase productivity and more when you work with us.
We can also help to unlock your culture code.