Intercultural Communication In The Workplace Essay

1095 words - 4 pages

Employers today face many challenges trying to ensure that diversity in their workplace is not a source of conflict, but a source of strength. The workplace today is a constantly changing environment. As the company's needs change so does the employees. In a lot of companies there are employees, from many different cultures, that speak different languages. While it is the companies' responsibility to ensure that the environment is comfortable for their employees, it is important for other employees to play a role in helping to make a diverse environment a comfortable one as well. Thus leading to the example that I am about to give.I am an employee with Johnson Controls. The company has over three hundred people working in the same plant or location. There are employees from all different cultures there. There are primarily African Americans, but there are also Caucasians, Arab Americans and Germans as well. The Arab American employees do not speak English fluently and some of the German employees cannot read or write in the English language as well. Most of those employees required the assistance of an interpreter just to complete an application and the rest of the hiring process. This is where the communication issue lies.A communication issue arose when there was a project that needed to be completed and each person was responsible for choosing a partner to assist them in completing their portion of the project. Everyone paired up in teams of two, but there was one man, a Caucasian, that did not want the partner that he was left with, who was an Arab American. The Caucasian man complained of the fact that the Arab American man could not speak English well enough for them to communicate with one another. When it was time to relay information to the Arab American man, the Caucasian man did not tell him the correct way to complete the project because he left out various pieces of information to avoid having to thoroughly explain things to him. This was unfair to the Arab American man. It was not his fault that he was born in another country and raised to speak the language of his culture which was different than the Caucasian man's language.The Arab American employees complained to the company that it was unfair that they were often being treated in this manner. A meeting was held with the owner of the plant and the Human Resources staff. It was then that the company created an ethics statement. This decision gave those Arab American employees a feeling of equality and diversity. I often thought about how I would have felt being foreign and having fellow employees of my company treating me as an outcast. I know from experience that it is unfair and I would not enjoy it at all. That is why it is important for a company to ensure that all of their employees work in an environment where diversity is easily accepted. I think that it makes for a happier and healthier work environment.I think that when the company was created, they should have...

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