Multicultural Diversity in the Workplace
Immigration, civil rights and a growing global economy are just a few reasons for a company to take an interest in improving its approach to cultural diversity. A multicultural workforce can affect teamwork and communications within a large company. As more and more companies become influenced by multicultural workforces, management should pay attention to the needs of its employees. Each employee's diversity should be considered when the company decides to make changes in its functions, policies and products or services.
Cultural Work Ethics
A multicultural organization, as described by Bailey W. Jackson and Evangelina Holvino is one that, "reflects the contributions and interests of diverse cultural and social groups in its mission, operations and product or service" and "includes the members of diverse cultural and social groups as full participants, especially in decisions that shape the organization." (Fall 1988. Vol. 9/2), p 14.). Simply put, a multicultural organization will respect the opinions and feelings of each employee, regardless of race, religion, age, gender, physical appearance, or other discriminating factors. The individual diversity of the employees will lend itself to the greater success of the entire company.
Understanding the business practices and work ethics of the different cultural and social groups in your company will help you to better integrate them into your business. It is management's responsibility to recognize these practices and incorporate them into the business plan of a company. Some examples of these practices include work hours, cultural practices, language barriers, conflict resolution, and religious beliefs.
As Americans, we are tied to the stigma of an eight-hour workday and a forty-hour workweek. If we work past those constraints, we expect some additional compensation: overtime, bonuses or benefits. Federal regulations prescribe these work hours, along with required breaks and a minimum wage. As a result of this 'environment', we accustom ourselves to the 'American' work ethic.
On the other hand, not all countries observe the same methodology. In many countries, especially those that are underdeveloped or overpopulated, workers put in many hours for a meager wage. If workers object to such treatment, there are always others waiting to take their place at the grindstone. Conversely, there are countries that feel an eight-hour day is too long. For the workers brought up in these conditions, working more than five or six hours in a day conflicts with their cultural norms.
In America, there is also the tendency for professionals to go to work early and stay later than what is required. While those in upper management positions may consider this admirable, it should not be expected of all classes of...