How To Embrace Cultural Diversity in the Employee Experience?

Culture is not easy to grasp… Organizational culture is dynamic and shifts constantly in response to external (new clients, trends) and internal (leadership, new employees, etc) changes. So, trying to grasp culture is complicated by the reality that is changing on a daily basis. But is that necessary to define the ideal organizational culture? I don’t think so. We have to embrace the fact that our organizational culture is holistic and has to be managed as a continuous journey of learning and development. Start with embracing and recognizing each other’s cultural background.

We are Global Citizens

We are more and more global citizens. I love to work in international teams with different people, with different thinking and behavioral attributes. Luckily this becomes easier because of digitalization. We don’t have technical barriers to connect and collaborate with people worldwide. How would we work without programs like Skype, etc? And if necessary, we easily jump in a plane and meet people everywhere around the globe. Our world is getting smaller and (technical) change is going faster than ever. One challenge stays the same: How can we acknowledge each other’s cultural background by making better connections working in an International workspace?

Understand thinking and behavioral preferences by using Emergenetics

As we know, both nature and nurture play an important role in human development. Your development in life is predisposed in your DNA, but also shaped by the environment and culture we grow up in. At Start Reverse we improve our communication by using Emergenetics as a solution to better understand each others’ thinking and behavioral preferences. Our cultural background influences the way we interact. For example aspects like language, corporate culture, leadership, and communication styles all influence our cultural passport. All these elements influence the way we conduct work, our behavioral and (leadership) style, our use of language, decision-making process, etc. We are shaped by the environment and the culture we grow up in and our experiences working in (different) organizational culture(s). Language and habits become part of our being and influences the way we work together.

It’s clear we need to have a conversation and build awareness about cultural diversity. To inspire you, here are some takeaways…

Key Takeaways:

  • Create reflective moments to dialogue on cultural influences on a regular basis;
  • Create a specific time (for example during meetings/lunches) to talk about cultural exchanges: positive and negative;
  • While breaking bread together, talk about how eating rituals as shaped you as a person and your social values (e.g. compare table matters, cultural norms, etc);
  • Conducting due diligence around “others” before starting a meeting. For example, internet search, contact some in your network, etc;
  • Discuss decision-making rituals and reflect on positive/ negative exchanges right after the meeting.

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