Five Tips to Effectively Manage a Multicultural Staff

Today’s society is more of a melting pot than anything else. Businesses all over the world are made up of employees from different races, backgrounds and cultures, and if a manager is ignorant to these differences, it has the potential to pose some problems.

Managing a multicultural staff requires you to truly get to know each of your employees to determine if they expect certain working conditions or need certain days off to practice their religion. If you are in charge of a multicultural staff, the following five tips can help you manage them more effectively.

1. Get to know each employee.

The only way you’re going to make the multicultural office work productively is to get to know each and every single one of your employees. You’ll need to learn their strengths, their weaknesses, if there are cultural rules you should abide by so that you don’t come off as ignorant and if there are certain religious holidays that they practice that you should be aware of. When you can effectively get to know your employees and what qualities each one of them possess, you’ll be able to manage them more effectively.

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Photo source: http://www.flickr.com/photos/santoposmoderno/4869833473/

2. Assign tasks that focus on both strengths and weaknesses.

In order to build confidence among your employees, you will want to assign tasks to each one that focuses on their strengths. For example, if you have an employee who speaks Japanese and you want to try and break into the Japanese market or make business partners, you can use this individual to help approach companies or sit in on meetings to help you.

You should also assign each employee a task that can help them improve on their weaknesses. Giving these employees smaller tasks to challenge them will only help them learn and make them more well rounded.

3. Hold company meetings.

In order to be effective, you will need all of your employees to work together. If you have a multicultural team, you should try and schedule monthly meetings to help each team member learn more about each other. This not only educates your staff on new cultures, but can also teach them interesting facts about their coworkers or help them learn how they work best to help maximize efficiency. You can either opt to do this as a whole company or by department, depending on which is the most convenient method for you.

 4. Create a unified workplace culture.

Although your business is made up of people from different cultures, it’s a smart idea to create one solidified workplace culture for your business. This way, everyone will be under the same obligation to adhere to the company culture, and this will help your company work together as a team.

5. Always remain fair.

If you want your employees to be happy with their job and your company, you need to make sure that you treat each and every employee fairly. Do not let their cultural differences influence the projects or responsibilities you assign them, and make sure to be just as considerate of their religious and cultural holidays as you are of everyone else’s.

The world is only going to continue to mix cultures, and if your business has yet to become multicultural, it eventually will. This is why it’s extremely important that you understand the best ways to manage your team to be more successful and productive, and these five tips can help.

Mario Rodriguez is a freelance writer and tutor, he enjoys teaching Spanish lessons online and writing about multiculturalism.

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