Business Growth in Multicultural Teams Depends on Cross Cultural Understanding

Misunderstandings based on differences in cultural traditions and workplace standards can threaten the success of companies with culturally diverse workers. Implementing the concept of cultural intelligence into both virtual and collocated collaboration can function as a safeguard against this threat.

A company's progress depends on understanding multicultural differences

When you are working in multinational teams, considering cultural factors and behaviors is the only way to ensure in-team collaborations go smoothly and successfully, especially for companies with international business aspirations. Cultural misunderstandings do not only affect the teams themselves - they also impact key aspects of the overall business such as sales, mergers, expansions of capital, etc. As a result, many companies are choosing to train their employees in multicultural understanding, communication and collaboration.

As Nancy J. Adler, author of International dimensions of organizational behavior notes, "There is a misconception that just because reaching someone across the world is as easy as calling them via Skype or sending them an email, that you're really communicating in the best way." Remote communication technology is a great help without a doubt, but it is important to keep in mind the educational, social and work contexts of the people we communicate with.

Cultural intelligence

This kind of understanding in multicultural workplace communication relies on cultural intelligence. This is an important concept to introduce into your company culture if you are managing or looking to hire employees from different cultures. It refers to the overall awareness, communication and management of cultural diversity within the workplace, on all levels:

  • Team members, virtual or otherwise, should be trained in the right ways to take interest in and respect others’ culturally specific behavior, and should be able to identify how their own culture manifests in their actions and the things they say. This will help boost in-team cooperation.
  • Managers and team leaders need to be able to recognize and resolve culture-driven issues within the team, as well as adapt the work processes of the teams they manage and create collaboration styles that will bridge cultural gaps.
  • Company-wide cultural intelligence is key for international collaboration and global business. Companies that incorporate multicultural understanding into their overall company culture will find that it serves as a full-proof protection against issues that can arise in a diverse work setting.
Multicultural Teams
Solutions for the global world

We, the members of the Managing Virtual Teams staff, have set out to help companies dealing with cultural diversity in the workplace get the most out of their business endeavours and in-company processes. This means we are helping both remote or virtual teams, and colocated teams alike. Our experience with working with people from all over the world can help companies maximize the achievement of their business goals and improve their work environment. Contact us for more information!