What You Need to Know About Motivating Employees From Other Cultures
As an employer, it is your job to inspire positive changes in behavior that apply to a culturally diverse work environment. This constructive strategy tends to work best when supervisors thoroughly assess the unique values of each staff member. However, motivating employees from other cultures can be difficult if you are not familiar with their backgrounds or beliefs. To implement a plan that increases productivity in a multicultural workplace, use these three steps to identify and understand the values of your employees.
Make Educated Interpretations
If you do not know why an employee is engaging in undesirable behavior, you cannot suggest a solution that will be effective. Motivating employees from other cultures means taking a step back from traditional interpretations. By exploring alternative explanations, you gain a fresh perspective on actions that may have initially reflected laziness or disrespect. For example, many cultures do not allow men to address women in a public setting. This type of behavior could be viewed as degrading to women in the United States.
For those of you who are wondering how it will be possible to assess each category of behavior, the answer is quite simplejust ask. Accurate interpretations in the workplace start with respectful inquiries and communication. If you want to know why an important deadline was overlooked, ask about personal or professional challenges the individual may have faced during the project. In this way, you are able to provide useful guidance and advice based on the needs of the employee.
Redefine Your Expectations
Imagine growing up in the United States and relocating to another country. You would be surrounded by unique cultural values that are quite different from your own. Immigrant workers are similarly assaulted by the values of our culture, especially when it comes to organizational management and procedures. This is why motivating employees from other cultures requires a clear explanation of what you want and how it should be done.
To communicate your expectations to an employee who was not born in the United States, you must explain what you want in a way that can be understood. Unfortunately, the most basic policies and business practices are frequently the most difficult to articulate. What has become commonplace for the American workforce is not so easily explained to employees who speak another language.
Some professional terminology and reporting practices may be completely nonexistent in other cultures. Supervisors who encounter this situation must find a comparable point of reference to describe these concepts to employees who were raised outside of the United States.
The main obstacle for managers who work with immigrant employees is relating the desire for feedback and communication. Although we view this as a critical way to gather information, motivating employees from other cultures to share their thoughts and opinions can be tough because they do not want to complain or be disloyal to the company.
Be Consistent With Positive Reinforcement
Do your best to encourage positive behavior in the workplace. While this is usually a simple task, motivating employees from other cultures can be tricky when dealing with different backgrounds and professional beliefs.
Reinforcing proper behavior can be complicated for supervisors who are forced to handle unwelcome reports. However, this does not mean the staff member is at fault. Remember to take a step back from the problem and praise the employee for keeping you informed. This is the best way to encourage open communication, no matter how bad the situation may be.
Another reason positive reinforcement is necessary in a multicultural environment is to maintain productivity and performance levels. While most companies actively recognize top performers, staff members with diverse cultural values should also be praised for the constant effort it takes to communicate in English and work together as a team. Managers often take these behaviors for granted as employees struggle to redefine the cultural barriers of the workplace.
Praising your employees on a regular basis shows them that you are aware of their dedication. Attempt to compliment at least one staff member each day, even if it seems like an insignificant comment. Make an effort to be kind, and people will be more likely to go above and beyond the expectations of your organization. Of course, if you have trouble coming up with a positive remark about an employee, it might be time to schedule a performance review to discuss recent challenges in the workplace.
Motivating employees from other cultures does not have to be confusing or complicated. Use the resources available here at Mighty Recruiter to learn more about managing a multicultural workplace.