Inside the Multicultural Workforce

Topics: Culture, Communication, Nonverbal communication Pages: 6 (1901 words) Published: August 17, 2010
Inside The Multicultural Workforce
Today the American workforce is made of many cultures and backgrounds. According to Koegel, Donin, Ponterotto, and Spitz, (1995) “Undeniably, the United States has one of the most ethnically and racially diverse workforces of any nation” (p. 14). With the increasing multicultural workforce at Worldwide Telecommunications Inc, the potential for effective teamwork and communications maybe compromised by large diversity. Large corporations can capitalize on its potential by understanding the effects that a multicultural workforce has on its culture. Teamwork and employee involvement is an essential part of developing positive work relationships among peers. Communication within a large company is vital for success. Success of a large company depends on an effective work relationship to meet a common goal; and achieving an affective workforce requires teamwork, employee involvement, communication, and work relationships. Companies must understand the effects of a multicultural workforce on teamwork and communications.

Change of any kind can cause a potential barrier for success. Over the next few years, the expectation of the changing nature of the workforce inside Worldwide Telecommunications is major expansion. With these changes, the company foresees many challenges to arise, such as challenges in areas such as communication, teamwork, and employee involvement. In order for change to be effective inside of Worldwide Telecommunications, every member of the company needs to work in collaboration with one another. The most important thing to remember while collaborating is that the company is undergoing a change in culture not in work procedures. To grasp the concept of cultural diversity it is important to understand the basic dimensions of culture diversity. “Diversity is about learning from others about dignity and respect for all, and about creating workplace environments and practices that encourage learning from others and capture the advantage of diverse perspectives” (Susan Woods, pg. 2, 2010). Worldwide Telecommunications will have success by delivering the basic knowledge of cultural diversity throughout the company.

One of the most critical differences in a diverse culture environment that may cause an incident is the language barrier. Research has shown that when working in a diverse population language is the most common problem. The need for communication in different cultures and language pose a barrier for a diverse company to succeed (Greenberg, 2004). Another critical difference within the company would be the different in cultural beliefs. The company needs to be conscious and aware that not all cultures celebrate nor believe in the same things. By acknowledging this, the threat of discrimination would be at its low. “Ineffective communication of key objectives results in confusion, lack of teamwork, and low morale” (Greenberg, pg. 2, 2004). Communication comes in many forms, which includes verbal, nonverbal, formal, and informal. Good and effective communication is a vital for the success of Worldwide Telecommunications. Mainly because communication is the way, all information is distributed and channeled. Additionally, effective communication is the way individuals build relationships and the way they establish the foundation for trust. This is especially true in a multicultural workforce because in a multicultural workforce, cultural differences and backgrounds can affect the communication process in a large way. A multicultural workforce presents many barriers and challenges because not all cultures communicate the same way or have the same meaning in its communication. In an interview conducted with Sharma, a former Human Resources Administrator for AT&T Communications, Sharma stated,” A successful multicultural workforce requires sensitivity for all cultures, tolerance, and a true understanding of effective verbal and non-verbal communication”...
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