Globalization has seen markets melding together into a single global market, resulting into interactions of diverse languages, opinions, and lifestyles among others. Multinational organizations face challenges of communication, cohesion, management, and negotiation due to cultural diversity. This is because people from different cultural communications have different values, attitudes, beliefs, and opinions regarding specific issues. There is need, therefore, for company leaders to possess sufficient knowledge on cultural diversity in order to be able to take skilled actions and motivate cultural diverse teams. Strategies for teamwork and cohesion include establishing an open culture, promoting transparency, encouraging employee socializing through bonding activities, and promoting accountability.
Promoting Communication and Cohesion in Intercultural Teams
Economic integration and telecommunication and transportation advancement have blurred geographical isolation, making the world more mobile and globalized. Markets are melding together into a single global market, resulting into interactions of diverse languages, opinions, and lifestyles among others. For multinational organizations, working with diverse teams poses challenges of communication, cohesion, management, and negotiation. The present company, which is also a multinational company, is experiencing difficulty in achieving cohesion due to differences in cultures and communication styles. To promote intercultural communication competence and teamwork, there is need for leaders to acquire sufficient knowledge on cultural diversity in order to take skilled actions and motivate their teams.
When companies expand their footprints abroad, they face the challenge of balancing between growth prospects and the risk related to working with new people and operating in new markets. It is important to note that we communicate the way we do because we grew up in particular cultural environment where we learnt its norms, rules, and language. Since cultures have unique norms and rules, it is challenging for teams of different cultures to work cohesively. For instance, the pace of technological advancement varies across countries. Consequently, coordinating and streamlining operations across such teams proves to be an uphill task. People from different cultural communications also have different values, attitudes, beliefs, and opinions regarding specific issues. As a result, the company is facing communication hurdles across its board. Additionally, the team is fragmented due to failure to work cohesively, hence, lack of teamwork, which is pivotal in organizational success because members are inspired to work towards a common goal. Despite the experienced success, the company is prone to poor performance in future if the absence of teamwork persists.
Hofstede Cultural Model is an essential tool in helping to understand the challenges experienced by multinational companies (Paul, 2015). According to Hofstede, companies with operations in different companies experience barriers of power distance; masculinity versus femininity; individualistic versus collectivism; and uncertainty avoidance (Paul, 2015). Looking at the power dimension, different cultures place varying degrees of value on power. Leaders and employees perceive unequal distribution of power differently. Therefore, it may be difficult to convince employees who believe in equal distribution of power to be dependent and obedient to individuals with higher authority.
Secondly, when managing teams with both individualistic and collective individuals, it is taxing to achieve teamwork. This is the problem the present company is experiencing: some employees are selfish and unwilling to work with others. While individualistic people are more dependent and focus on personal goals, their collective counterparts place a higher value on group goals. Further, beliefs of femininity and masculinity may affect team cohesion. Traditionally, a masculine culture prioritizes objective goals whereas the feminine culture places importance on lifestyles, compassion, and subjective goals of the company (Paul, 2015). Lastly, individuals from cultures that are committed to uncertainty avoidance are normally well prepared to face uncertain situations, unlike their counterparts. Dealing with such diversities might prove difficult to achieve goals.
Employees are the greatest asset of any corporate institution. Organizational success largely depends on their attitudes, behaviors, and performance. Leaders, therefore, require a great expertise in people management. People management, according to Paul (2015), is the process of utilizing resources and controlling, leading, and directing people to achieve productivity and efficiency in an organization (Paul, 2015). Leaders are required to execute communication behaviors appropriately and effectively in order to achieve the desired responses from employees. They need to specifically focus on optimizing personality strength and promote cultural awareness, psychological adaptation, and communication skills. For instance, the present company’s team should be taught to stay positive in stressful conditions and how to manage culture shock, as well as empower them with basic communication skills. Teams should be aware of the organization’s cultural identity without disrupting intercultural relations.
Intercultural communication competence calls for skilled actions, sufficient knowledge on cultural diversity, and suitable motivation. Intercultural competent communicators have a unique ability to respond both behaviorally and emotionally with a spectrum of choices in order achieve efficiency within the constraints of every workplace situation. Tips of building cohesive workplaces include nurturing an open culture in which teams feel free to ask for support, utilize employee engagement tools, promote transparency, and enhance employee socialization through team building games (Trivet, n.d.). Other means of promoting teamwork and cohesion are: assigning clear roles to everyone; ensuring simple objectives, giving employees a voice in tasks, and promoting accountability.
Leaders in multinational organizations require sufficient knowledge on cultural diversity in order to be able to take skilled actions and motivate cultural diverse teams. People from different cultural backgrounds have different values, attitudes, beliefs, and opinions regarding specific issues, making it laborious to achieve cohesion and teamwork. Leaders can become intercultural competent by establishing an open culture, promoting transparency, encouraging employee socializing through bonding activities, and promoting accountability. Most importantly, the company should establish a local physical presence on its board and lobby for support of local organizations in order to effectively streamline operations in various countries. Such measures would deliver cohesion in the present company’s workforce and boost teamwork and employee morale.
Paul, S.B. (2015). Challenges of multinational operations. Academia. Retrieved from https://www.academia.edu/22296146/CHALLENGES_OF_MULTINATIONAL_CORPORATIONS
Trivet, C. (n.d.). 8 ways to encourage teamwork in the office. Coburgbanks. Retrieved from https://www.coburgbanks.co.uk/blog/staff-retention/ways-to-encourage-teamwork/