Working in teams
Working in teams across different cultures involves focusing on the backgrounds of each of the team member. People tend to have different experiences while working in multicultural teams. The experience depends on the ability of the team member to interact with the others and the aspects of the cultures in the team. This paper focusses on leadership across cultures and specifically on a team level. The focus is also on strategic human resource management in organizations where employees are from different backgrounds and culture. In the working team, the experience of working with people of different cultures may not be suitable especially in organizations where the number of people with diverse cultures is high (Dickson et al., 2012). I have worked in a team of six people who are from different cultures, and as a result, my experience has been fascinating. The various team members hold key management positions, which range from CEO, finance director, administrator, and Human resource manager, among others.
As a result of working in this diverse group for long, I understood that the country of origin is a salient factor and has an influence on the mindset of the members. Apart from the country of origin, culture influence how we work as a team. Changing demographics in the workforce, international mobility, and networking and change strategies in organizations have contributed to the reorganization of cultural differences in working groups (Sparrow, Brewster & Chung, 2008). Working in a team where the team members hold the highest places in the organization has been challenging. The countries of origin for the team members have influenced the expectations of the team. An example is about the communication styles which dictate where the specific member fits in the team and organization.
Leadership in organizations has to include diversity so as to ensure effective management of the different departments in an organization (Dickson et al., 2012). The experience of the team in a multicultural team which has different leaders was also fascinating. The different leadership styles of the members were incorporated in the management of the team. The leadership style that stood out among the different cultures is the situational leadership. However, as a result of the understanding of the different people in the group, there were also other leadership styles that were suitable. From the experience I will consider using situational leadership skills if I am trying to influence the audience through changing to the style they can easily relate.
I think that our cultural background is relevant to how we interact as a team as it influences the decisions made. The personality of the team members was derived from the cultural backgrounds, and this has a significant impact on the performance of the team. Understanding the cultural origins of the members allows each person to understand what has to be done to improve individual performance (Manning, 2003). There are different cultural assessment tools that are available for the scholar practitioners to use so that the different groups of people can be united and be successful. These cultural assessment tools are used to identify the cultural aspects of a certain group (Sparrow, Brewster & Chung, 2008). The belief system can be in regard to the feelings of the people towards the organization. The available cultural assessment tools include: survey tools, focus groups, cultural assessment audits, and questionnaires.
The survey tools are effective ways in which scholar practitioners acting as leaders can gain an insight about the cultural preferences of the people. By using the cultural assessment survey tool, leaders will get the chance to find out the kind of cultures that exist in the organization. This tool involves hosting survey projects which are conducted among the people in the organization. The cultural assessment survey tool involves capturing the cultural components of the people in which the leader is interested in learning about (Dickson et al., 2012). The second tool is focus groups cultural assessment tool. The application of this tool is similar to the survey tool but the focus of this is on the groups in the organization not the individual person. This tool can be used by leaders in organizations to ask questions and get the necessary feedback (Noe et al., 2017). The data that is related to the questions and the answers from the focus groups is collected and assessed to determine the culture of the people in the organization.
The answers provided by the focus groups will provide an insight to the different cultures in the organization (Dowling, 2008). The third assessment tool is questionnaires. Information from the questionnaires can be used to capture personal cultural information from the different people working in the organization. The data collected from the cultural assessment is reviewed to create certain sets of data that can be used to improve cultural interaction in the organization. The cultural assessment audits are cultural assessment tools that can be very effective in the organization.
Audit captures information about a certain culture. Here an audit checklist is created to ensure that all the areas are being reviewed during the process of cultural assessment. The policies of the organization are also reviewed to assess the language on the fairness of the cultures in the organization. Visual observations can be performed when using this tool where the signs in the organization are focused on. The results of the cultural assessment audit tools will determine whether there are changes that are needed in the organization.
The social culture of a diverse group is likely to influence the productivity and outcome of the group in different ways. First, there is the creation of a better performing group. A diverse team performs more efficiently and more swiftly that a group that is not diverse. The social culture of a group also encourages innovation and the members of the group are more likely to come up with creative solutions and strategies (Dowling, 2008). When the challenges of the organization are looked in a single view, there is a limitation of the potential however, from the perspective of a diverse group, different perspectives tend to arise. The culturally diverse groups consider strategies and solutions from a wider perspective as compared to other groups and as a result, the productivity of the group is increased.
Another way in which the social culture of the group is likely to influence workplace outcomes and group productivity is on the decision making structure of the organization. The decision making process in the organization is likely to change. With social culture, the decision making process tends to consider the all the cultures in the organization. A diverse culture in the organization can results in making of decisions that are all inclusive especially when the language being used in the organization considers all the different cultures. The diversity in the decision making process and the social culture available in the organization determines how productive the organization decisions will be.
The outcomes of the workplace are likely to be influenced by social culture as the employees will strive to reach a broader customer base. In the organization, social culture gives the employees from the different cultures a competitive edge as compared to other employees where the organization is not influenced by social culture (Dowling, 2008). The people will be able to market as the organization is diverse enough and as a result, productivity is increased.
The organizational culture is influenced by the diversity and social culture available especially on how certain operations are conducted. The major influence of diversity and social culture is on the language spoken. The culture of an organization involves one specific language that is used in communication but this change as a result of the influence of social culture and diversity. The language spoken has to change as it has to encompass all the different cultures in the organization. This changes the organizational culture itself.
Another influence of social culture and diversity is on how certain operations are conducted. This is specifically on the meetings of the organizations and events that involve all the people in the organization. The organizational culture is influenced in such a way that it has to change to allow all the people to be included in the events and operations of the organization (Dowling, 2008). The organizational culture includes how certain operations should be conducted and the procedures to be followed which is influenced by the available cultures and the social cultures of the people.
The influence of the organizational culture by diversity and social culture is also on the organizational structure. It is in the different organizational cultures that the structure of an organization is drawn. This will change with social culture and diversity in the organization. The structure has to include some representatives of the employees in the organization and as a result, will influence the culture of the organization (Dickson et al., 2012). In addition to the structure of the organization, how the employees conduct themselves also changes. Social culture and diversity has a major influence on organizational culture.
The human resource management in an organization is the most important especially when different cultures are involved (Dowling, 2008). In the team, the human resource manager has been the most effective in ensuring that the different people work in unison. For effective management of people from different cultures, strategic human resource management is important. It is vital to collect and record job-related data such as skills and experience needed for a specific job. The stipulation of considering such characteristics enables an organization to find the right candidate for every position within the organization.