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.