Importance of soft skills in a diverse workplace
Why should we focus on social workplace attributes? What is new about that? Haven’t we always had pretty diverse workforces and community demographics? We may think so, in a philosophical sense, and certainly, these aspects have been discussed generically ad infinitum, but the reality may be very different from our benign observations.
We often see and hear reports of employee/employer destabilisations issues due to conflicts of diversity, customs, culture, religion, and differences in conveying communications among staff and customers.
When a workplace environment is not harmonious, that atmosphere trickles down to
customer dissatisfaction, such as personal treatment when purchasing a product or service, misunderstandings of cultural choices, or in advertising a product, lack of respect, ignorance of a community’s social and workplace norms and so on.
There are multiple reasons that these interactions have become extremely important; a few are:
Accelerated global mobility
From the beginning of known human existence, individuals and their families have been international nomads. Driven by climate change, food sources, culture, religion, socioeconomics, and trading interests via ancient land and sea routes, our ancestors were people on the move.
We are even more mobile today. Our world is on the move, incessantly restless, aggressively in pursuit of the next new thing, the next big success, the next global product launch.
International mobility enhances a country’s gross domestic product. The accessibility of global trade markets in our current business environment has generated the largest transition of:
• Individual and business opportunities
• Remunerations to home countries
• People seeking immigration and emigration
• Ownership of physical and intangible multi-jurisdictional assets in history.
Social media sharing in nanoseconds
Disharmony in a workplace and consumer selection processes, however insignificant, can be broadcast over the globe in a matter of minutes. What transgression have been resolved internally with resolution for both parties to an issue, in early non-internet era of limited sharing or disclosure processes, can have the capability to mushroom out of all proportion to the initial situation in our social media sharing/complaints messaging.
Cultural and emotional intelligence in the workplace upscales expectations of success
Understanding soft skills: training, learning and practising civility, respect for cultural and other differences, emotional intelligence, empathy, courtesy, are now highly visible methods to achieve not only workplace harmony, but better company staff/customer integration.
This is the new message for corporate welfare as profitability is probably the most important long-term ingredient of all. Making those missteps, means serious disruption of the monetary effect on both careerists on upward job transitions and the corporate bottom line.
Employers, employees, and their companies that understand how these skills, both implicit and explicit, interact with overall corporate dynamics are far better situated for increased financial success.
Think this is much ado about nothing? Think again.
Have a read on multicultural brand blunders below that cost large global companies dearly.
So, what’s your cultural and emotional IQ? Do you have it all together, personally, or corporately?
Or do you still get annoyed (and show it) when someone does not say “good morning” or other perceived lack of respect? Yes, I can say this — I am a Bermudian, too. Have you ever transgressed into cultural and respect blunders in another country? I can think of a few ignorant moves by me (and other people). Be honest here!
The TLC Group of Companies (UK, Bermuda, Worldwide) are offering a five-week online virtual series of sessions on these highly-valued and incredibly important soft skills required to succeed in numerous industries around the world.
Week 1: Cultural quotient and emotional quotient components, common cross-cultural mistakes, do’s and don’ts.
Week 2: Communication, body language and gestures, impact of cross-cultural differences, courtesies and sensitivities, managing emotional intelligence (EQ emotion spotting and taming).
Week 3: LGBTQ+, religion and reverence, privacy and security cultural differences, spiritual intelligence,
Week 4: General and business etiquette, personal space and physical intelligence, time and decision-making
leading with EQ during (and after) a pandemic or crisis.
Week 5: Clothing and colours, food and travel, work-life balance, culture and remote working. At the end of the day again, it is all about money and trade success.
Business is done globally. Our human intelligence, emotions, culture have to embrace and utilise these changes — it used to be called cosmopolitan, now it is the way of the world.
A country, or company trade and commerce course of action that continues to operate in isolation will pay the price.
The TLC Group of Companies: For more information on “What’s your Cultural&Emotional IQ?”, contact
Sandra Williams at email@example.com or on 536-1276.
Take Advantage of Marketplace Cultural Changes to Grow Your Business , Glenn Llopis, Opportunity Expert March 2, 2017 https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/288775
Hall of shame: more multicultural brand blunders, by Mike Fromowitz, February 10, 2017, CampaignLive
This article is particularly pertinent because in each case where not being culturally diverse and sensitive to customers cost significant damage to the brands’ reputation: Starbucks race-relations initiative, a Cadillac commercial intimating that if you cannot afford a fancy car, you are lazy, and others that are perceived just as particularly offensive.
“When businesses attempt to reach customers from another culture, a crucial aspect for the success of that venture lies in the understanding of cross-cultural differences.
“If the people (employees) in charge of these ventures, or their advertising agencies are not aware of the impact on cross-cultural relations, the misunderstandings, hurt feelings and communication errors that occur often will cause serious damage to those efforts.”
• Martha Harris Myron, CPA JSM, a native Bermudian, is creator of Pondstraddler Life™ Financial Perspectives, international financial consultant to the Olderhood Group Ltd Bermuda, and financial columnist to The Royal Gazette, Bermuda. All proceeds from these articles are donated by The Royal Gazette to the Salvation Army, Bermuda
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