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The Multicultural Workforce and Communication

The onset of multicultural workforces is caused by globalization. Globalization has opened the gates of opportunity for people from different cultures to work in other countries or location. It is a worldwide phenomenon that business organizations should take a closer at, especially because the new setting and culture of the workforce might mean changes in the management styles and techniques in the workplace. (AMA, 2008) One of the primary issues involved in a multicultural workforce is communication.

As people from differing cultural backgrounds, they also have different languages and varying perspectives on how they interpret language; therefore, affecting communication in the workplace. The effect of multiculturalism in communication is observable in the changes that a company is going to implement within the workplace if they are willing to support and wield the cooperation of their foreign employees to their accomplishment of their organizational goals and objectives. The negative tone of communication is miscommunication, and miscommunication happens when to people do not understand each other.

Therefore, a multicultural workplace is always threatened by miscommunication. Consequently, miscommunication is more likely leads to errors and losses in the business organization. (Alderton, 2008) However, because of this (miscommunication) potential threat to the company, a multicultural workforce

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motivates business organizations to improve their management styles and techniques. (Copeland, 2006) These measures are done by the organization in order to avoid the detrimental effects of miscommunication brought about by a multicultural workforce.

The business organization, especially the managers, is forced to learn new management styles that would suit multicultural setting of the workplace. They learn to forego past skills and instruments in management that seemed to have worked before, and embrace new skills and techniques in dealing with people, especially with employees belonging to a diverse cultural background. (AMA, 2008) Moreover, business organizations are forced to adapt to the multicultural environment.

Through training, information dissemination, and even team building alike, they are able to learn new knowledge about other cultures in order for them to understand each other’s culture and reconcile their differences. (The Foothill-De Anza Colleges, 2008) Aside from the adaptive measures that business organizations may implement in order to ensure support for foreign employees, along this line lies the need for them to allocate budgets for their management and staff training that deals with multiculturalism and communication.

Other options would be to spend for English instruction classes for foreign employees, and also hire the services of a language translator. Either way, the money of the business organization has to go to funds for training programs and other services. (Alderton, 2008) Nevertheless, even if business organizations have to go at great lengths and allocate budgets for multicultural-driven training programs and other expenses, they need not worry.

This is because their efforts to do so will surely be repaid by quality work outputs and significant contributions to the success of the company. To explain further, a multicultural workforce does not only bring about negative effects to a business organization. It also affects the success turnout of an organization. Nowadays, foreign employees have a lot to offer in terms of knowledge, services, behavior towards the occupation and the people they work with, etc. As the saying goes, there is unity in diversity.

Even if a company’s work setting is in the multicultural level, business organizations cannot deny the fact that they gain more from foreign employees and they are able to cope up with the global community because of their help.

References

Alderton, M. (2008). Manage Your Multicultural Workforce. Retrieved March 29, 2008, from Lowe’s. Website: http://forpros. lowes. com/viewArticle. cfm? articleID=1191 AMA. (2008). Managing the Multicultural Workforce Using the MBTI® Tool. Retrieved March 29, 2008, from American Management Association.

Website: http://www. amanet. org/onsite/managing-the-multicultural-workforce. htm Copeland, L. (2006). Managing a Multicultural Workforce. Retrieved March 29, 2008, from JJ Acquisition Corp. Website: http://www. jobjournal. com/thisweek. asp? artid=1888 The Foothill-De Anza Colleges. (2008). Managing the Multicultural Workforce. Retrieved March 29, 2008, from The Foothill-De Anza Colleges, Business and Industry Institute. Website: http://homepage. mac. com/billgreene1/bii/ManageMultiWorkfc. html

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