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Managing a Multi Cultural Team
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Bringing a harmonious relationship between a heterogeneous team is an inevitable and demanding task of the management. With the opening of the economy on account of globalisation and the large scale of operations, the hybrid nature of team members is to be managed with great caution. The differences in the individual background, culture, environment, all have a great impact on the behaviour of the team member. Recognition and acceptance of the global culture is necessary to prevent negativity in the work place.

Team work calls for a conscious effort from all the individuals who make up the team. A proper understanding of the individual behaviour is required to nullify misunderstandings and dysfunctions within the organisation. People bring with them various behavioural patterns, values and mode of communication. Recognition of these is required to negate the apprehensions in the minds of the people. For example, Indians are famous for the nodding of their heads. A small mistake in recognising its meaning can have a great impact on the business. Language is another major barrier among a multi cultural team. Usage of the complicated words may fail to reveal the actual essence of the conversation, especially to the people belonging to the non-English speaking countries.

To manage a multi cultural environment the first step is to recognise the various conflicting areas of interest and the basic practices of each culture. Cross culture trainings can be introduced into the system to aid the team members realise why each person behaves in the way he does. Cross cultural trainings can go a long way in removing the barriers and generating trust amongst the team members. Team work calls for a joint effort of the team members. Removal of the hostility is therefore very important for the success of any business entity.

Many organisations provide foreign language classes to its employees. This is highly useful while dealing with the non-English speaking nations. An individual by himself fails to add to the organisation. For exchanging knowledge and ideas, removal of the language barrier is of great assistance.

Team building is another way of bringing up the team together. Team building activities helps in the recognition of the need and the role played by other team members in one’s success.

Failure to bring about a clear understanding of various cultures results in distorted communication, negativity in the work place and a high attrition rate. Inability to recognise and accept the variances in the cultures lead to unnecessary tensions in the team. The strain in the relationship has a direct impact on the employee productivity. Therefore, to survive and prosper in the highly volatile market scenario the proper management of a multi cultural environment is inevitable. It helps in the creation of a highly productive work force who drives the company to the realms of success. Contribution of ideas from a highly motivated and heterogeneous work force results in quality output, leading to customer satisfaction. As Henry Ford has stated, “Coming together is a beginning. Keeping together is progress. Working together is success.”

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