3. Global culture & responsibility
It can be said that there is no culture that is free of influences. Either ideas are directly transferred, adapted or create a new trend. Global responsibility accounts for observing, understanding and accepting cultures around you. As a result, you can show a friendly attitude towards others, appreciating the world around you, caring for the economic and social value, and contributing to cultural responsibility.
Global culture is a broad term that covers the way of life, people, cultural works, art or customs and traditions, among others. It can also cover touchable things that create a sense of global culture and which include tools for communication (e.g., smartphones, fax machines, payment terminals). In fact, what can be understood as global culture undergoes transformation over time based on opening borders, digitalization and the change of attitudes.
Global culture is important in order not to be “deeply-rooted-in-one’s-culture” but aware about different perspectives, norms, experiences and even symbols. Being aware of cultures around the world unfolds similarities and differences, facilitating interactions, and even impacting innovation.
Imagine you are working in a multicultural group. Showing interest in the culture and understanding the habits of your team mates will benefit communication and atmosphere at work, but not only. You can exchange different experience, practice different approaches and share different perspectives, leading to innovative practices or exploratory research. Learning from others also leads to shared work habits and a common view of goals.
Nowadays cultural assimilation is often considered as a burden with the inflow of migrants to Europe. This can lead to a wrongful reception of migrants at your workplace.
Try to put yourself in the shoes of a migrant worker and answer the questions:
- How do I feel in a new place?
- Who should I ask for help at work?
- Why are others approaching me stand-offishly?
- Does my religion, skin colour of belief make be a different employee?
- Should I change my way of being?
It is true that newcomers to a community should assimilate and adjust to new circumstances, but also should have the chance to be welcomed and appreciated as a human being. Over time both the locals and newcomer(s) will benefit from the experience, developing cultural awareness and learning from one another. However, in today’s world, you will interact with clients, customers and colleagues from all over the world, and that is why you need to be aware of cultures other than yours.
- Understanding the culture of your clients will help you to avoid misunderstandings of small but important details that can impact cooperation.
- Understanding the culture of your customers will help in gaining revenue (for the business) and facilitate communication (of all sides) impacting meeting goals (of each side) and taking advantage of opportunities (of all sides).
- Understanding the culture of your colleagues will help you to improve relations inside the team, impact productivity resulting from common understanding of resource planning, tasks, roles and responsibilities, as well as eliminate frustrations resulting from misunderstands or ignorance.
Cultural awareness is important also in the context of remote work, when it is more difficult to communicate, and you are limited to written and vocal forms of communication. While body language is very useful in getting your message across, showing appreciation, negation or acceptance, it is not a key form of communication in remote professional environments. However, remote work also enables meeting new cultures with international recruitment processes in place, offering opportunities for candidates from different backgrounds.