Understanding the impact of wider cultures on your HR processes in 2024 and beyond

Avoiding stereotypes and being open to learning...
HR Grapevine
HR Grapevine | Executive Grapevine International Ltd
Understanding the impact of wider cultures on your HR processes in 2024 and beyond
The world of work is ever-smaller thanks to remote work

The world of work is ever-evolving and, thanks to remote working, it seems that we can work with people across the globe so much more easily than ever before.

With this 'global/local' approach, it follows that you and your teams are likely to interact more and more wiht people from different countries and therefore different cultures.

Effective cross-cultural communication is crucial to building teams and businesses, and goes hand in hand with embracing diversity in the workplace. But if this is new territory - literally - for you, it can be confusing as to where to begin to work internationally.

Defining 'wider cultures'

Everyone's understanding of different cultures is different - it's inevitable. They will be based in part on experience, of course.

Cultural Anthropologist Dr Alex Gapud at Scarlett Abbott says: "As an anthropologist, I think culture is the way that you see the world and the way that you're taught to see the world and make sense of things around you. Certainly as a cultural anthropologist, I've got my own understandings, which might differ from some of the ones from organisational culture, theory and business schools. It's worth getting everyone in the company involved in conversations so they are on the same page so you can say 'when we say culture, we're referring to X'. That is also about making sure that that definition is broad enough."

The piece of advice I always give people of actually be curious

Dr Alex Gapud | Cultural Anthropologist

There is a regional dimension to defining culture, too, adds Gapud. we can easily assume the way that things work where we're from are the same everywhere. 

Understanding the roots of someone's culture

Melanie Johnson has worked in various countries in her role as Group Head of HR Services at Vodafone UK, including South Africa, India and in Budapest. One of the things she found invaluable and she'd encourage companies to offer is a cultural awareness course.

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