March-April 2018

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26 PalletCentral • March-April 2018 iring and training new employees is very costly no matter what type of position an employee holds. In the pallet industry, it's hard to find people willing to commit for the long term, while performing quality, labor-intensive jobs. Now, more than ever, retaining good employees is essential for most employers. One of the first steps towards improving retention in any business is understanding the scope and the core issues that drive employee turnover. Certainly, a competitive salary and benefits package are top priorities in the "keep workers happy" department, but creating a safe, engaging, and rewarding work environment can also greatly improve retention rates and boost overall employee morale. In searching for dependable labor many have targeted the immigrant population, a good source of hard workers. Just like many corporations, global connections have expanded and found their way into every area and company in the country. As our needs have expanded within, as well as outside of the USA, we've come to an interesting realization. Corporations big and small have made a discovery. Aside from running an organization, leading teams and staying on top of product expertise, owners and managers are suddenly in need of an additional, fairly new business skill: Cultural Competence! What is Cultural Competence? Cultural competency requires much more than just practicing how to exchange business cards with both hands, knowing what kinds of gifts to give, or avoiding non-verbal gestures which might be acceptable in one country and highly offensive in another. Cultural Competence can generally be defined as the ability to understand, communicate and effectively interact with people across cultures, while being aware of one's own preferences and world view. For example: • What is communication like between you and your multi- cultural personnel, or between your clients or suppliers from other cultures? Is there a language "barrier" and more? • What challenges emerge surrounding agendas, deadlines and urgency, or delegating and accepting tasks? • What stereotypes surface and possibly impeded success when staff members are faced with such challenges? Answers to questions like these can be extremely insightful in managing and retaining employees from other countries. Your company's cultural intelligence, that is your awareness of LABOR & THE WORKFORCE By Molly Green RD, LIC, CISR The Multicultural Workplace How do you make it work? H

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