March-April 2018

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Page 26 of 43 PalletCentral • March-April 2018 27 your own as well as the values, attitudes and beliefs of your "non-native" workers, are all critical to increasing cultural competence. "It's all about cultural conditioning," says Mary Beauregard, cultural trainer and consultant. "We have all been conditioned to react, respond and behave in ways acceptable in our own cultures. Raising awareness of the expectations, assumptions and attitudes of our own, as well as the 'other's' native culture, can make a big difference in generating loyalty and commitment to an organization." Connecting with Your Employees What are your personal and corporate values and standards? What is the culture of your company? Certainly, you're in business to provide goods, services and expertise to your customers, and you can't do it without workers. But what role do those workers have in making sure you retain and please those customers? What do they need to understand about your national, regional, or corporate culture? How can you share it? In general, U.S. Americans are a very individualistic country, where action, and looking out for "number one" built the country, and are paramount in life. But, consider cultures in the world who are more group-oriented, where belonging to and thriving in a group generates respect, commitment, loyalty and pride. How do you acknowledge both orientations and still provide that "group" cohesion for those new employees? A 2002 study conducted jointly by the business schools at the University of Michigan and Florida A&M University found that organizations failing to understand what minorities value in the workplace leads to problems with retaining diverse employees. "Historically, African-American, Hispanic and Asian- American workers place the most value on familial relationships. Providing for, being involved with and supporting immediate and extended family are important to these diverse employees. Establishing family-friendly workplace policies is critical to retaining diverse employees." This is only one example of a difference that can impact your employee satisfaction. As an employer, understanding what motivates and rewards members of a multi-cultural workforce can be beneficial to all. This respect and responsibility for "family" can be a positive value when translated to the workplace environment. In addition, it's a great way to attract more, dependable employees, as word of mouth and satisfaction within the target-culture community can help populate your workforce with individuals who find shared pride and identity within. As an employer, understanding what motivates and rewards members of a multi-cultural workforce can improve retention rates and boost overall employee morale. Ltd

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