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Cultural Diversity in Human Resources Management: Business Improvement Proposal

Introduction

Human resources management (HRM) of a company engaged in expanded international relationships deals with the employees of various cultures, origins, and languages. The current problem of the business concerns the management of the cultural and linguistic diversity of the staff. Communication difficulties complicate the discharge of direct duties and obligations by the colleagues. Necessary data that should circulate within an organizational environment of a company suffer from informational noise, obstacles of understanding, and inconsistent peculiarities of behavior and social values.

The problem of cultural barriers, including the distinguishing levels of language qualifications, appears as a great threat of HRM failures, unconscious elimination of foreign employees or employees of another culture, the emergence of social inequality of rights and duties, misbalanced division of labor, distorted corporate culture, ethical concerns, etc. Growing apprehensions about the negative effects and disproportions owing to cultural diversity can significantly affect the inner mode of a company and commercial success of a business. The development of cross-cultural management should be a priority goal for a company since the ongoing performance of tasks and instructions of business management requires a rapid improvement. The introduction of ethical practices, language courses, the cohesion of the multicultural teams, and other activities will improve both HRM and common management.

Goals of the Proposal

The goals of management of cultural diversity of the personnel should include the following strategic and ongoing targets: correct and comprehensive understanding of cultural differences of the employees, the research of situational peculiarities of the employees from different cultures, analysis of the specifics of professional competencies of the employees with cultural differences, determination of current innovative modes and techniques of cross-cultural management and communication, development of the abilities of the employees to show respect to the colleagues, prevention of cultural prejudice and xenophobia, and consideration of primary approaches to the management of multinational personnel (Ottaviano & Peri, 2006). Moreover, HRM should focus on the efforts of HR managers on the formation of a multi-cultural and ethical environment.

Implementation Plan

Alignment of HRM to the needs of diversified staff and implementation of necessary measures for improvement should be realized through the following steps:

· Determine personal and professional peculiarities of the employees with cultural and language differences and the locations of their interaction with the English-speaking employees; provide assistance to foreign employees in their task performance from the part of language-competent employees;

· Integrate the values and visions of the multicultural staff and the business;

· Develop the HRM strategy of correctness and the acceptability of cultural differences;

· Introduce language courses;

· Continuously direct cultural diversity through the HRM practice;

· Align HRM and other subsystems of a company to cultural diversity.

Following these steps in the ongoing practice and guiding the strategy according to them will facilitate a successful business behavior in the exploitation of qualified staff independently of cultural diversity. These measures help overcome language barriers and ethically accept the cultural diversity of the colleagues.

Determination of the employees’ personal and professional characteristics should be performed to verify the most exact match of the employees’ skills and professional responsibilities and the tasks of their assigned workplaces. This step helps to define the strengths and weaknesses of each group of employees with a similar culture and facilitate the adaptation of foreign employees to the working environment of a company. Moreover, this step will orient the HRM to the appropriate directions for improvement. CEOs or HR managers should be responsible for this step’s introduction in long and short-term perspectives. The first stage allows the business to get competitive advantages. Therefore, the determination plans should be realized in the next few days in each division of the company.

The assistance of English-speaking employees will accelerate the integration of the employees with different cultural characteristics and originate the following processes of reforming the corporate culture and HRM. The implementation and adaptation of new employees with distinctive cultural and language characteristics, as well as their gradual entry into the complete composition of the company’s staff and team building, should be carried out by the supervision (CEO, HR managers, immediate supervisors). This phase requires the exploitation of time, human and financial resources. The costs of this phase include the remuneration for the extra coaching of foreign colleagues or wages of the outsourced interpreters. Finding common ground for employees with different cultural characteristics may be temporarily limited. However, the implementation of follow-up management can extend the locations of their interaction. It may be applied in any unit of the company.

It would be the best way to integrate the objectives of the company and its employees by following the first phase of the implementation plan. The suppression effect of cultural diversity may be realized through the immediate and continuous demonstration of common objectives and equal rights to the participants of business processes. Managers of each business unit and general management may deliver the conceptual foundations of business to the employees. This conceptual basis should be aligned to the well-studied personal and professional goals of the company’s staff.

HRM strategy for the support and acceptance of cultural diversity should be developed according to the previous stages and based on the information about the employees, their employment quality, and the ability of the company to be adapted to its multicultural staff and to learn how to manage it skillfully. A new HRM strategy of cultural diversity should be designed by the senior management of the company with the participation of HR managers and the interests of all national representatives. As this step may take several days, its implementation will require time resources, computer equipment, feedback system, the local network, and adjustment of ordinary duties of employees to temporary obligations concerning the adaptation to cultural diversity. Financial support on this stage comprises the remuneration for the extra workload.

The introduction of language courses is an important constructive and logical step for the company that seeks to minimize and eliminate language barriers for the multicultural composition of the staff. Different levels of linguistic qualifications require appropriate software costs, additional material support for their conducting within the company, payroll to the outsourcing coaches, payment for external courses of the employees, etc. The first step shows both general and in-depth levels of linguistic qualifications. However, this fourth step fills a probable gap that requires professional skills of communication with foreign colleagues. Responsible persons at this stage are HR managers, executive directors, and supervisors possessing the multinational composition of subordinated staff. This step may take several weeks or months. However, the duration of this phase depends on the success of the previous stages and the actual level of language education of the personnel. Language courses should concern each employee interacted with the colleagues of another culture.

Cultural diversity management should be carried out by controlling the dynamics of cohesion of the multinational team, the probable occurrence of incidents of discrimination and cultural conflicts, the trust level of personnel communications, etc. HRM events should be focused on the dynamism of social relations, the reduction of language barriers, and the ethical perception of cultural differences. The employees responsible for this stage are HR managers, executive directors, and middle-level managers. The introduction of this stage requires continuous practice during the entire functioning of the company.

Along with reforming processes, the alignment of HRM and other subsystems of the company to cultural diversity appears as necessary and consequent. A balanced implementation of necessary changes due to cultural diversity is also recommended to achieve flexibility and appropriate response to internal challenges and needs. Production and management processes, especially financing, should be adapted to a certain level of cultural diversity that provides the full adoption of this phenomenon and exploitation of necessary resources. The implementation of this stage requires more powerful computer equipment, significant organizational rearrangements, linguistic corrections of official instructions, distribution and the rational combination of reforms and current business processes, among other measures (Shachaf, 2008). The responsibility should be assumed by senior management, HR managers, middle-level managers, employees, and instructors.

Time and Cost

The duration of each stage and costs required for its complete introduction are represented in Table 1.

Table 1. Time and Costs on Each Stage of Improvement of Cultural Diversity

Business Improvement Proposal

Time Duration

Costs

Responsible

Determination of the employees’ characteristics

3 extra hours during 2-5 days

$ 80 per extra hour

Total amount: $ 1,440-3,600 for 3 employees

CEOs, managers, immediate supervisors, coaches

Integration of the values and visions

Continuous

$ 80 per extra hour Total amount: $ 21,600 for 10 managers (single spending)

Managers of each business unit and general management

Development of the HRM strategy

3 extra hours during 1-3 days

$ 80 per extra hour Total amount: $ 720-2,160 for 3 employees

General management

Introduction of language courses

1.5 hour during 2-3 months

$ 150 per hour-long workshop

Total amount: $ 990,000-1,485,000 for 100 employees

HR managers, executive directors, supervisors, instructors

The direction of cultural diversity through the HRM practice

Continuous

$ 80 per extra hour Total amount: $ 21,600 for 10 managers (continuous spending)

HR managers, executive directors, and middle-level managers

Alignment to cultural diversity

Continuous

Computer equipment - $ 156,000;

Corrections of official instructions - $ 23,000

Total amount: $ 179,000.

Senior management, HR managers, middle-level managers, employees, and instructors

Total

From 47-71 days to continuous duration

From $ 1,214,360-1,712,960 to continuous spending

-

Qualifications

The person who recommends the implementation of necessary changes to adapt to the organizational environment of the company to the cultural diversity of its staff has enough qualifications and the HR experience in the company. To introduce language courses and align official instructions to the peculiarities of multinational staff, the HR manager possesses professional competencies to distinguish and identify the needs of the personnel on the basis of its natural abilities. Due to the analytical mind, the HR manager can determine the effectiveness of innovations and advancements. Managerial skills are manifested in administrative matters and dispute concerns of cultural diversity.

Benefits

Reformative changes in the company will bring certain benefits to the business. As the team will be focused on cohesion and unification, this partnership encourages the staff to work more productively. In other words, the benefits are the increase of labor productivity, improvement of employee motivation, and mutual interest. In addition, the company’s governance will benefit from the planned measures in terms of additional non-financial stimulation, ethical behavior of the employees, and their responsible attitude to work performance. Improvement of the corporate culture will also bring a benefit to the business. Bought software and the establishment of internal communication will be beneficial for the acceleration of internal processes and facilitation of managerial decisions (Stahl,  Maznevski, Voigt, & Jonsen, 2010). Recruitment of foreign employees would better justify the marketing research of new product markets. The company will be profitable to adapt business processes to such organizational change that would be more flexible in the future. Nevertheless, more detailed plans and additional benefits need to be considered during a meeting.

Conclusion

The cultural diversity of the company is a social phenomenon that threatens with unpleasant internal imbalances and paralyzed business processes due to the cultural and language barriers. To minimize their effects, the company may follow some algorithm, which does not only enable the management staff to reduce the risks only but also improves human resource management. The emergence of new technologies and resources in addressing the problem allows improving the majority of operations throughout the company. More detailed and practical recommendations and actions are based on professional qualities and experience in the business. Proposals need to be addressed to general management.