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Multicultural Working Force Training

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Multicultural working force training Diversity can create several challenges to the work force if the employees are not educated on multicultural management. According to Matt Alderton, employers have “got to educate themselves, train their employees and seize interpersonal opportunities that they may previously have skirted.” (Alderton, 2008). Training employees on the different cultures of their co-workers will make it easier for the employees to work with one another and therefore will make for a more trusting and productive working environment.
Training employees on the benefits of communicating among themselves should be one of the primary concerns to the multicultural workforce. Not only is communication among co-workers important, but it can help to eliminate frustrations among co-workers and it can also help in the avoidance of serious safety hazards. If you have workers who cannot communicate well, and do not understand the safety regulations and requirements that the company has enforced, they could be endangering themselves and others as well. Communication barriers can easily affect a company and its employees. According to Myelita Melton, president of SpeakEasy Communications, who specializes in diversity education, there are several ways to communicate with employees who speak different languages. These strategies are:
1. Ask questions
2. Offer English instruction
3. Study important words
4. Hire a translator Asking questions to those who do not speak English is helpful in communicating clearly. One does not want to ask someone who does not speak English a basic “yes” or “no” question. Ask questions that will have to be answered with certainty and is not easily misinterpreted or ask open-ended questions.
Some employers offer programs to their employees so that they may learn English. Paying for courses or providing an instructor to teach those who do not speak English can be beneficial to the company’s overall safety as well. This can also help in the overall morale of the company because it could show that the employer has concern for his employees and therefore is making the work environment safer and more productive.
Melton suggests that “learning should be a two-way street”. (Alderton, 2008). Employers as well as employees should focus on understanding one another especially when it comes to job safety and concerns. Important words can and should include words that can be used in the case of urgency. Learning to communicate with employees of all cultures and backgrounds should be an employer’s main objective.
Hiring a translator to help with communication barriers is very helpful, especially if one is hired that is trained on the same job skills as those who have trouble communicating with other co-workers. Translators can be those that are already hired in, or those that are hired in to work, that are bilingual and can act as the “go-between” person in communicating with others.
Safety concerns may be different from one culture to another and may not necessarily seem dangerous to another. For instance, here in the United States, we have seat belt laws that are enforced in just about every state. Immigrants from different cultures may not see this as a safety hazard because their country does not enforce it as a safety hazard. The problem with this situation is, if one were to be involved in an accident while traveling during duty hours and they were not wearing a seatbelt, the company could be held liable. It is up to the company to implement safety measures and make sure that instances of this nature do not occur. The cultural differences here in the United States is expanding and with that companies are employing individuals with different backgrounds, languages, ethics, and religions every day. Training, educating and evaluating employees on the many aspects of cultural diversity is instrumental in a company’s success.

References
Cable, J.(March 13, 2006). The multicultural work force: The melting pot heats up. Retrieved June 12, 2008 from the Occupational Hazards website: http://occupationalhazards.com/issue/article/38115/The_Multicultural_Work_Force_The_melting_post_heats_up.aspx.
Alderton, M.(2008). Manage your multicultural workforce. Retrieved June 17, 2008 from the
Lowe’s website: http://forpros.lowes.com/viewarticle.cfm?articleID=1191.

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