Ensuring inclusivity or a near-perfect amalgamation has always been the ultimate objective of any association – be it any subject matter, and this concept holds a critical eminence in the realm of industrial development worldwide. The advent of globalization has revolutionized the industries and their operations in a major way. Organizations have transcended from self-contained units to multiple demographic outreach centers while taking help from technology in doing so. This extended outreach and global connectivity has resulted into a diverse and global industrial workforce wherein collaborative efforts are taking place all the time, surpassing the boundaries of borders, cultural differences, labor laws etc. Owing to this dawn of a global workforce, it has become imperative for organizations to ensure a culture which induces an interweaved and inclusive workplace environment. This inclusivity, subtly establishes a common work-ethic code, which over a period of time, becomes synonymous with the company’s brand.
Before formulating or putting across a plethora of memo-board policies for any critical implementations, it is important to understand the origin of the requirement and then delve into the necessary set of actions which are to be undertaken to put preaching into practice.
To begin with the prior stated, there are no second thoughts around workplace environment being a critical influencer on the collective behavior of the employees. This collective attitude of the workforce is what reflects in the quality of the products and services eventually.
In case if there is any disconnect amidst organizational peers, because of demography borne cultural contrasts – the same is bound to resonate in the overall work output. Therefore, the top global management should take the workforce diversity in cognizance and formulate HR code ensuring the incorporation the culture-specific norms and labor laws.
What goes into building a Globally Inclusive Workplace
For a global organization, it is imperative to inculcate the culture, politics and economics of the region in which it operates, and blend it with the core philosophy of the company. The goal of this strategy is to create an environment where each and every employee feels valued, thus, not only retaining a strong workforce but also maximizing their contribution to the organization. Couple of ways which helps organizations in walking this path of an inclusive global workforce:
- Decentralizing management bandwidth and hiring local leaders instead of doing remote management to ensure employee connect with the brand, irrespective of demographical differences
- Ensuring adherence to country specific laws and practices by having a strong local HR team that is aligned to global HR squad is absolutely necessary
- For seamless observance of the state specific laws and practices, strong alignment of the local HR team with the global HR team is very important
- Clear career road mapping for employees with provisions of global postings, secondments etc.
- Initiatives such as periodic Global CEO townhalls are helpful in aligning the local teams with the global vision of the company
Building an inclusive culture means not only asserting cultural components the organization wishes to emphasize, but also work towards a perfect balance between an inclusive and open conduct. Managing employees in such a way ensures that their passion and commitment for the brand remains intact. It includes a variety of tangible features, such as reception and appreciation of diversity, respect for and impartial treatment of each employee and his/ her contribution to the company, and equal opportunity for all etc.
The key mantra here is GLOCAL – going global while being local, which integrates the employees in the international work model.
Most large corporations today are multinational or trans-national, each having overarching universal policies governing the human resource management. Their smooth management often, is thwart with multiple issues which mar the progress of any entity and defeats the principle of progressive co-existence. Let’s look at couple of such hampering elements:
Cultural integration with the company philosophy
Till the time there will be no adhesion amongst the workforce stationed at different geo locations, the outcome will remain impertinent to the global vision of the organization. This is where local leadership plays a crucial role of syncing the regional with the rest.
Country specific laws and practices
A disconnect due to non-compliance to local laws is something which will impact the not only the functioning but also the existence of a business entity in a foreign land. Different countries have different labor laws which at times are incongruent with the company’s universal code and ethics. Customization in this purview is thence, absolutely required. Also, adherence to local cultural sensitivities, such as festivals, observations etc. should be tailored as per the demography.
Motivation and Integration of Workforce
It’s somewhat natural for the workforce to lack motivation and zeal to perform, in case if they don’t feel a part of the global vision of the company.
Dealing with this most intrinsic but impactful factor is paramount for any organization. Providing competitive pay packages, incentives outside work, cultural festival celebrations etc. are certain practices which help in promoting inclusivity, thereby, motivating the local work force.
Moving towards a full-fledged inclusive global workplace
Valuing and utilizing individual’s talents and efforts, irrespective of the inter-cultural differences, reflects an organization’s relations with its own employees. An inclusive workplace functions on a pluralistic value frame that respects all cultural tangents and local laws. Such a relation based on mutual respect and value ultimately benefits both, the organization as well as the employees. An inclusive global workplace promotes healthy conflicts, open-mindedness, comfortable diverse idea exchanges and an array of new perspectives generating higher productivity, innovation and engagement. Given the present-day scenario where it’s not a big deal for even a small start-up to have a global reach, it has become imperative for organizations to ensure a globally inclusive workplace culture. With proper inculcation of such workplace ethos, we are indeed not far away from a world wherein we would have bypassed all cultural, national or any other differential barrier and enabled a truly global professional world.