After reading an article on understanding cultural differences in the workplace, I am amazed at three things. That our culture is light night and day. For example, we say thank you when someone gives us something and the Koreans do not. We call each other in the workplace by surnames but Koreans call each other by titles only. Koreans don’t acknowledge your very presence if they don’t know you whereas Americans are friendly and speak to people even if we don’ t know them. I knew that Koreans were different but I didn’t know how different. This explains why we are treated the way we are in their establishments. Cultural differences can make or break someone in the workplace if they are unfamiliar with the customs of another. That is why cultural competency is so important. It is necessary more in today’s world with so many countries going global and hiring people of different cultures. Not just racial groups but other groups as well like veterans for example. They have a culture all their own. If we take the time to understand the culture of another, it will prevent a lot of problems from occurring like disagreements on how to handle a customer or a contract. Even gender differences carry cultural issues. Women are typically caretakers and men are not. In the workplace women are sometimes discounted for what they know about the job because they may be in a male dominated field like construction.
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