2. Multicultural Workforces:What is the best way to deal with a multicultural workforce? There are no easy answers.
Styles of leadership, motivation, decision making and control vary from country to country. For example, managing a construction work site in Saudi Arabia with employees from Pakistan and Sri Lanka will be different from managing a construction work in USA with employees from Mexico. In these settings, political risks and bureaucratic difficulties further complicate the work process. The challenges of managing across cultures, however, are not limited to international operations. It may occur in countries like India which have domestic multiculturalism. For example, it might be equally difficult to manage workers from North Karnataka working as construction labourers in places like Mangalore and Udupi which have entirely different cultures. 3.
Expatriate Work Assignments:An expatriate is a person who works and lives abroad for extended periods of time. The cost of an expatriate worker can be very high for the employer. Progressive employers will maximise the potential of expatriate performance success by taking a variety of supportive actions.
They carefully recruit employees who have the right sensitivity and skills, provide them with good training and orientation to the foreign culture, actively support them, give extra attention to the needs of the expatriate’s family members and pay careful attention to relocation when the expatriate and family returns home. Expatriates usually face their greatest problems when entering and working in a foreign culture, and when experiencing repatriation back home. The expatriate undergoes three phases of adjustment to the new country.
In the tourist stage the expatriate enjoys discovering the new culture.
ii. Disillusionment Stage:
In the disillusionment stage, the expatriate’s mood is dampened as difficulties become more evident and he undergoes the problems of living in an alien culture. The typical problems that the expatriate faces include: (a) Conversing in the local language (b) Obtaining personal products and (c) Food supplies. 4. Cultural Shock:In this stage the expatriate’s mood is at the lowest because of culture shock. He/she is confused, disoriented and frustrated with the local culture.
If the culture shock is handled well, the expatriate begins to feel better and life becomes reasonably normal. If the cultural shock is intolerable, the expatriate may even return to his home country.