In This Issue
Paul A. Jeffrey
Wesley Long Community Hospital – Moses Cone Health System
Pamela M. Sinclair, FACHE
Advanced Home Care
Samuel B. Seifert
Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center
Robert E. Byrd, FACHE
Alamance Regional Medical Center
Wendy P. Hicks
Novant Health – Forsythe Medical Center
Avoid Committing Gaffes With Your Multicultural Work Force|
Whether you manage a huge multinational firm or a small office, chances are you’ve got at least a few people from another culture in your group. You can’t take for granted that what works for your native employees will be equally effective in managing foreign-born workers. Keep these pointers in mind:
- Find out how to communicate. Workers in some cultures may have learned to rely on what others in their work group tell them, rather than on management communications. You may need to designate someone to pass along information to these employees. Remember, too, that in some cultures people are uncomfortable with public praise, so find out whether workers would prefer to receive positive feedback in private.
- Assign mentors or buddies. If possible, pair up a foreign-born employee with another worker from the same culture, so the more experienced employee can answer questions and show the newer worker the ropes. If that’s not possible, assign a mentor from your work force, but provide some training so the person doesn’t create friction.
- Keep your door, and mind, open. An open-door policy is usually good employee relations, but employees from different countries may not be used to the idea of addressing their superiors directly. As above, designating an intermediary may be your best bet. Set a good example, though, by getting out of your office to ask questions and share information.
- Eliminate jargon and slang. You already know this, but it bears repeating: Be sensitive to buzzwords and figures of speech that may not be obvious to people from another country. On the flip side, find out what kinds of slang might be offensive in another culture.
Adapted from “Are You Unwittingly Committing Gaffes With Your Multicultural Work Force?” Communication Solutions, April 2010; (800) 878-5331; www.managementresources.com.
|Fall education session:
September 15, 2010
"Medical Staff Relations"
(ACHE Category I panel discussion)
WFUBMC, Winston Salem, NC
THEF Annual Meeting:
November 11, 2010
Grandover Resort, Greensboro, NC