No company is void of employees with cultural differences. Sometimes differences can force us to move away from each other. It is often said that the world is small, but the smallness may not be felt depending on how company behaves. The differences are found at all levels: cultural, linguistic, racial, educational, ideological, and economic. Despite these differences, there are ways to create unity by having mutual understanding, valuing other cultures, communication and social integration. It possible for a company to facilitate building these bridges to create a sense of unity among their workforce because there is a link between us all, a common denominator- humanism. But how is it possible if we are from different countries, cultures and languages? Regardless of the contrast, humanism does not have its own culture, it transcends all. For, before being citizen of a country we are human.

How to work together despite cultural differences? Well to be able to work together in a world where everyone seems to be operating from a programmed set of differences principles of tolerance and respect must be adopted. But let us 1st talk about cultural and intercultural exchange because there are an infinity of aspects to be considered within the global society. Following are components of the intercultural exchange:

Language

To communicate with someone who does not speak the same language as you is one of the biggest obstacles affecting the intercultural exchange. It is important to seek a form of communication when you speak different languages or dialects and understand that no language is superior to another. Learning some basics from at least one foreign language among the most widely spoken languages demonstrates the desire to communicate with the rest of the world. This can also include people who speak the same language but are from different regions or countries. Knowing the different connotations of words can go a long way in preventing conflicts.

History

Knowing about the history like the national anthem, national heroes, major cities, music, and holidays to name a few, of the dominant country of origin of your workforce may be a good asset in establishing mutual respect. People are interested in listening to a stranger tell their story, this builds a report with that person and makes them feel important.

Cuisine food

Is at the heart of cultures so knowing the typical dishes of a country and offering a selection of these at a holiday party or in the cafeteria can speak measures to showing respect for the diversity in your company and in turn promote loyalty.

Sports

The favorite sport of a country is sometimes comparable to its official religion so seeking to know the sport of the country of origin of someone can well help to create and maintain cultural ties.

Religion

There is no nation without religion. For many countries religion governs all aspects of life and relationships. Helping employees observe their religious holy days and providing an area where they can maintain their daily spiritual practices if needed be can set you apart from another employer and contribute to employee retention.

Current Events

Countries have political disputes between them, therefore it’s good to have a broad knowledge of current world events to be able to direct, measure and limit conversations to avoid making fatal mistakes that can cut any communication channel.

Cultural Customs

A country has its own identity in dress, cuisine, music, behavior, religion, etc. Within each culture a myriad of customs exist. Customs contain social pleasantries and these can be a stark contrast during cross cultural exchange. A certain pleasantly may seem reasonable, sensible and acceptable to you, however it is a flagrant violation for another. Thus, we must be aware when, where, who and how we should approach each other so that everyone feels respected and honored.

Most humans thrive in a harmonious environment where there is mutual understanding. Differences may be felt in the modes of operation of a company, but you can avoid a feeling of exclusion if you have diversity and inclusion practices included in your company culture. We are all citizens of the world born in different parts having to adapt to a culture by the society in which we live. In this, diversity can create an atmosphere of unity if and only if we give to each person the understanding that we are all different but included.