Cultural Integration Inside Small Businesses
Have you ever considered the fact that sometimes we spend more time with our coworkers, than we do with our own families?! Regardless of the passion or skill one may have for their industry of trade, working in a welcoming environment can be crucial for success. Having a diverse work team may have its challenges to overcome such as communication barriers, training differences, etc.- but overall has benefits that far outweigh the obstacles. This is why, positive cultural integration inside small businesses is so important.
The best achieved corporate culture is one that is capable of reducing the space between each of its members. The true value of a company’s culture should not be given by what runs it, but by each and every one of its members. As a structural engineering firm located in Doral, Florida, we at Eastern Engineering Group (EEG) are committed to creating a successful culturally-integrated environment for our employees.
Although is true that multicultural integration contributes to the growth of companies, in both the social and economic arenas, it remains challenging for them to achieve a state in which their employees complement each other.
The ability of the human resources department to acquire new talents and subsequently merge them with employees who are already part of the company depends on their willingness to openly receive new cultures, thus creating the basis for integration. A collectively expressed welcoming reception on the part of the existing workforce benchmarks a starting point that could became emblematic as long as it is then passed on to the new member of the group once the integration of the different cultures is thoroughly achieved. An employee never forgets their first day at a new workplace. If the experience is pleasant and they see signs of willingness to accept them, and that their presence is welcome, it undoubtedly makes a difference.
Overcoming Potential Obstacles
According to some employers, cultural identity differences could sometimes be a reason for rejection by other cultures. However, 87% of companies are aware that once integration is achieved, the results could have a positive ripple effect in comparison to workplaces where they haven’t focused on maintaining a culturally diverse work environment.
A new addition to the company may be bringing with them a background loaded with knowledge previously unknown to the rest of the workforce which could, once they share it with a welcoming group, greatly contribute to a more comprehensive global integration of the company. However, sometimes the new employee’s background consists of a job training that completely differs from the company’s policies and this will never cease to pose a problem needing to be resolved in the short term by management. This kind of issues should never overshadow the value of the technical expertise a person brings in, in spite of the fact that they may have even been trained in an economic and social system completely different from where the small or medium-sized company operates.
The result of all the work companies do to achieve this integration raises their working environment to a higher level of what we call the corporate culture. A natural consequence of doing a good job in this respect, in combination with a sound understanding of their employees’ diverse cultures of origin, should lead companies to reach a corporate culture that integrates multiple idiosyncrasies. The most successfully attained corporate culture is one that is capable of reducing the space between each of its members. The true value of a company’s culture should not be determined by those who run it, but by each and every one of its members.
There is an imposing need for a company to open up to globalization. It is a fact that the world, in-person and remotely, is integrating at a very fast pace and whoever doesn’t navigate those waters could be stopped in their tracks from staying competitive and even lose opportunities to substantially reduce operational costs.
Money Speaks All Languages
Language barriers will never cease to exist, but they are increasingly becoming tolerated along with different accents. Eastern Engineering Group feels it took a just and equitable first step when it made part of its employee handbook the fact that our engineering company will not accept any type of discrimination on the basis of race, sexual orientation or country of origin against any of its employees. Our company’s focus is the acquisition of human values that would contribute to our teams with their technical and professional skills.
Eastern Engineering Group has been fortunate to comprise members of many different backgrounds, including employees who even come from countries with non-democratic social systems, and has developed a kind of comprehensive melting pot of integration, promoting a culture of understanding, acceptance and enjoyment of our different customs; ranging from the culinary art to music, and as diverse as their own identities.
We have never believed that the effects of taking on and obtaining results from becoming a cosmopolitan entity does not add a level of complexity which many multinational companies fail to recognize. Especially when they employ the same style of business management at the time to implement their expansion into other world regions, with workers who have different work habits as well as protection from different labor laws. Many times in a country or countries where their expansion investment is being implemented they find themselves amidst a myriad of factors that directly affect that process. This is an increasingly common reality we are all facing nowadays.
Improved Bottom Line
Despite having always wanted to find information on how to obtain the best results in this regard, we have not found a clearly descriptive protocol to help integration flow according to the expectations of executives, owners or even employees. But what there is no doubt about is the fact that each of us can enrich our work experience from the variety that different cultures contribute which in the end only helps us become better professionals.
The fact that our structural design company, located in South Florida, has organically chosen to avoid cultural exclusion, has translated in a harmonized work environment which increasingly making us feel integrated both, at the projects’ team level and at the corporate level.
There is always something that a team member knows how to do better than the rest. So, we focus our efforts on discovering what that is, highlighting it while putting it to work for the benefit of the productive and non-productive tasks that must be completed in an engineering company.
The All-Loving Environment of Eastern Engineering Group
Eastern Engineering Group is located in the Miami area and since South Florida is such a cosmopolitan region, it has become very easy, and actually pleasant, for us to be able to receive people from very many different cultures, interact with them and, above all else, learn from them. Such a practice fully supports the non-exclusion principle that was born alongside the birth of our company. We thus invite other companies that have not yet discovered the richness of integration to pay more attention to the cultural melting pot process of their members, because failure to do so could become a critical issue as many of their employees may feel isolated and that feeling could eventually affect their workforce performance.
Doing a good job when it comes to integration also guarantees good results in talent retention within the company, which in turn improves internal communication at all levels and with it the quality of our projects. For this reason we try to understand and participate in the different cultural expressions of all the members of our company, and instead of making comparisons between them we acquire their values and add them to our strategies with the aim of strengthening our development. We have no doubt this is how we are propelling forward our labor and financial well-being.
Here at EEG consider our open door business policy a fruitful resource where our employees can find a venue for their concerns to be heard. We constantly promote different activities like, group potluck lunches in which each employee prepares a typical dish from their culinary culture, gift exchanges, as well as year-end parties for all employees and their partners, whom we also consider to be a part of us. In addition to rewarding any innovative proposals received from our employees in the area of development, we join them in solidarity and above all, sympathize with their needs whenever an emergency situation arises in the country of origin of any of our members.
Offering Others the Opportunity to Grow
Our corporate culture is based on gaining and amalgamating professionals who guarantee harmony and a good corporate environment. Through them, our competitiveness and economic sustainability are strengthened. Eastern Engineering Group has been able to share and give professional growth opportunities to more than 200 employees and students scattered along more than 10 different nationalities, each of them is considered a part of our lives and this cultural integration is one of the corporate values we pride ourselves the most. Having a pleasant work environment in our company is a priority for us; sometimes we spend more time with our co-workers than with our own families and we will always strive to continuously improve in that front.
From the vantage point of our civil engineering training we see cultural integration as a structure in which each of its elements provides sound stability so that what we have built shall never fall.