Bridging Cultural Differences with Team Building
Diversity in the workplace comes with significant benefits – even a recent study by McKinsey&Company revealed companies with the highest racial and ethnic diversity were 35% more likely to have financial returns above their respective national industry medians. But as much as diversity can help businesses excel, it can also highlight cultural differences that are hard to understand or work around. That’s why bridging cultural differences is important for diverse workplaces, and why team building can be such an effective medium for doing so.
Team Building is the Great Connector
If you think about it, each member of your team comes from a unique background influenced by their parents or caretakers, their communities, and their societal expectations. You may have one employee who values a highly personal approach to building relationships in the workplace; to another team member, that might seem invasive and inappropriate. It’s likely neither employee is wrong, but they clearly aren’t on the same page when it comes to communication. Team building is an opportunity to work on these challenges, by focusing not only on the commonalities of your team but also on the differences.
Team building activities – like the Escape Room or Gauntlet Challenge, for example – tend to be high-excitement experiences that organically build trust among team members. Trust creates comfort, which then opens communication between employees and builds relationships. Team building can bridge that great divide we sometimes see between people of different cultures, and it isn’t just during the event that it happens.
What Starts as Team Building Continues at the Workplace
When you’re looking to bridge cultural differences with team building, you may only be thinking about the progress that happens during those few hours you’re together. The real goal of these events, however, is to build a foundation you can take back to the workplace. Whether it’s a new process that you developed at your event or it’s a deeper recognition of where everyone is coming from, you can think of the team building activities as giving your employees the tools they need to refine ideas and approaches over time, together.
We’d love to discuss your challenges in the workplace and see how team building could bridge those divides. Call (773) 486-7403 or get more information on customized team building events.