Improving Morale and Productivity in Multicultural Organizations

In any organization, employee morale and employee productivity are directly related. Employee morale is defined as job fulfilment, employee outlook and worker happiness I the workplace. When overall morale within an organization is high, worker productivity is maximized and when morale is low, worker productivity tanks. The effects of improving morale is wide ranging and generally improves everything from the amount of work produced the to the number of on job injuries, which impacts profitability.

In multicultural organizations, developing strategies to maximize employee morale to capitalize on productivity gains can be challenging. One reason that maximizing productivity is challenging in multicultural organizations stems from the development of unhealthy conflict. Individuals are inclined to choose team members who are culturally, academically and linguistically similar. Working with others who are similar to ourselves is often easier and more satisfying. Alternatively, working with others who differ from us may influence unwelcome conflict and chaos. When conflict and chaos persist, the morale of the entire workplace can decline.

What can be done to improve the morale of your workplace?

1. Evaluate overall morale in your organization
Determine if morale is low and if so what are the underlying causes. Morale changes throughout time due to economical, regulatory, political, environmental, competitive and other forces. To gauge morale accurately, a business should evaluate morale on a regular basis. Using employee surveys, businesses can identify whether the problem is widespread or contained to a certain functional area. Exact causes can also be pinpointed and strategies can be developed and implemented to make improvements. In addition to surveys, exit interviews can also be conducted.

2. Make morale a cornerstone to your company’s success and train employees to understand how morale is linked to the company’s mission statement, goals and objectives. Employees should understand the company’s interest in improving morale and encourage employee feedback and recommendations for improvement.

3. Make everyone in the organization aware that their participation is needed to create an organization that fosters job fulfilment, employee outlook and worker happiness. Every employee needs to understand their value to an organization and have a personal sense of mission and accomplishment to feel connected to the organization.  Improving morale is a responsibility of all employees.

4. Make every employee aware that irrespective of their division, geographic location, or functional area within the company, the organization is concerned with their individual success and career growth.

5. Encourage group activities and communication between employees of different departments. Sponsor workshops in multicultural teambuilding and communication and enlist the use of certified translation agencies that can assist employees. The more diverse employees interact, the better. It is impossible to over-communicate.

6. Ensure everyone completes their share of the work, meets deadlines and achieves expectations. Employees who fail to meet basic obligations cause frustrations and are taxing to moral. A productive workplace can be achieved through regular, honest and open employee evaluations. During an evaluation, strategies should be discussed that are specific, measurable, achievable and results oriented.

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