June 22, 2017

Six Ways Culture Deeply Impacts the HR Function

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Six Ways Culture Deeply Impacts the HR Function

In many ways – access to more travel options, a shared global food culture, social media and technology advances – it often seems that the world truly is becoming smaller. But it would be a mistake to assume that cultural differences are disappearing. Things can sometimes look similar on the surface – but its what’s beneath the surface that really informs interactions and communications, both personal and business.  

Recently, Jenny Castelino, director of intercultural and language solutions at Cartus, wrote an article, Six Ways Culture Deeply Impacts the HR Function, for Bloomberg BNA. The article discusses six components of the HR function that are most likely to be impacted by cultural differences, and offers some practical tips for HR professionals.

The Impact of Culture on Talent Management

  1. Recruitment: inability to conduct an apples-to-apples comparison of candidates when assessing candidates of different cultural backgrounds.
  2. Onboarding: challenges when onboarding people from different cultures while using the same training materials.
  3. Benefits and Compensation: managing not only cultural differences, but generational preferences as well.
  4. Performance Assessment: assuming that standardized leadership traits are universally accepted across cultures.
  5. Ethics: the perception of ethical behavior across cultures can be challenging for an HR professional to navigate.
  6. Engagement: evaluating initiatives to drive engagement initiatives within an organization, which can differ across different cultures.

Tips for International HR Professionals

When working in intercultural environments, there are a variety of things HR professionals should do:

  • Self-awareness is key! Take a personal self-assessment on your level of intercultural understanding.
  • If you’re an HR professional or business leader be sure to take cultural training and a global awareness program.
  • Solicit the advice of in-country HR resources and get feedback from key stakeholders before rolling out global HR initiatives.

Removing cultural differences wouldn’t be practical in today’s global business environment, or even something that we would really want to do, as it is these differences that provide so many different, and valuable, points of view. It’s the organizations that embrace differences, and get them to work for their talent management goals, that have the most success.

We encourage you to read Jenny’s article for a more in-depth view of the impact of culture on HR practices, and tips for international HR professionals. For more information on intercultural, and other matters that impact your relocation program, be sure to check out our newly redesigned Resource Hub on Cartus.com.

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Posted By

Patrice Heinzer

About Patrice

Patrice is vice president, Intercultural & Language Solutions and Consulting. She has held a wide variety of leadership posts at Cartus since 1989. She also successfully completed extended business assignments in Singapore and Australia.

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