Major Consequences to an Organization if the Staff Is Not Culturally Competent

Subject: Employee Management
Pages: 3
Words: 280
Reading time:
2 min
Study level: School

If employees are not culturally competent, the organization will have communication barriers, less productivity, and high turnover rates. When workers do not appreciate the differences among them, they do not make an effort to learn the uniqueness of others. This failure to understand other employees’ cultures will lead to communication problems. For example, nodding might mean a ‘yes’ in most cultures, but it means ‘no’ for Bulgarians. This slight difference can cause misunderstandings between staff members if cultural competence is lacking. As staff members waste time misunderstanding each other and are stressed out, as a result, they become less productive (Kwantes & Glazer, 2017). A company will have fewer sales and profits if cultural incompetence leads to customer dissatisfaction. If clients feel disrespected or undermined because of their differences, they will not return, leave negative reviews, and not recommend the business to friends or family. Misunderstood staff will likely seek alternatives and employers whose environment is more culturally diverse and aware. Therefore, there will be turnover problems for the workplace where staff is not culturally competent.

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Some practical methods of creating a culturally competent workforce include global citizenship training and celebrating various cultures represented in the workplace. The training is essential as it underpins the organization’s commitment to diversity and cultural awareness. Important topics studied include marketing, negotiation skills, communication, and business etiquette as perceived by different cultures. If a company has expatriates from their home country with unique and diverse cultures, they can be the best trainers for the sessions (Korzilius, Bücker, & Beerlage, 2017). Celebrating different cultures involves marking important national or cultural days of the year for the employees, including the holidays in company emails and bulletins.


Korzilius, H., Bücker, J. J., & Beerlage, S. (2017). Multiculturalism and innovative work behavior: The mediating role of cultural intelligence. International Journal of Intercultural Relations, 56, 13-24. Web.

Kwantes, C. T., & Glazer, S. (2017). Cross-cultural competence and cultural intelligence in the workplace. In C. T. Kwantes & S. Glazer, Culture, Organizations, and Work (pp. 95-101). Springer, Cham.