How To Improve Your Company’s Cultural Intelligence


These days, good cultural intelligence is integral to any team’s success. Members of your team are likely communicating with clients, suppliers, employees, freelancers, and regulators from a multitude of backgrounds, so they need to understand different ways of thinking to productively interact with these people. With that in mind, you should check out this quick guide on how to improve cultural intelligence in your organization.

Foster a Comfortable Workplace

Naturally, when one of your employees feels uncomfortable, you want them to speak up so that the company can address the issue. However, workers at many companies don’t feel comfortable providing input or pointing out managerial mistakes. On top of paving the way for a hostile work environment, this can have the unintended effect of allowing instances of cultural insensitivity to persist. That’s why managers must ensure that team members are able to freely communicate their concerns without fear of reprisal.

Conduct Cultural Sensitivity Training

Cultural sensitivity training is a great way to familiarize your team members with the broad strokes of multiculturalism. This will improve workplace harmony and help broaden your employees’ perspectives. Many companies conduct cultural sensitivity training, so you should work with whichever one has the most experienced staff.

Expand Your Company’s Recruitment Practices

How does your organization usually find new employees? Does your HR department post to a handful of websites? Do your interns only come from a single institution? Does your recruitment process rely heavily on word of mouth? Limited hiring practices expose your organization to a narrower range of applicants. In turn, your company is more likely to have a homogenous workforce. Adopting new recruiting practices will expose your company to a larger range of applicants from a variety of backgrounds, which can only benefit your organization.

Understand Your Audience’s Culture

A lack of intercultural competence isn’t only bad for your team’s comfort and productivity, but it can also negatively affect sales. Many things that are completely mundane in your region can be very significant in another part of the world. For example, in China, the number four is considered extremely unlucky. In turn, designs that prominently feature the number four are unlikely to do well in this market. You don’t want a cultural faux pas to waste your organization’s limited time and money, so your managers should consult with experts who intimately understand the culture of your target market before pouring resources into new designs and ad campaigns.

High Intercultural Competence Leads to Greater Entrepreneurial Success

A workforce with high intercultural competence is more equipped to succeed in the modern business landscape. If your company doesn’t value intercultural competence, then it will eventually fall behind the competition. You want your organization to thrive, so make sure to keep an open mind and do everything in your power to promote cultural intelligence in your workplace.