In the modern corporate world, technical skills are not enough. In a global workplace, we interact with colleagues with viewpoints and values that can be vastly different from our own. To thrive in a global firm, we must understand a wider, richer array of work styles than ever before. The ability to communicate across cultures, influence and motivate others becomes critical. We need to be able to determine what aspects of an interaction are simply results of personality difference and which, a result of differences in cultural perspective is.
Robert Walters Singapore conducted a workshop, ‘Leveraging a Multicultural Workforce’, and invited Dr. Zsuzsanna Tungli, Managing Partner of Developing Global Leaders Asia & Cultural Training Asia, and Author of The Culture Key between Asia and the West, to share her insights on what expats and local employees can do to create more effective interactions and support organisations in driving meaningful and successful initiatives to bring local talent into regional/global leadership positions.
In the first half of the event, Dr. Tungli spoke on important cultural differences, such as indirect and direct communication, the different approaches to hierarchy and the role of silence in communication, sharing examples and case studies which the participants resonated strongly with. In the second half of the event, participants came together to discuss important key issues such as:
• The value of direct communication in Asia and how to promote it
• How companies can encourage employees in Asia to consider global roles
• The challenges faced by multinationals in creating a diverse leadership in Asia
“We work with many companies across different sectors in Singapore and we’ve noticed more companies looking to actively build a diverse and multicultural workforce in recent years,” shared Ian Koh, senior consultant in the HR division at Robert Walters. “However, one common challenge many companies seem to face is a shortage of skilled local or Asian talent at top management roles. It was good to be able to discuss this challenge in detail, and explore what steps can be taken to start building a good pipeline of Asian leaders for the future.”
“I think it’s important for organisations in Singapore to start investing and training people for leadership roles early,” added Charlene Tay, senior consultant in the HR division. “Instead of only asking someone to consider a global role much later on in their career, when they have built their families here, it’s good to get your talent to start thinking about these opportunities earlier on in their careers. This not only ensures a more diverse pipeline of leaders, but also helps encourage better talent retention.”
To find out more on how you can build a more diverse and multicultural workforce, refer to our whitepapers:
To learn more about Dr Zsuzsanna Tungli and Developing Global Leaders Asia, visit their website here.