Come to London and you will be amazed by the diversity of its population. More than 8.6 million people live in this beautiful city. It has been estimated that a staggering 3.1 million people living in London were born outside the UK. London is one of the most ethnically diverse cities in the world. In 2007, there were over 300 languages spoken and, needless to say, London considers diversity as one of its biggest assets.
What we bring together as a workforce is currently unseen anywhere else in the world. To give you an example, my GP is from India, my hairdresser is from Italy, my baker is from Poland, my landlord is from Belgium and I am French. We all live in London and speak in English to one another. Plus's London office mirrors this reality, with half of our team members having been born outside of the UK.
However, speaking in English does not mean that we necessary always understand each other, and it's possible for words and meanings to become “lost in translation.” Having a multicultural team is a a great strength, but it's important to be aware of potential communication challenges:
- direct vs. indirect communication styles
- challenges with accents and fluency
- differing attitudes towards hierarchy and authority
- conflicting norms for decision making
Do you think that diversity of backgrounds, languages, beliefs and life experiences is crucial in a team? We would be interested to hear from global mobility and talent/HR professionals with their views on embracing a diverse workforce to enhance personal development, innovation and professional growth.