Why have we decided to take the company Promethee as the basis for our survey concerning the management in a multicultural environment? Because this society seems to be give the perfect example of a success based on a good management of a multicultural workforce all over the world. The first agency was created in the 19 century in London.Today, through 200 offices in 130 countries and 15000 people from 123 different nationalities, Promethee has managed to become one of the main worldwide providers of news, information and technological solutions.
What are the main issues linked to a multicultural workforce? What are the keys of the success of Promethee? And what are the limits of this model?As future managers or co-workers, many ofus will have to evolve in a multicultural environment, that's why this case will show us how to deal with all the issues linked to such a particular working environment and enable us to put in a light the limits of this model and propose some ideas to improve it.
Reflexions and recommendations :
-Networking teams vs classic teams
-Sharing your cultureand discovering your neighbor's
-HR recommendations and the reality of multiculturalism
Classic VS Networking teams
After all the interviews, it seems obvious that classic and networking teams don't have the same approach regarding multiculturalism in their companies. And this is mainly due to the ways of communication used within the teams. On the one hand, inclassic teams, communication between team members are mostly informal and face to face. On the other hand, in networking teams, members use indirect ways of communication, which can explain to some extent that there are more misunderstandings and conflicts within this kind of teams. Face to face communication is the best way to exchange. And the exchange is the best way to get to know people youwork with, and it is all the more important when you need to work with people from different cultures.
Some people we have interviewed see multiculturalism as a simple way “to travel a lot” or “a good opportunity to improve their language skills”.Many people we've interviewed expressed their desire to enjoy more opportunities to get to meet their colleagues who work far from their own workplace andwho they know only through electronic medias (internet, conference calls and so on).
For instance, M.Chesneau, a French team leader who has been working in Paris for 7 years, has put in a light that “informal contacts count a lot in working relationships”. He explained that when an English say “yes”, it can be a “no” because culturally speaking, they are less direct than the French for example.In this case again, it would be easier to understand these differences with face to face contacts.
Human contacts are very important for a successful management in a multicultural environment.
What is the enterprise culture? In a few words, it can be said that this consists in the creation of common values between employees in a company. The main goal of building astrong enterprise culture is to go further than employee's cultures. In other words, the enterprise culture is the culture that counts in the workplace and that what creates a union between people from different cultures. This is a fundamental point for a company to be able to develop an efficient multicultural management. But we have noticed through the different interviews that only ...% of thepeople interviewed have mentioned the belief of the employees in a common enterprise culture that creates a strong link between them . How come employees don't put in a light a strong enterprise culture in this company that employs people from 123 nationalities?
Maybe because they don't really have the feeling to be a part of a whole structure, a kind of family with values they believe in....