There are two main places where I have personally seen the most benefit of having a multicultural group: our larger organizations that need help in several languages and understanding business concepts that are in different areas in Latin America, and also with our partner organizations trying to service and penetrate that segment. Yes, that’s my standard answer when talking to both partners and customer, but it is really so much more. It’s creating a culture organizationally that can permeate throughout the entire company.
Our Costa Rica group has shown me how I can get our US employees to have more fun in their company and not look at things like just another job. An example of how this is unfolding happened several months ago. I professed my lack of soccer skills (I know, football..). The group was intent on seeing how bad of a player I was, so we rented a fives court and had a friendly game. This game has now become a company tradition as they all get together and play on Thursday.
This has help establish unity in the group as it is great to see everyone giving each other grief about how bad or good they are. Along with this is the tradition of having lunch together and just bantering and having fun conversation. So much of this is lost in the US because we all either work through lunch or entertain others. I have worked on meeting with employees in the US to just have a lunch with them and learn more about their traits or work issues to see what I can do for them.
Along with establishing culture there is a clear cut reason why having a Nearshore group is helpful. Business in LATM is conducted so much differently that it truly takes someone who understands not only the language but how to interact and set your own internal expectations. Most times it requires that someone be able to speak Spanish before anyone in LATM will even entertain a discussion. So if you want to penetrate this growing and difficult market, you will need to have people who are from there.
- On December 23, 2014