If you’re a leader at a multinational company, you might have had the following thought: “Sure, this policy works here, but it will never work in our offices outside the country.” It’s easy to assume that people will struggle to adapt to cultural changes, but think again. Yes, people from different cultures behave in different ways. But people can also adapt.
I’ve seen it firsthand in my role as a director at B2E solutions company, Softway. Softway has offices in the US and India, which in some ways, have very different cultures. So there was some doubt around our decision to transform our company culture in 2016. A few leaders looked at the culture of love and openness we were building and said, “No way.” They thought it would clash with the more hierarchical culture in India.
However, when an organization has its own defined culture, employees will adapt to it. If you don’t believe me, consider your own behaviors. If you have a client-facing role, what do you do before visiting their office? You probably learn about their culture and norms, and you adapt. No matter where your offices are located, your employees are capable of doing the same.
As long as you set cultural expectations clearly and consistently, people will adjust accordingly.