Have you ever stopped to think about how diverse the environment you’re working in is? If you haven’t, let’s dive into it together.
It can seem so natural, with many in the civilized world thinking far beyond borders, cultures, race, genders, age, and religion, that you don’t really stop to think about the diversity of your workplace. But workplace diversity matters on many levels, as we view workplace diversity as not only working with people of different nationalities but also working with people with different perspectives, approaches, lifestyle and horizons.
The topic of cultural diversity has become the center of attention for many innovative companies around the world and Develandoo is no exception. Culture shapes our identity; it leaves a great impact on how we behave individually and as a society. And at the end of the day, it greatly affects the way we perceive the world. Being in an environment that allows you to learn about different cultures and interact with people from different nationalities, guides you in understanding the world which you’re living in. In other words, cultural diversity helps you dispel negative stereotypes and personal biases; it teaches you simply to accept that there are many cultures, perspectives and approaches other than your own.
Mckinsey & Company conducted research in 2015 under the title Diversity Matters and found that diversity has a positive impact on many key aspects of organisational performance. It is diversity management that helps to win the war in acquiring good talent, strengthening customer orientation, increasing employee satisfaction, improving decision making, and yes, enhancing a company’s image.
Develandoo culturally diverse team, comes from Cyprus, Belarus, Iran, Bulgaria, Armenia, Germany, USA, Russia, to name a few. These are bright-minded team members who make unique contributions to our company development.
Today we have decided to shift from the standard article format, talking about the benefits and drawbacks, and instead decided to directly share our teammates perspectives about cultural diversity based on their own experience. We listened to many of our teammates, excited to share their stories and thoughts on the topic.
Valeri Kozarev, Head of Customer Engagement and Company Culture, Bulgaria.
”It matters what are the expectations between the parties and what middle grounds can be met. I’ve always considered cultural exchange as a benefit, which is why I’ve also participated in several exchange student programs during my time in the university. You learn a lot about the surrounding world, and you see how different people work and live. It’s a true eye opener. Different team members come with different experience from one another, which can benefit for solving a task. Integration can be difficult at times due to prejudice or negative cultural stereotypes, but overall I think there are more benefits than negatives. Clashing so many personalities, voices and perspectives can inspire an out-of-the-box thinking. I believe new ideas are developed easier with a diverse team. Tried that. It works. Besides, diverse workforce is extremely important from the business development aspect if you are trying to conquer new markets. Often a service or a product has to be adjusted or adapted in order to succeed overseas. Cultural understanding and local partners can really help in boosting international business growth. This brings me to the times when I lived in the US and I met people from the entire globe there. Some of the best times of my life, so in multicultural environment I definitely feel more comfortable. As when I give it a thought I’ve always worked in places with multicultural environment or interaction. The opportunities for personal and professional growth is 10x bigger than in mono-national environment.”
Ardalan Seyed Hosseini, Data Scientist, Iran.
”Obviously, diversity of a team contributes to the company because it’s the source of diverse ideas and different viewpoints. It reduces the biases that may not be apparent from within the team. It creates a pseudo-environment for the product to simulate different international markets. On the social level, could be very bonding and inclusive if the diversity within the team is high enough. We are also working with clients from all around the world, which also contributes to culture of workplace. I prefer a workplace with multi-national and open-minded coworkers because it would remove all the invisible barriers to communicate professionally and bond socially.”
Narine Hovhannisyan, Project Manager, Armenia.
”Actually, I feel that there is a growing tendency, for now, companies are eager to show their commitment to embracing differences and change. For me workplace diversity fosters mutual respect among employees. Whether employees work in groups or teams comprised of co-workers with varied work styles, or colleagues who represent different cultures or generations, a synergistic work environment becomes the norm. Conflicts can inevitably occur in the work environment, however, employees who acknowledge others’ differences often also find similarities, particularly when there are common goals – production and quality. Respect for co-workers either reduces the likelihood of conflict or facilitates an easier road to conflict resolution. In our company, diversity mostly helps us better understand each other’s needs and expectations. For me, it’s quite interesting and pleasant to work with people from different cultures as it helps me to learn from them and grow; growth not only in the professional aspect but also in cultural aspect. Develandoo team is really good at keeping company culture with diverse people. Each of them gives his/her unique sense and color and adds value to the team. I think that having a diverse workforce is firstly essential for job reputation. It also enhances good business reputation. Diversity in the workplace is important for employees because it manifests itself in building a great reputation for the company, leading to increased profitability and opportunities for workers. Workplace diversity is important within the organization as well as outside. Business reputations flourish when companies demonstrate their commitment to diversity through aggressive outreach and recruiting efforts.
A diverse workplace offers more than exposure to employees from different cultures and backgrounds. Employees learn from co-workers whose work styles vary and whose attitudes about work varies from their own. For me it’s preferable to work in a multicultural environment because I learn a lot, I grow a lot, and I do enjoy working with people from different environments. Sometimes it’s hard because work attitude differs and that matters a lot. The way of perceiving each other’s speech is different. There are things which can be understood too directly, while a person may not even mean that. Like simple things as gestures and words, or maybe jokes can be perceived differently which may cause some inconvenient situations. Fortunately, I have been working in different spheres filled with cultural diversity and I never regret. I always kept good relationships with them and even now when I need some help, even for a piece of advice, I can freely turn to them and they are always glad and ready to help me in any case. And I never feel uncomfortable while working with them. I really enjoy the interesting time I have with them.”
Lena Karpovich, External Recruiter, Belarus.
”Work in a company with different nationalities is a great advantage for me since we can exchange not only experiences but characteristic features of our culture and history. It is always interesting to get acquainted with new places, and if you learn about them directly from the native person, from colleagues who live in different parts of the world, it is doubly interesting. Speaking about drawbacks, I’ll especially mention the language barrier, but this is always easily solved. Moreover, this is another reason to improve your language skills in English. Develandoo is a large multi-ethnic family. We work at a distance from each other, but in most cases we don’t feel this since we have one goal, to give quality by uniting our efforts. And your colleague will always help you, be he/she in Germany, Armenia, Bulgaria or Ukraine. And for me it’s much more interesting to work in a multinational environment. Develandoo is my first experience in an international multinational company. Before that I worked in a completely different field in Minsk. Now my work is directly related to communication with people. Of course, I had fears that something might not work out, but I am sure that everything is in our hands. If you invest a piece of your soul and do your job well, you will always get feedback. And the results will not keep you waiting long, especially when there is a team that is always ready to help you if you have even a small problem.”
Dr Costas Konis, Advisor, Head of Product for Cyprus and Greece.
”There are certainly lots of benefits in diversity in the workplace. Many people would list among these benefits, availability of diverse backgrounds and thus different talents, skills and experiences that can add to the performance of the organisation. Others would list increased employee motivation, employee retention and opportunities for more global communication and interaction. Personally, I think that the most important aspect of workplace diversity is that it can become an extremely powerful way of boosting creativity and innovation. People with different backgrounds, genders, origins, nationalities, cultures and talents can add different views, aspects and perceptions to problems, challenges and opportunities. While these valuable variations are present in a diverse working environment maximization of their contribution is not always self-activated. Turning them into an efficient idea and innovation producing mechanism is actually a management challenge. Management needs to create the proper environment in which communication, personal relations, mutual respect and teamwork will enable flow of ideas and discussions that lead to innovations. “
Lilit Grigoryan, Project Manager, Armenia.
”To be true, I have not been concentrated on having diverse team before working in Develandoo. For me, when thinking about my teammates I’d love to work with, the main criteria were always their professionalism and their personality. No matter what nationality the person belongs to, I always seeked for a skilled individual who can handle the work properly; someone who never stops learning new things and helping his teammates achieve better results. Working with a team with diverse nationalities is a significant bonus I got when joined Develandoo. For me, however, diversity is not limited to nationality only. People have different genders, orientations, religion, culture, and preferences. We are all diverse in our own way. And what I like in Develandoo is that this company unifies many types of diversities. Sometimes it can be a real challenge but, from the other hand, diversity makes everyday work so much more colorful and interesting. I believe that each nation has its unique mentality, which pre-defines some values for individuals belonging to that nationality. We all are born with a sense of national identity, that is, a shared understanding that you belong to a group of people that have the same ethnic, linguistic, and cultural background. This idea has stuck with me for a lifetime. “You should actively seek out different points of view, and making sure that what you believe actually makes sense and isn’t just a belief you align with just because you grew up with it,” – Principles by Ray Dalio. No one thinks and approaches things the same way we do. I think you should always seek out to find the smartest people who disagree with you so you can try to understand their reasonings and achieve the truth, and as a result the better version of your product. I am working with an individual. An individual for me is a sum of life experience, way of thinking, way of interaction with others and not a sum of cultural or national belongings. In every place I have worked I am trying to make good friends (I am sure some will last for a lifetime) and establish healthy working environment with all my teammates, notwithstanding their nationality or other diversities. I truly believe that I am succeeding in this important mission so far.”
Evgeniya Shubnikova, UX designer, Russia.
”I think that a person working in a multinational company is becoming more tolerant to other people. In the process of working on a project, different people can make different contributions based on their own mentality, which allows making the project multi aspect. I like working at Develandoo, but I probably don’t find such an environment special. I think many companies should have this experience. I would like to continue working in a multinational environment. It helps to expand your horizons, even in everyday communication with teammates. Plus, it makes them understand that the company needs their professional skills, even if they are completely strangers in that country. I always remember my feelings when I participated in international events that took place in Russia. These were student forums and the Olympic Games. Due to the fact that completely different nationalities gathered at these events, a feeling of unity appeared, the borders were erased, and everyone communicated and tried to understand each other even if they spoke completely different languages.” 🙂
You see, we are really diverse and this diversity makes our team unique and united with so many talented and bright teammates from different parts of the world.
- Develandoo Company Culture