How an international work environment pushes you to be #AlwaysBetter
This is ELGi’s theme for conducting business. But how can you be Always Better?
From my point of view, we can be Always Better by learning from each other, no matter what nationality our co-workers have. Along with this, I believe that an international work environment even pushes you to be the Always Better version of yourself.
To illustrate my perspective further, let’s have a look at our European organization at ELGi.
ELGi started its European journey in 2012 with the acquisition of the Italian portable air compressor manufacturer ROTAIR Spa. In 2019, ELGi strengthened its commitment to the European market by investing heavily into onboarding regional staff, all over Europe. Now, ELGi does business all over Europe, with a regional Sales Team covering all of Europe’s sub-regions. Our ELGi Europe team comprises of people from 20 different nationalities, from Europe and from other regions. Of course, this might also come with challenges such as language barriers or a different sense of humor, however I believe that the advantages of such an international work environment outweigh the challenges by far.
While working with co-workers from such diverse backgrounds, it is an important point to learn to be more open-minded. When your co-worker might have a different background and experience from yours, you might not always agree on specific topics right away. However, due to these different experiences, you also become more understanding as a person and as an employee and are open to any new suggestions. This, I believe, helps the organization overall.
Secondly, I also believe that by working in an international environment, you become culturally sensitive. In my past personal experience, I have faced different situations where people were not culturally sensitive and would complain about a specific nationality (such as my own) while they didn’t know where I came from. These experiences have made me understand that you cannot generalize a nationality and that your impression of a specific trait of the nationality could turn out positively in the end.
At ELGi, I’ve learned that sensitivity is not only important but is one of ELGi’s core values. It underlines the fact that cultural sensitivity is an important professional trait that can help your organization grow.
Lastly, when working with co-workers from different nationalities, you will eventually adapt to your environment, which makes you more agile. I feel that agility is also an important trait when it comes to business. The road towards a specific goal is not always a straight line but you might have to be agile and take different roads to reach your goal in the end.
To be clear, I do not believe that we should all change our true selves. we should remain who we are and be proud of our nationality, however I do believe that working in an international work environment helps you to be the Always Better version of yourself, supporting your company’s growth by being open-minded, sensitive and agile.