At JSP Credit Management it seems were forever talking about globalisation. If not in relation to the way our operational reach has begun to span various continental borders, then also in the way that work more generally has become a much more international affair in recent times. Something, we might add, that JSP Credit Management absolutely loves, but has something to do with the topic of this blog, on “cultural awareness”.
We also think those are two quite difference faces to the same coin. From the outset JSP Credit Management set out to make being culturally aware a conscious effort. Even before trading, a considerable amount of thought had gone into what our identity as a company would be without wanting it to feel forced to suit everybody but ourselves. We eventually landed on some core values too, and one of them, we thought, had to be “diversity”.
It is very much influenced by our shared individual experiences. We imagine that many of you have heard of saying “safety in numbers”. It is an idea that tells us that we are better protected when we are in a group. The well-established Social Identity Theory tells us that the group tends to be one in which we see ourselves as a member because there exists the feeling of a shared identity. What identity is, is too complex a question to answer here but part of it is about culture.
So, the conclusion to be drawn from that is that humans tend to want to stay closer to others with whom they feel culturally aligned to. Conversely, they find it more of a challenge to connect with people to whom they feel some sort of cultural separation from. But why? Well, were proposing it boils down to an innate need to feel safe and secure. An old primitive instinct that appears to have manifested into less of a threat to life today but more of a threat to our ego.
The human ability for the pursuit to be “right” appears to know no bounds. We are showing that right now with this blog. About every week we write about diverse topics related to what we see as our role in our industry, and we hope we can convince some people that what we are saying is “right”. It appears to be inherently difficult for humans to acknowledge we are wrong. Naturally then, life would be easier if we surrounded ourselves by people who shared the same values and principles as us so there is less room for disagreement.
But what we also believe in is that growth involves change. So, we have had to come to accept that at some points in our lives we are going to have to confront rather than avoid challenges to the status quo from others. Were, not suggesting we find it comfortable because that acceptance has happened, but we are saying that it has given enough resilience to cope with the resistance to change that often occurs when were invited to re-think our approach to something from a work perspective.
So far, were proud to say that our team has been made up of a variety of difference cultures and without any doubt it has helped our business. If what we are saying above is true then it should also have involved some disagreements too, right? Sure, enough it has too, but rather than see those moments as signs of a problem, we view those interactions as a symptom of the passion that exists within the team to achieve our common goal, albeit through different methods influenced by our different backgrounds.
But how does this affect the way we offer our services? Well, for a start we make diversity and inclusion training a mandatory part of any new starters induction and we reiterate the value we place on fostering a diverse and inclusive workplace environment from the start. We also check our staff’s knowledge of our core values in regular supervisions to ensure that again we are working in alignment to them. It is an approach that we hope and believe filters through to the final consumer of our services.
Yet, there is more, we have recently enlisted several members of our team on a series of workshops designed to better prepare ourselves for exporting our services to various countries around the world. So, not only are we able to show an interpersonal competence when dealing with peoples from diverse cultural backgrounds but we have the practical knowledge too which is needed to provide them with the same level of service that all our clients expect.
We have also noticed that cultural differences affect the way businesses from different countries do business with each other. In some areas of the world there appears to be less emphasis placed on formalities such as signed terms of business and more emphasis placed on the strength of a relationship between two business partners. When we come across scenarios that differ from our own usual approach, we try to be careful not to judge whilst at the same time try and remain mindful of the primary purpose of our involvement.
A part of that process has been about trying to educate others who are wanting to do business in the UK about some of the key aspects of good credit management practice that will reduce the risks they might otherwise expose themselves too if not implemented. We have been able to organise training online to other parts of the world and we have also recently arranged for part of our training to be done accompanied by a live translator to enable a larger part of the team on our client side to receive help from the training.
To us there really should not be any boundaries in the way of doing business across borders, whether they be cultural or otherwise. If our business goals are aligned, then we like to think that almost every other challenge to making a mutually beneficial working partnership possible can be overcome. Does it sometimes cost more money? Yes. Does it sometimes require more research? Yes. Do we always get it right first time? Of course not. But the key thing is, we have proven many times over now, that it is possible, so on we go.
We are here to do a bit to businesses safeguard their cash flow against late payers or debtors that are refusing to pay, so if you have been struggling to get an invoice paid and would appreciate the support of a team who pride themselves on operating in a way that is mindful of the above then visit our website at www.jspcreditmanagement.co.uk and contact us to discuss your needs. We work on a no-win-no-fee basis for bad debt recovery and our credit control and credit risk services can be ordered via our website with the littlest of hassle.