Culture &Social Diversity Week (14)
Objectives At the end of this training session, the participants:- Gain multicultural awareness at work place Gain knowledge about our customersand work colleagues Create a happy working environment Achieve higher level of customer service
Multiculturalism Multicultural awareness becomes interesting and challenging as the international market continues to expend. A large portion of staff working in the hotels are foreign-born and come from various other countries and different culture and customs background. Foreign-born staff can become additional proficiency and versatility in serving our international guests.
Multiculturalism Multiculturalism is simply a term which describes the cultural and ethnic diversity. It is a policy for managing the consequences of cultural diversity in the interests of the individual and of society as a whole. This multiculturalism policy impacts on hospitality industry. Hospitality industry provide products, services and facilities to a wide and diverse cultural clientele.
Dealing with cultural Misunderstandings Misunderstanding can occur at all levels, between staff and management, work colleagues and/or customers. Misunderstandings whennot acknowledged, can often cause interruption to work and create tension between the parties involved. This can lead to lack of team work and low morale in the workplace and dissatisfied customers.
continued • By ignoring multiculturalism can cause conflict between you and a guest and conflict between you and a work colleague. • But by understanding of our work colleagues and customers, you are able to: • communicate thoughts and ideas clearly • communicate using appropriate words and gestures • display empathyand sympathy and be attuned to other’s needs and wants. • Display understanding and act appropriately for the situation.
Strategies for dealing with cultural misunderstanding Training staff in cultural awareness Utilising staff cultural skills Signs and pamphlets in different languages Awareness and promotion of cultural celebrations. Show interest in cultural events Avoid prejudices and cultural assumptions Develop an understanding and tolerance of cultural issues. Learn another language suitable for your own and your organisation’s needs. Focusing on the similarities between cultures not differences.
American Customers Americans have a high expectation that Australians are very friendly. They will expect a little extra time with you and special attention because they are Americans.
Continued Food and drink orders will be very detailed. They expect more service. Some Australians words would be unfamiliar to them. They are inquisitive shoppers and will ask many questions. Where problems occur, merely apologise and solve it immediately. They expect a glass of water as they sit down. Should be refreshed throughout the meal.
German Customers They expect fast, efficient service. Always maintain formality with them, never use first names, always Sir or Madam. Be careful when using humour, it does not translate well and may be considered too familiar.
Continued Be prepared for direct and what appears to be abrupt request. They are more likely to make demands than ask questions. Be specific and precise, not general, with details. From the German perspective, goodservice is no nonsense service.
Jewish Customer Judaism has 3 divisions – Orthodox, the most traditional; reform – the most liberal or relaxed practice and the Conservative – a balance of the two.
Continued Saturday (Sabbath) is the Jewish Holy day. Creative activities are forbidden, this may include driving, using electrical appliances etc. Lifts are unacceptable, stairs must be used. Strong influences in diet (Kosher) A meal cannot contain meat products and diary items. Fish must have scales and fines, therefore eels and shellfish are not included.
Asian Customers The following notes cover a variety of people and nationalities in the Asian region. Product knowledge is essential as Asian customers are used to purchasing high quality merchandise. Personal appearance should be faultless since this indicates a service person has respect for the customer. Do not patronise if they are attempting to speak English.
Continued In some part of Asia, eye contact is not desirable. Asian customers are not used to personalised service, so they are comfortable with interrupting service staff when they dealing with someone else. Different Asian countries have different religions, recognise this when serving food or alcohol.
Indonesian Customer Men & women shake hands and bow their head slightly when introduced. Touching in public is only acceptable if the man and women are married. Touching the head of another person is disrespectful. The left hand is not used to touch others, eat food or give/receive objects
Continued Standing with hands on hips or in pockets is interpreted as arrogant. Crossing legs and yawning is inappropriate. Time is not regarded as important. Friday afternoons is for worship. Working and attending schools on Saturday mornings is usual
Japanese Customers If you cannot pronounce the name, use Sir or Madam. If you can, follow the name with ‘san’ regardless of gender. Make greeting with a bow rather then shaking hands. Will consider our humour too familiar. Touching and direct eye contact must be avoided.
Continued Service in Japan is prompt and efficient, staff are exceptionally well groomed and presented. Alcohol is accepted, however some women are reluctant to drink in public. Apologies must be sincere and without excuses.
Things to Remember with Asian Visitors AgeAge is often linked to status in hierarchical cultures. The older you are the higher rank you should have achieved (or wisdom acquired) and thus the greater status and respect you should be shown. AlcoholAlcohol drinking patterns differ from country to country and often wine is not drunk with meals. Rather, beer, whiskey and brandy are more popular beverages.
continued AngerAnger indicates loss of physical and emotional control. All verbal and non-verbal expressions of anger or displeasure should be minimised - even if they are not directed towards the visitor. ApologiesDifferent cultures view apologies differently. The Japanese expect them, but other cultures may use an apology to gain some sort of an advantage. Apologies should be formally made, appear sincere and be unconditional for both sides.
Things to remember with Asian visitors (continued) Baths/ShowersVisitors may take frequent baths or showers and require extra towels. Visitors may take showers with shower curtains outside the bath, wetting the floor. Shower curtains should be placed inside the bath prior to room being occupied. Asian visitors may try to bathe as they do in their own countries: washing outside the bath and then soaking in the bath. This may cause a wet bathroom floor area.
(continued) Buffet & Self-Service Buffet and self-service style dining may be new to some Asian visitors. They may be unsure of queuing practices and the etiquette involved in being able to go back to taste the various courses of food in the buffet. Older visitors or visitors of high social status may dislike having to queue. Please take time to explain this concept to the Asian visitor.
(continued) GarbageAsian Visitors may leave a lot of garbage in the room. Gift Giving It is a custom of many Asian countries to bring back souvenirs for family, friends and co-workers. Handing/ReceivingThe handing and receiving of items should be done with both hands or in some instances one hand, right hand forward. JokesJokes may be misunderstood and any misunderstanding may lead to loss of 'face'. Jokes should never be made about individuals, food being served or situations. LaundryIn hotels, Asian visitors will often wash their personal laundry and dry them outside their rooms on the balcony.
continued Dining Restrictions Both religious beliefs and common dining practices may affect what - or how - a visitor may eat. HinduHindu visitors do not eat beef or beef products, and may be vegetarian. Many Hindus will not consume alcohol.MuslimMuslim visitors do not eat pork or pork products, preferred meat slaughtered according to Islamic tradition (halal) and may not consume alcohol. Dietary laws for Jews are: the do not eat pork or pork products. All blood must be drained form the meat or boiled out form it before it is consumed
continued ColoursColours have special meaning in Asia, especially in China, Japan and Korea. For the Chinese in particular, white and black are funeral colours, red and pink are considered 'happy' colours, and gold and green are 'prosperous' colours. CutleryMany Asian visitors will not be used to Western cutlery, especially knives to cut meat dishes (dishes are usually served pre-cut into bite-sized pieces). Forks and spoons are common utensils in Southeast Asia, and are placed on the table with the fork on the left side of the plate and the spoon on the right.
continued NumbersNumbers have special meaning in many Asian cultures (especially in Chinese societies). Four (4) and ten (10) are considered 'unlucky' numbers as their pronunciation is similar to "death", while eight (8) and six (6) are considered 'lucky' numbers. In Japan, for example, even though the normal household consists of four people, four items are not packaged together to make a set - five items usually make a set.
Culture &Social Diversity Week (15)
Things to remember with Asian visitors (continued) Physical ContactPhysical contact, especially between opposite sexes, should be avoided as Asian cultures tend to be conservative in this area. The head should never be touched. Do not be surprised if men hold hands or the arms of other men, or women with women - there is usually no sexual connotation involved. SmilingSmiling or laughing may not mean happiness, they could mean nervousness instead. The use of phrases like "Thank you" and "Please" is not common with many Asian cultures, often a smile is given instead.
Continued Toilets Toilets are viewed as 'wet areas' in South East Asia, with water used instead of toilet paper. This may result in water being splashed around the cistern area. Visitors may be unused to the different disposal of female hygiene items in Australia, such as tampons and sanitary napkins and dispose of them directly into the toilet.
Things to remember with Asian visitors (continued) "Yes" & "No"Saying "yes" may not mean yes for many Asian visitors. "Yes" may simply mean "I hear what you are saying", rather than indicating an affirmative answer. Saying "no" is often difficult for many Asian visitors to do - even if they want to say no. If they (or you) say "no", they/you may be setting up a situation where somebody may lose face. Often the word "difficult" is used instead of "no" (as in, "It is difficult"). With Asian visitors, often it is more polite to say "I'm sorry, but I don't think that we will be able to...." instead of simply saying "no"
Facts/Hong Kong Chinese ^Hong Kong people are extremely status conscious, with the issue of 'face' important to both securing and maintaining status. Confucian traditions and the family are the most important factors contributing to the development of Hong Kong people's character. Loyalty, respect and obedience - especially to family, elders and those of higher status - are maintained. ^ In practice, Hong Kong people are very competitive and price conscious, but conflict and open aggression is avoided. In business, they prefer quick responses and view time as being an important commodity, with punctuality being a distinct sign of respect.
Hong Kong Chinese Needs Hong Kong visitors are fairly sophisticated and generally do not require different treatment from other Asian visitors. Expectations are high regarding service levels as status is important. Hong Kong is a popular tourism destination in itself, so good service, food and accommodation is usually sufficient to satisfy this visitor. Most visitors from Hong Kong are fairly humble in their expectations, although they appreciate the face (status) given when service is 'special'.
Food Food is very important to the Hong Kong visitor. Dining out is a common form of entertainment, and eating different types of food is considered part of the travel experience. Rice is, of course, the staple food, but is accompanied by a variety of 'stir-fried' dishes using almost any and all meats, seafood and vegetables available, in almost any combination. In fact, almost any sort of food - well prepared and using fresh ingredients - is acceptable, including kangaroo, crocodile or emus meat dishes. Seafood is especially popular.
Do you realise Hong Kong visitors follow the Chinese style of dining, and commonly use chopsticks. Communal dining is normal and while Western-style dining and cutlery is common, knife handling may not be all that easy for older visitors.
Smiling • Smiling and laughing fulfil a number of purposes, including the covering-up of embarrassment. • The Chinese habit of laughing or smiling to cover up negative emotions can be very disconcerting for Westerners.
Language differences In certain circumstances some languages differences can make Chinese appear inappropriately direct and rude to Westerners. This occurs because certain expressions such as ‘ How are you?’, ‘Goodbye’, ‘Thankyou’, ‘Please’ and I’m sorry are used so frequently in English( even with friends and family) that they can sound overused ( to Chinese listeners). Such frequently used expressions can suggest, to Chinese, a lack of sincere interest in people.
continued As a result of these language differences, Chinese might sound rude and demanding when speaking English because of: The lack of polite terms such as ‘Please’, ‘Thankyou’ and ‘Sorry’. The tendency of Chinese to ask “personal questions’ questions such as ‘how old are you’?, ‘How much did it cost?’ and so on.
Communication • Generally speaking, Chinese do not like to be touched by someone whom they do not know. • A smile is preferred to a pat on the back or a kiss on the cheek, Some may prefer not to shake hands. There is usually little public touching between sexes, including between married couples. However, it is quite normal for male to hold hands, especially in China, as a show of friendship.
Eye-contact • Chinese, especially Overseas-Chinese, tend to maintain more eye-contact than many other Asians. However, winking at someone is impolite and can have a bad connotations.
Anger/ pointing • An open hand is usually used for pointing • Chinese may show their negative response or anger by waving a hand in front of their face in a quick action similar to fanning themselves.
Dinning habits • The food is the important thing. It is not usual to sit around the dining table after that last course is complete. People get up and go. A speedy end is good manners, although the bill should arrive only when it is asked for. • Chinese usually do not eat a lot of meat especially beef many women will not touch beef), and they tend not to like big pieces of meat or undercooked meat. • Many Chinese do not like dairy products • Cold food is not highly regarded, and in Chinese cuisine only one first dish is cold. A cold main meal is usually not acceptable. • It is also advisable to have Chinese soy sauce, toothpicks, chopsticks and hot moist towels, as appropriate.
Do's and Don'ts - Things to Remember Status ('face') is important. Colours have meaning - black, white are colours of mourning. Red and pink are happy colours. Numbers have meaning - four (4) and ten (10) are 'bad' numbers. Hong Kong people are extremely status conscious. Hong Kong people are very competitive and price conscious Conflict and open aggression is to be avoided. Quick responses are expected. Punctuality is a sign of respect.
Singaporeans Singapore, the "Lion Island" at the base of the Malay peninsula is a modern, urbanised 'City State' of 2.9 million people who reflect a positive multi-cultural existence. The smallest nation in Southeast Asia (633 square kilometres), Singapore's population of Chinese, Malays and Indians live in comparative racial harmony. Harmonious existence between the three major ethnic groups and strong government policy towards education has resulted in a highly educated work force and the highest standard of living in Asia outside of Japan.
Singaporean Identity The Singaporean identity is quite strong, and through support of individual culture and values as part of official Government policy, racial tensions found elsewhere in Asia have been mitigated. There are four official languages in Singapore - English, Mandarin (Chinese), Malay and Tamil (Indian), with the Government encouraging the learning and use of Mandarin, Malay and Tamil by those of their ethnic descent. The result has been that many Singaporeans are now multi-lingual and speak three to five languages (Malay, English and their own ethnic language).
The needs The needs of Singaporean visitors are simple. However, allowances should be made, to the possible different religious and dietary requirements and preferences of the three major ethnic groups. The expectations of the Singaporean visitor partially reflect both the conservative nature of the society and the individual cultural influence of the country's three major ethnic groups. Singaporeans of Malay descent are low key, easy going and comparatively less vocal in their demands and/or expectations.
Identities continued The Chinese and Indian Singaporeans, on the other hand, will be more visibly (and vocally) demanding, with the Chinese tending to be more relaxed than the Indian Singaporean. It should also be noted that, given their income levels, almost all Singaporean visitors will be used to high levels of personal service.
Be aware The multi-ethnic and multi-cultural make-up of Singaporean visitors means that often, different needs are present, especially in the area of diet. Chinese Singaporeans will eat (and often prefer) pork, but tend not to eat lamb, mutton or dairy foods. Malay Singaporeans will generally not eat pork (or pork products), nor consume alcohol and Hindu Indian Singaporeans may tend to follow their religious practice of not eating beef and may practise some form of vegetarianism. As noted, while English is widely spoken, there may be different accents and nuances between the three ethnic groups when speaking the language.
Singaporean visitors generally do not require special accommodation requirements above and beyond expected service levels. Training: The right hand only should be used to present or pass over items. It should be recognised as well, that bathrooms are considered 'wet' areas and that some Malay Singaporeans may use water instead of toilet paper to clean themselves. This may cause unexpected splashing of water around the toilet cistern. While not so much a difficulty in addressing Chinese or Indian Singaporeans, Malay Singaporean husbands and wives may not have the same family name.
Do's & Don'ts - Things to Remember ^Singaporeans are very conservative. Jokes should never be made about food. Punctuality is expected. Respect and courtesy should be shown to those of high status or to elders. Never serve pork or pork products to a Malay (Muslim) Singaporean. Alcohol is usually not consumed by Malay or Muslim Singaporeans. Pointing with the finger is considered bad taste, but using the thumb is acceptable. Beckoning is done with the whole hand, palm down.