The workplace is now a mecca of different cultures—no matter what the business or profession. Whether co-workers are new immigrants, temporary visitors, 1st generation or 5th generation, there are more cultural differences than ever before. In the human resources world the phrase “cultural diversity awareness” is gaining more attention as companies look to get the most out of their hired talent while engendering harmony in the workplace.
Not surprisingly, a common cultural link for many people around the world is tea: it is the second most widely consumed beverage in the world. Just thinking about the professionals who come into the Studio to buy tea…the countries represented include: India, Pakistan, France, Ireland, Norway, Denmark, China, Japan, Britain, Australia, Canada, Russia, Croatia…just to name a few. It’s not just a morning wake-up beverage for many of these people: it is a medium for connection, tradition and hospitality.
To me, companies might be well-served to think about engaging their diverse workgroups in a tea class as a way to open new paths of understanding and respect among workers from different countries. Participants learn about history, customs and preferences about tea around the world, in a neutral environment of shared communication—in fact everyone contributes in a tea class and almost no one walks away without learning way more than ever expected. Importantly, after the class is over and participants have gone back to work, they will continue to have a wonderful medium for connecting.
Tea can be equally intellectual as comforting—and appeals to just as many men as women. Tea Discovery has the power to take team-building to a new, and relevant dimension.