Managing the Cultural Mix in a Global Workforce

Managing the Cultural Mix in a Global Workforce

In 2013, Barbara Goffioul was appointed as Western Europe Operations Support Manager for PM Group and dealing with the cultural mix was one challenge she faced.

PM Group has a network of offices in Europe, Asia and the US and projects in over 35 countries worldwide. In Europe, our design centres in the UK, Ireland and Poland service projects all over Europe.

Barbara explained her role within the operation: “When we take on a project in Continental Western Europe I recruit and build a team and dealing effectively with the cultural mix within the team is very important to our success”.

She added: “I collaborate with the various international offices and Project Managers to check the various competencies of their workforces and check their availability and manage their mobility across Europe”.

Ensuring that there is a good cultural mix isn’t just about language differences but also understanding legal differences. With ever-changing legislation in the construction and engineering sectors, standards can differ considerably between one country and another.

One of our philosophies is that projects MUST be delivered safely and on time, regardless of whatever difficulties we encounter with our globally distributed teams. We always ensure that they do not impact on the delivery or the safety of the project.

Barbara is currently participating in a research project with the People Task Force in the European Construction Institute in collaboration with Loughborough University. The project is dedicated to finding ways to improve the efficiency of globally distributed teams.

One of their goals is to provide best practices and communicate their findings to the industry.