You probably got hired because you had the skills to do your job. If you want to keep your job over the long term and even move up in your career, however, there may be more that you need to know.
Every business exists in a context that includes local, state, national and international environments, the impacts of which are felt on the business in various ways. It is helpful for employees, particularly management and leadership, to understand the world around them and the ways it can impact their jobs and careers.
Understanding the Culture
Culture can impact a business that chooses to represent itself in ways that may not be considered acceptable. Today’s culture is varied and diverse, and respect for all cultural perspectives is considered important and one of the few moral positions that the vast majority of citizens can agree on. If a business adopts public positions that are considered counter to the prevailing culture, it must prepare to be opposed by the majority of the culture, and many may not want to do business with them because of this.
There may also be subcultures in the area where your business is located, and many of your employees or co-workers may be part of these subcultures. Understanding them will benefit your business by learning the best ways to work with them, what motivates them and what they value.
Understanding the Political Climate
Every business is subject to a political climate, both the local climate of its location and the national political climate, as well as the international political climate if it has international clients or customers. The political climate can include aspects like political correctness, but also includes the regulatory or legal environment in which the business must function.
Learning About the World Around You
While you can learn about culture, politics, and the world around you through life experience, this typically takes a long period of time, and in the meantime, may lead to blunders that harm your business. Trial and error can be a valuable form of learning, but you may not be able to afford to learn that way when your livelihood and career depend on having that understanding.
Continuing education courses can assist in teaching employees and business leaders about the world around them so that they can confidently function within that world. It may be particularly important for HR employees and those who deal directly with the public and with personnel to understand the world in which they function, but in reality, all employees can benefit from understanding the global context in which they–and the business they work for–function.