In order to avoid misunderstanding and problems in the U.S. workplace, it is important to be aware of U.S. work expectations.
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How to Succeed in the U.S. Workplace
Diversity in the American workplace created many challenges for everyone from the entry-level positions to the top management because people from different cultures must work together. The problems can be minimized if employees will learn about American culture and their own culture.

Giving Explicit Directions
In American culture, things are explained clearly and made very explicit. Therefore, it is expected that your boss gives you step by step directions and questions you for understanding. It is also expected that employees follow directions. In some cultures (Japanese, Arab, French) things are not explained directly. In these cultures, a supervisor can give a task to an employee, and an employee can decide how to do it. He must figure it out by himself. Therefore, people from these cultures can feel that the American supervisors explain the obvious.
Planning for the Future
The United States is a future-oriented society, so they view management as a matter of planning, doing and controlling. Americans think that they can shape their future through their actions, so it is expected to plan ahead and follow the plan. People from past and present-oriented cultures (China, Japan, Latin American countries) do not plan for the future and prefer short-term benefits. Therefore, in American workplace, they do not understand the importance of planning.
Time Management
Americans see time as a limited resource. Time is money, and punctuality is very important. Americans work with clear deadlines. So it's very important to be on time, manage time efficiently, and completie work on time. However, for people from cultures where time is plentiful (India, Latin America), it is hard to be on time and finish their tasks by the appointed time.
Individual Responsibility
American culture is individualist. Each person is an individual, so it is highly valued if an employee shows initiative, makes suggestions, and takes responsibility. However, for people from the collectivist cultures (Asian cultures), it is inappropriate to show initiative and put themselves first. They are used to work in groups, and the whole group shares responsibility for the task.
Directness and Formality in Language
Americans are considered very direct and less formal than people from other cultures are, but there are some situations in which their styles of communication can be misinterpreted. For example, Americans tend to use certain phrases in order to be polite. Americans can say, “It might be a good idea to add more details to your report”, but it is just a polite way to give a direct order. However, people from other cultures can interpret it as a suggestion not an order, so they might ignore it. This misinterpretation can cause serious problems at work.