By using the following strategies to support your new staff member, you can help her or him integrate and get up to speed as quickly as possible.
A thorough orientation is essential for employees who may have limited Canadian work experience. Include your organization’s mission, values, structure, teams and staff members (identify those with diversity roles in the workplace), how teams work together and how management operates.
Provide your new employee with a buddy to ease their learning curve. This can be a mentor, a supervisor, or someone from the same culture who would be officially available to answer questions and offer advice and moral support.
Listen to an audio discussion of how mentorship of immigrants has increased employee retention and morale – Mentoring: Why corporations are on-board (page 4)
Regularly ask informal questions like “What has surprised you about the way things work here?” “What have you liked?” What has frustrated you?” Also make these kinds of questions part of regular performance reviews. This can help you spot and address issues early.
Provide regular workplace development opportunities, including team-building and workshops to help foster skills for working with diverse teams. Educate managers regarding cultural differences regarding workplace norms.
To make your workplace more welcoming; see tips on page 11 of WorkBC Employer’s Tool Kit 4 Diversity at Work
To assist with cross cultural communication, see:
- Hireimmigrants.ca video: Series of cross-cultural teamwork videos
- Episode 1: Pre-Meeting “Small Talk”
- Episode 2: Accommodating Religious Diversity
- Episode 3: Delegating Roles and Managing Communication Barriers
- Episode 4: Facilitating Contributions to Team Discussions
Tip Sheet on Retaining
For more tips on retaining new immigrant talent, check out the Surrey Board of Trade’s Tip Sheet that reviews ideas, skills and resources required to retain immigrant talent.