Welcoming workplaces

Welcoming newcomers and providing them with the supports they need to integrate and settle in to our communities are essential to the success of the immigration experience. As an employer, there are things you can do to help employees who have come from other cultures and countries to feel welcome in your organization.

Foster a cross-cultural workplace

Understanding and respecting one another’s culture is important for effective working relationships in any organization – especially when it comes to communication. Cross-cultural training in your workplace helps ensure smooth transitions for employees coming from different cultures. It will also promote cultural awareness and diversity in your team.

Use an appropriate leadership model

Your management style has a strong effect on your employees’ experiences. As you transition to a diverse workplace, it is important to examine different ways of managing. Being aware of how your management style considers different cultural backgrounds helps to get the most from your team and fosters a positive and effective working environment.

Have up-to-date HR policies

Successfully integrating an immigrant employee includes making sure all of your policies and practices are appropriate. Ensure the business ethics described in your code of conduct encourage a respectful workplace that values diversity and safety, while having zero tolerance for discrimination or harassment. Establishing effective employee orientation and mentoring processes will also be valuable to a smooth transition.

Occupational Health and Safety resources can be valuable tools in helping you define guidelines and policies. Be familiar with the Occupational Health and Safety Division of the Department of Labour and Advanced Education and the Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety.

Use an appropriate interview style

Determine whether your interviewing practices will be effective when communicating with a candidate from a different culture, and how language barriers will be addressed.

Offer internal support

Having the support of your management team is extremely important when hiring a newcomer. They will greatly affect how the new employee is perceived and welcomed into the organization.