Retaining Foreign Trained Workers
Tips for Retaining Workers
General retention strategies can be effective across cultures so feel free to integrate those as well. However, remember not to assume that all workers value and are motivated by the same things. Cultural and language differences do call for other strategies to be used as well. Below are some of the key strategies that are particularly effective with foreign trained workers.
- Thorough Orientation: provide your general orientation and then include an overview of your company values, company and management structure, staff members, and how teams work together. Explain your workplace culture. Go over protocols for overtime, holidays and other employment standards regulations. Remember workplace culture and protocols are new to workers as well as the job.
- Provide a Mentor or Buddy: provide them with a buddy that can answer workplace questions and introduce them to your company culture. Since many cultures are hierarchical, it might not be acceptable to ask your supervisor questions or show you do not know something. A buddy provides a safe alternative and provides them with support during the integration process.
- Make an effort to understand the employee's culture: showing interest will make the new employee feel more welcome and appreciated, and will also provide you with new knowledge to utilize your employee's skills.
- Provide Training
- Language training: connect employees to outside (or company provided) tutoring or language classes
- Canadian workplace cultural training
- Professional training and upgrading: expose new employees to as many training opportunities as possible. These will improve their workplace skills, understanding of Canadian workplace culture, and improve their workplace communication skills.
- Check in regularly with new staff: Ask pointed questions like, "Is there anything here that we do that you are curious about? What is new that you learned here? What is something that has been culturally challenging for you?"
- Provide regular workplace development activities for all staff: this will encourage staff to get to know each other better and decrease many communication issues or conflicts. Include diversity training for all staff as well
Okanagan Businesses Make Their Workplace More Diverse
- "With our workers, we share food, meals, invite them for dinner at our home and invite them to discuss their cultures and to cook and share their traditional foods with us."
- "We have important instructions translated into the language/languages of the worker and post them on the equipment they will be using"
- "We have a translator working with each crew to ensure the safety and well-being of all employees"
- "As the employer, we pay for English classes for a worker who is interested in upgrading their skills"
- "We conduct an orientation which includes a diversity workshop, for setting the stage for employees who encounter different cultures; or patients who look different or speak a different language; we want staff to come across as open and embracing of all people seeking health care."
This project is made possible through funding from the