Skilled immigrants have valuable experiences and skills that help organizations succeed but cultural differences among employees can lead to misunderstandings. This can affect communication, integration, performance management and productivity at work.
On November 30, 2011, hireimmigrants.ca hosted a webinar examining the importance of developing employees’ intercultural competence (IC) and what should be included in IC training. Then two RBC branch managers talked about what they learned from their training and how they applied it in their jobs.
Speakers: Ritu Bhasin of bhasin consulting inc. and Sue Santoni of RBC in Ottawa.
What Employers Need to Know:
- Intercultural competence leads to inclusive work environments, helps employees work more effectively across differences on teams and helps employees advance in their careers.
- Every person in an organization can benefit from IC training but content should be tailored to the audience.
- Culture impacts how people manage relationships, perceive hierarchy, communicate, express emotion, resolve conflict and perceive gender roles. These cultural dimensions manifest in the workplace and should be examined in any IC training.
- Everyone has a different cultural background and perception. Managers need to understand these differences and pick up on cues to better interview candidates and manage employees.
To learn more, watch individual sections of the webinar, view the full recording or download a PDF of the slides. There are also additional resources, such as a cultural competence toolkit and a test to help you assess your own cultural biases.
Section 1: Elements of Intercultural Competence Training
Listen to Ritu Bhasin, People Strategist and Diversity Expert at bhasin consulting inc., talk about how Intercultural Competence affects all aspects of employee development and organizational effectiveness. She also gives tips on how to select an IC trainer and what elements should be included in training. (Length: 15:30)
Section 2: RBC Managers See Value in Intercultural Competence Training
Listen to Sue Santoni, Branch Manager at RBC in Ottawa, talk about diversity at RBC and why she decided to have all the branch managers in Ottawa take part in cross-cultural training through Hire Immigrants Ottawa. Then listen to one of those managers talk about what she learned and how she has applied it in her job. (Length: 11:55)
Section 3: Questions and Answers
Listen to the Q&A portion of the webinar to get more specifics on IC training. (Length: 26:35)
- Country Insights: Go beyond the do’s and don’ts with the Centre for Intercultural Learning’s Country Insights. Search by country and region for background on different countries’ culture, history and politics.
- Implicit Associations Test: This test will help you become aware of your own cultural biases and prejudices.
- Hiring and Retaining Skilled Immigrants – A Cultural Competence Toolkit: This toolkit, developed by BC HRMA, provides tips and information concerning culturally competent sourcing, hiring and retention practices. The toolkit has specific tools for screening, interviewing, testing and integrating skilled immigrants.
- Inclusive Interviewing for a Diverse Workplace: This Fall 2008 newsletter from Graybridge Malkam’s is the third in the firm’s series on tapping into the diverse work pool. The issue provides tips on how to conduct culturally inclusive interviews. The Interview section of hireimmigrants.ca also has various tips and resources to help you conduct cross-cultural interviews.
- Understanding Workplace Values Around the World: This article examines Dr. Geert Hofstede’s five dimensions of culture and how they play out in the workpace.
- Local Resources: Provincial links to Immigrant Employment Councils and Networks, Government Portals and Community Agencies that can help you find training in your area.