Buddy Program and Communication Training Boost Skilled Immigrant Integration at Gennum

With customers located around the world, having a diverse team of employees with international experience is a definite asset to Gennum. In fact, about 20 per cent of employees located at the technology firm’s Burlington, Ont., head office have emigrated from other countries.

To ensure these newcomers successfully integrate into the workplace, the company offers several programs and courses for new employees.

This includes matching new employees with a staff member from the same culture to help newcomers feel more at ease, as well as providing a variety of free training and development opportunities.

Employees are offered:

  • “communicating effectively in the workplace” courses;
  • “social styles assessment” course that helps employees gain insight into their social style and how that style brings strengths to Gennum. Employees have said the class helps them see how they are perceived by colleagues and how it plays out in their interactions with co-workers; and
  • English as a second language (ESL) training.

These classes are in addition to the standard development plan created with a manager whenever a new employee starts. All employees are encouraged to increase their skills through various initiatives including:

  • participating in conferences;
  • leading and participating in lunch and learns on technical subjects; and
  • contributing to projects, teams and presentations.

Tips for Employers

  • Match new employees with a staff member from the same culture to help newcomers feel more at ease.
  • Offer communication classes to improve employees’ teamwork and productivity.
  • Promote professional development through lunch and learns, conferences and participation in projects.

Gennum Corporation is a medium-sized Canadian high technology company that designs, manufactures and markets industry-leading semiconductors and semiconductor-based products for leading segments of the global video, audio and data communications markets. The company employs more than 600 people and serves an international customer base from its headquarters in Burlington, Ont., with offices in Ottawa, the United Kingdom and Japan.


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