Businesses cannot thrive without the constant addition of a dynamic workforce. One reason is the rate of attrition – i.e., staff turnover.
Every company has the challenge of replacing departing staff. In the USA the average rate of attrition is between 12% and 15%, though worldwide it’s a little lower at 10.9%.
To keep ahead of the staff losses in the olden days, this usually meant hiring one or two highly qualified or educated people. However, now the stakes are higher, and the focus is on creating an engaged workforce with the addition of international experience.
Inclusive Company Culture
Inclusive cultures, building dynamic work environments, and adding newer perspectives to the mix are essential to the business’s success in hiring staff and retaining customers.
A diverse workforce across all levels, from executive and C-levels to entry levels, is a great way to contribute to the company’s growth positively and customers respond in kind with their loyalty.
To meet the workforce challenge, many businesses consider hiring staff from offshore. For example, with Brexit and then the pandemic, many companies have applied for a sponsor licence UK to integrate international hires into mainstream business quickly and efficiently.
While this sounds great theoretically, it will not work without management creating an inclusive company culture.
For international hires, things like cultural nuances, slight errors, and more can become colossal make-or-break factors.
Creating An Inclusive Culture
Let us look at how you can create an inclusive culture for foreign hires so they integrate well into your company.
1. Care About What Matters
Everyone talks about caring and making a place for international employees. However, the same can not be said for taking the time to understand what matters to the foreign workforce.
If you want to build an inclusive environment for your foreign workers, consider taking these actions:
- Learn which events or holidays are noteworthy
- Which cultural or religious traditions and views matter
- What leisure activities, hobbies, sports, and interests do they have
- Which charities and social causes do they believe in
With knowledge comes the opportunity to fully integrate your foreign staff. Understanding what matters to all your workers and how your business can help bring their traditions and customs into the workplace creates team cohesion and unity.
Create social events for celebrating traditions and other strategies for spreading awareness, respect, and appreciation for all the diverse backgrounds pushing down biases and misinformation.
2. Encourage Inclusion
Creating inclusive spaces does not only mean focusing on what can be done to help. It also relates to energizing a positive workplace environment, one in which everyone believes they belong.
When we are comfortable in our surroundings, more significant interaction occurs. Employees have the confidence to be creative in their problem-solving and innovation. Plus, mutual appreciation encourages supportive relationships.
Humans are gregarious and gravitate to spaces that accept them for themselves. A diverse and inclusive workspace takes time to build, and with each new foreign hire, time and energy will be spent working on the new dynamic to avoid the alienation of notably quieter staff.
One rule for all
The best way to start is to celebrate the differences in cultures and traditions rather than being selective about what to do and what not. Including and taking feedback from foreign employees will foster the spirit of inclusivity while ensuring there is tolerance and genuine happiness among all staff.
Misinformation can encourage bad behavior. Therefore, it’s the company’s responsibility to show and prove it’s one rule for all.
Code of conduct
Your code of conduct can include your expectations for showing respect for the intellect and skills all staff has been hired for. While many activities can be voluntary, attendance at some events must be mandatory for the social interaction of all staff.
Social events, meet and greets, and team building activities will challenge all staff, and the experiences will be appreciated.
The we’re in this together company culture will nurture the sense of ‘one team’ and help break down cultural and religious barriers.
Support and empathy in the workplace present enthusiasm to get to know each other. With international employees, there may be a language barrier.
The first language is English in the UK, and most citizens are not fluent in another language. Therefore non-English speaking employees will need to use English as much as possible, and the business can accelerate their learning with courses.
Learn the language
There are several excellent English Language courses for international employees, like the Cambridge ESOL (English for Speakers of Other Languages) and the London School of English.
Providing the necessary resources and tools to support your foreign workers outside of work will result in higher productivity in the workplace. Consider assigning a buddy to help with:
- Securing services for accounting, financial, tax, and legal needs
- Help in finding accommodation like family-friendly places to live, good schools to enrol children in
- Places to visit – arts and cultural centres, places of worship, ethnic restaurants, food courts with multiple cuisines, and more
Finding your way around in a foreign country is stressful. You can show your foreign staff that their lives matter to you. Providing support and giving time requires empathy, tolerance, and some investment, i.e., funds to access the right resources.
However, organizations that pay close attention to these things will find that their international workers can assimilate and succeed much better than those who do not have support and assistance.
4. Create a Unique Company Culture
A culture that only thrives on the bottom line and encourages cut-throat competition cannot build an inclusive culture.
Exploring diversity, equality and inclusion are rewarding. Plus, celebrating it and providing resources and tools to help assimilate all new staff will build an inclusive culture that’s the envy of competitors.