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How To Create An Inclusive Culture For Foreign Hires

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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. The average attrition rate in the USA is between 12% and 15%, though worldwide, it’s a little lower at 10.9%.

In the past, this usually meant hiring one or two highly qualified or educated people to avoid staff losses. However, the stakes are now higher, and the focus is on creating an engaged workforce with the addition of international experience.

Inclusive Company Culture

Inclusive cultures, dynamic work environments, and newer perspectives 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 positively contribute to the company’s growth, 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 the pandemic, many companies have applied for a sponsor license in the 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.

Cultural nuances, slight errors, and more can become colossal make-or-break factors for international hires.

Creating an Inclusive Culture Let’s examine 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 to celebrate traditions and other strategies to spread awareness, respect, and appreciation for diverse backgrounds and push down biases and misinformation.

2. Encourage Inclusion

core values

Creating inclusive spaces does not only mean focusing on what can be done to help. It also relates to energizing a positive workplace environment 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 to do. Including and taking feedback from foreign employees will foster the spirit of inclusivity while ensuring tolerance and genuine happiness among all staff.

Misinformation can encourage bad behaviour. Therefore, it’s the company’s responsibility to show and prove that there is one rule for all.

Code of conduct

Your code of conduct can include your expectations for respecting the intellect and skills all staff have 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.

In our company culture, we will nurture the sense of ‘one team’ and help break down cultural and religious barriers.

3 Support

Support and empathy in the workplace present enthusiasm for getting to know each other. There may be a language barrier for international employees.

The first language in the UK is English, 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.

Several excellent English language courses are available for international employees, such as the Cambridge ESOL (English for Speakers of Other Languages) and the London School of English.

Lifestyle resources

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 the following:

  • Securing services for accounting, financial, tax, and legal needs
  • Help in finding accommodation like family-friendly places to live, good schools to enroll children in
  • Places to visit – arts and cultural centers, places of worship, ethnic restaurants, food courts with multiple cuisines, and more

Finding your way around a foreign country can be stressful. You can show your foreign staff that their lives matter to you by providing support and giving time. 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 is 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.