5 Facts About Canadian Workplace Culture for Those in Business English Courses
Are you a recent immigrant to Canada and starting your search for a new career? In addition to developing your English and French language skills in order to communicate with your colleagues, you’ll also want to spend some time learning about Canadian workplace expectations.
Within every country, cultural and societal norms play a large role in influencing how employees behave at the office. No matter where you’re from, it’s likely that some aspects of working in Canada will be unique from your own experience.
Canada’s workplaces are made up of and made great by immigrants, and over time, a cohesive culture has formed. With a good understanding of Canadian workplace norms, you’ll be equipped to transition to a career in Canada. Knowing what to expect will help you to achieve your goals and socialize with your new colleagues with ease. Below, discover five interesting facts about the Canadian workplace.
Hierarchy Isn’t as Obvious in Canada
Some countries place a strong emphasis on the hierarchy of roles, and this is often reflected in their respective workplaces. In hierarchical workplaces, managers will take on most of the decision-making, leaving employees with detailed instructions for their responsibilities. However, in Canada, hierarchical roles aren’t as clear, and workplaces are more egalitarian.
Employees are still beholden to the directions of their superiors, but they are also encouraged to come up with their own solutions, give feedback, and demonstrate personal initiative. When entering the Canadian workplace after business English courses, don’t be afraid to let your ideas shine.
Canadian Workplaces Are More Casual
As a newcomer to Canada, you may feel intimidated by the prospect of working in a new place, wondering how to dress or speak to your colleagues. However, in Canadian workplaces, you’ll be relieved to find that most office environments are relatively casual. Your coworkers will usually address each other by their first name, even when talking to their supervisors. Additionally, friendships are often formed within the workplace, and it’s normal to spend time socializing with your coworkers outside of office hours. While maintaining professionalism is key, you’ll still be able to enjoy casual conversations with your colleagues in Canada.
After Business English Courses, Punctuality Is a Must
In some cultures, timeliness is valued less highly than in others. For example, Latin cultures in Europe and South America tend to take a more relaxed approach to hard deadlines and set working hours. However, in Canada, punctuality is a must in any workplace. After completing language courses for employees, you’ll want to make sure that you’re arriving to work on time each day and that you’re submitting assignments or projects on the date that they’re expected.
Body Language Is Important
How body language is interpreted can depend on the cultural context in which a gesture or action takes place. In order to avoid any confusion or miscommunications when adjusting to the Canadian workplace, you’ll want to ensure that you’re familiar with common understandings of body language in Canada. For example, while some cultures may view making eye contact as rude, in Canada, making eye contact demonstrates that you’re listening to a speaker. Additionally, a firm handshake shows confidence and respect when meeting others in a business setting.
Mutual Respect Is Key
In Canada’s multicultural workplaces, mutual respect is a key value for both organizations and employees. Therefore, upon arriving in Canada, you can expect strict adherence to rules prohibiting harmful discrimination against other employees, promoting a culture where every employee feels equal, valued, and heard. As a Canadian employee, you’ll adopt a welcoming attitude towards all your coworkers, and ensure that racial and ethnic differences, beliefs, sexual orientation, and gender preferences are respected.
Now that you’re familiar with some of the norms and values within the Canadian workplace, you’ll be ready to complete your language training and launch your career in a new country!
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