Accommodating cultural differences in the workplace coworker dating boss
With skilled immigrants making up 43% of VCSC’s staff, Executive Director Michel Gervais, underscores the importance of the centre’s approach to accommodation: “Whether we are dealing with planning services or everyday activities, our immigrant colleagues enjoy sharing their expertise and know-how.
One of the key contributors to the harmony and cohesion of our team is that there is no such thing as ‘them’ or ‘us’.” The Information and Communications Technology Council (ICTC) is another organization whose management believes that diversity in an inclusive work environment leads to improved innovation and productivity.
Beyond the legal requirements under the Ontario Human Rights Code, it’s also good business sense.
It’s a great environment where we all learn from each other,” says Paul Swinwood.
According to the Conference Board of Canada’s November 2009 report , “A company’s success in retaining immigrant talent depends on its ability to develop an organizational culture that respects and encourages cultural and other forms of diversity.” Indeed, “the most effective approach to cultural diversity is not to ‘uphold the Canadian standard,’ but to focus on increasing the cultural literacy of all employees regardless of their ethnic background so that they can begin to understand and appreciate their own culture and those of their co-workers.” The Power of Education To make this happen, education is critical, according to Nancy Mark, a cross-cultural trainer for the last 25 years, who conducts regular cross-cultural competency sessions for Hire Immigrants Ottawa.
In order to continually improve upon the centre’s policies—with the goal of creating an inclusive workplace—VCSC’s senior management and its employees engage in quarterly open-exchange consultations.
“I work in an inclusive environment where employees are encouraged to reach their full potential.
Even though the collective imaginations of people from diverse cultural backgrounds are producing great outcomes for society and the economy, the roadblocks to overcome still existing cultural stereotypes and preconceptions are many.