Saturday, December 04, 2004

Workers admit 'greeting blunders'

Most workers believe first encounters can make or break a professional relationship, yet new research reveals their hopeless confusion when it comes to greeting colleagues and clients.

Whether administering a bone-crushing handshake or a misplaced kiss, more than 80 percent of workers admit having blundered their way through an introduction.

Read more: Workers admit 'greeting blunders'
Posted by Neil Payne at 3:03 PM
Categories: Cross Cultural Etiquette

DiversityInc Launches Top 50 Companies for Diversity Stock Index

DiversityInc, the leading business magazine on the bottom-line benefits of diversity, recently announced the launch of the Top 50 Companies for Diversity Stock Index.

DiversityInc will utilize the results of its rigorous Top 50 Companies for Diversity annual survey to select the companies that will be included in this Index. The Index is a market-cap Index, a methodology similar to the one used to calculate the S&P 500. The new index is intended to prove that there is a solid link between the empirical data identifying a company as a national diversity leader and its stock performance.

Read more: DiversityInc Launches Top 50 Companies for Diversity Stock Index

Cross Cultural Training & Expat Relocation

Managing the relocation of staff to foreign destinations is one of the most challenging areas facing management and HR personnel today. Huge investments are made by companies to relocate staff abroad. Such investments are not only necessary to cover the logistics of expatriate relocation but also in remuneration packages, healthcare, spouse support and training.

The findings of recent research points to a growing awareness that cross cultural training is becoming a key factor is maximising the success of expatriate relocations.

Read more: Cross Cultural Training & Expat Relocation

Word of the Day: Cadre

cadre \KAD-ree; -ray; KAH-dray; -druh\, noun:
1. A core or nucleus of trained or otherwise qualified personnel around which an organization is formed.
2. A tightly knit and trained group of dedicated members active in promoting the interests of a revolutionary party.
3. A member of such a group.
4. A framework upon which a larger entity can be built; a scheme.

Trained cadres flowed across the porous border and down the blossoming supply trail through eastern Laos (the Ho Chi Minh Trail). --Peter Gay, Pleasure Wars

Around 1880, the year Flaubert died, the French avant-garde was made up of a cadre of bitter, highly self-conscious poets, painters, novelists, and critics. --Daniel Okrent, "Twilight of the Boomers," Time, June 12, 2000

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Posted by Neil Payne at 2:53 PM
Edited on: Saturday, December 04, 2004 2:53 PM
Categories: Language Learning News

New Channel for Expats in China

A new channel for expats on a website run by the Shanghai Labor and Social Security Bureau has been launched.

The new channel will provide information on the city's employment news and policies, the bureau's responsibilities and downloads of work permit applications. Tips for working in Shanghai will also be put online for foreigners preparing to work in the city.

The new channel will cover news, business, culture, tourism and city life. Broadcasts will be live eight hours a day, and half the programs will be produced by the group itself, according to the network's international service division. It will be received by satellite systems in expat communities and hotels.

Posted by Neil Payne at 2:48 PM
Categories: Expatriate

Friday, December 03, 2004

Saudi Arabia's Plan for Changing Its Workforce

Foreign workers compose a large portion of the Saudi workforce, a reality the Saudi government is seriously addressing. The Saudi Ministry of Labor estimated there were approximately seven million foreigners in the kingdom in 2003, making up a little less than one-third of the kingdom's total population of 23 million. Expatriate labor across all occupations and skills levels constituted around two-thirds of the total workforce and 95 percent of labor in the private sector.

Over the last decade, the government has prioritized 'Saudi-isation', an initiative aiming to increase employment of Saudi nationals across all sectors of the domestic economy, reduce dependence on foreign workers, and recapture and reinvest income that would have otherwise flowed overseas as remittances.

Read more: Saudi Arabia's Plan for Changing Its Workforce

International Conference on Intercultural Communication

Lahore, Pakistan: The Kinnaird College for Women will host the International Conference on Intercultural Communication on December 4 and 5.

The conference promises to be a high-level affair with Governor Lt Gen (r) Khalid Maqbool, the chief guest at the inaugural, and Shahid Rashid, the secretary of Education, the chief guest on the second day. Several prominent experts will fly in on December 2 and 3 to give presentations. Speakers from Jordan, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, United States of America (USA), India and Malaysia will present their views on intercultural communication.

Cross Cultural Golf Etiquette

For our business traveller readers who enjoy a round of golf with internatioanl clients or customers, have you ever thought about the cross cultural differences in golf etiquette?

Why not put yourself to the test and take this Golf Etiquette Quiz to ensure you don't make any etiquette faux pas during your next 18 holes?

Microsoft unveils Welsh software

Welsh-language versions of two leading computer programs have been released by the Welsh Language Board and Microsoft. People using computers can now choose to have Windows XP and Office 2003 in Welsh.

Meri Huws, chair of the Welsh Language Board, said it was "a very important development for the Welsh language".

Read more: Microsoft unveils Welsh software

Online Shopping in China to increase

The percentage of cyber-shopping in China is growing year on year. According to the experts' prediction, the total volume of China's cyber-shopping is expected to reach 28 billion Yuan in years to come.

With the rapid development of Internet in China, more and more Chinese begin to favor cyber-shopping for its convenience, quick delivery and benefit. According to the latest statistics released by China Internet Network Information Centre (CNNIC), the number of netizens in China has hit 87 million, and 7.3 percent said they had the experience of cyber-shopping. Meanwhile, the statistics also showed that 58 percent of netizens in China would try the cyber shopping next year.

Read more: Online Shopping in China to increase

Too Lazy to Learn Languages

We (the British) should be ashamed, deeply ashamed, of our nation’s linguistic laziness. Look around you and ask: how many role models in any walk of life can hold their own in a foreign language? The only member of the Cabinet who comes to mind is Tony Blair. How many showbiz and media stars can? Which of our footballers playing in Spain could conduct fluent post-match interviews as foreign players in our Premiership do?

Read more: Too Lazy to Learn Languages
Posted by Neil Payne at 12:18 PM
Categories: Language Learning News

Overseas students 'not making British friends'

Almost two thirds of overseas students studying in the UK have few or no British friends, a survey revealed today. Most instead choose to make friends with people from their own country, or other international students, according to the results of the poll of 5,000 overseas students.

Student leaders put the trend down to students dedicating themselves to their courses instead of their social lives, but admitted that a boozy culture on British campuses could also be a deterrent to some students whose religion or culture does not involve regular trips to the pub.

Read more: Overseas students 'not making British friends'
Posted by Neil Payne at 12:15 PM
Categories: Cultural Diversity

Japan, EU to hold over 180 cultural events in 2005 to spur ties

Japan and the European Union said Wednesday they will hold at least 180 cultural events in Japan and the 25-nation bloc in 2005 to promote understanding and friendship among citizens of the two sides.

Announcing the launch of the year-long "2005 EU-Japan Year of People-to-People Exchanges," Foreign Minister Nobutaka Machimura said he hopes the joint events will help boost "mutual recognition" among the 575 million citizens of the European Union and Japan.

Read more: Japan, EU to hold over 180 cultural events in 2005 to spur ties
Posted by Neil Payne at 12:12 PM
Categories: Cross Cultural News

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