Picture it: the CEO of a pharmaceutical company is brainstorming with his staff, and the idea of gift certificates is tossed around. One employee, an accountant and a recent immigrant from Romania, has never heard of a gift certificate because although she’s fluent in English, gift certificates don’t exist in Romania. She asks, “What’s a gift certificate?” and everyone looks at her like it’s the stupidest question they’ve ever heard.
Unfortunately, this is a true story. It’s just one example cited in Recruiting, Retaining and Promoting Culturally Different Employees by Canadian cross-cultural specialists Don Rutherford and Lionel Laroche.
Although cross-cultural challenges exist in Canadian workplaces, entrepreneurs can employ tactics that help minimize the difficulties to ensure they retain and capitalize on the ideas and skills that culturally diverse employees bring.