If your company recruits employees from around the world, likely you have a relocation program. Even so, these programs may not train managers or team members in how to communicate with the newcomers. This article offers tips for companies with international employees, so you can enhance your working relationships more quickly.
How companies can better serve their ESL employees
How HR managers can better support ESL employees
The article Tips for HR managers to better support ESL employees recommends providing social activities to help international employees feel welcomed. Also, English classes, either as a group or for individuals, would benefit the newcomers. One reason is that even though they may already speak English, it’s not a language they use daily in their country. Listening to the pace of a native English speaker is often a challenge, not to mention various accents from different states.
Individual or group classes can also help international newcomers better understand the local culture so they can interact with American co-workers more effectively. Some cultures may not emphasize discussions, as often take place in American schools or companies. It is a good idea to ease these employees into the “disorder” of brainstorming, where team members interrupt each other in order to add to the discussion.
Helping ESL employees understand company benefits
Another area to assist international employees is understanding benefits. The article How to help ESL employees understand company benefits goes into depth on the topic. This is especially true if the employee has limited English reading skills. HR staff can help to make sure these newcomers fully understand what the company offers them and their family.
Facilitating meetings with international employees
If you are the manager of a multi-cultural team, then the article How to facilitate meetings with international colleagues may be of help to you. It offers strategies on how to get these employees involved and participate in discussions. And these suggestions are easy to implement.
Building rapport with international newcomers
You may already be familiar with relating to friends from high-context cultures. There are nuances that you learn only by being around the natives. The article How to improve communication with international colleagues goes into depth on this topic.
Experiment with these ideas. If you have questions, just send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you find this blog helpful, here is another one on Building friendships with international co-workers.
Estrella Chan coaches immigrants and international professionals in English fluency, interview skills, and public speaking. To schedule a session with her, please email email@example.com