Working in a foreign country can be daunting. It can be even more stressful and nerve-wracking if you are not fluent in the language of that country. This is exactly what thousands of immigrants are facing in Australia right now.
Some migrants have low levels of English language probably because they never got a chance to learn the language at home. Others only know enough to get by which is insufficient for the fast-talking, slang-speaking Australian workplace.
Hence, most migrants may be reserved in the workplace as challenging the existing conditions may be stressful. They do not freely communicate as they feel hesitant to put forth their opinions and suggestions. The very suggestions that the company might need to hear to succeed.
According to SMH, Deakin and Wollongong Universities published a research earlier in the year. The research analyzed 260 migrant workers and noted their experiences. They realized that there are 2 factors which predicted the possibility of them expressing themselves at the workplace.
The first factor is the migrants’ personal level of cultural intelligence also known as CQ. People need to be aware of the differences between their own culture and that of their colleagues to have a reasonable level of CQ. However, to have a higher level of CQ, the migrants should be willing to adapt to the multicultural atmosphere that they work in.
The second factor is the relationship that the migrants have with their immediate boss. The stronger the relationship, the more comfortable the migrants would feel in opening up. The relationship should be based on trust, understanding, support, and respect.
Hence, cross-cultural training is recommended for all staff in Australia. When migrants and their colleagues understand each other then the barriers between them can be removed.
Another recommendation is to recruit managers with higher levels of cultural intelligence. They tend to make more efforts to build congenial relationships with their employees irrespective of their ethnicity. This helps cultivate a culture where people feel safe to voice their thoughts.
Cultural intelligence and employee-supervisor relationship hold the most importance in small businesses.
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