Farmscape for November 29, 2013
The president of tWorks suggests, by recognizing cultural differences, employers within the Canadian pork industry can avoid the miscommunications that often lead to problems in the workplace.
"Cross Cultural Communications 101" was among the topics discussed last week in Saskatoon as part of Saskatchewan Pork Industry Symposium 2013.
Tina Varughese, the president of tWorks, says because of the growth potential within the Canadian pork industry and the fact that many young Canadians are leaving the farm increasing numbers of foreign workers are being recruited to address a shortage of skilled labor.
I think the key for any employer is to recognize that values are different across the world.
One key value that I really ensure I try to explain when I'm keynoting any conference is the difference between individualistic and collective cultures.
A lot of people don't even realize that we tend to look at the world through what I like to call a cultural lens and it's which lens are you looking at.
Canada, the U.S. we tend to be very individualistic, meaning that we look at our own goals, achievements, accomplishments but when you're coming from a collective culture where you're going to identify with your family, with your place of work, with your community, it's really going to affect how we communicate within the workplace so even how we communicate within the barn and within the boardroom.
How do we mitigate that and understand where someone's coming from so that we can ultimately bring out the best and the brightest in us all.
Varughese says, from a global perspective, Canadians fall right in the middle when it comes to indirect versus direct communication but if you're looking at countries where the pork industry is trying to recruit workers, being the Philippines and Mexico, they're highly indirect.
She suggests key to effective communication is recognizing who is coming from a direct culture and who is coming from an indirect culture.
For Farmscape.Ca, I'm Bruce Cochrane.
*Farmscape is a presentation of Sask Pork and Manitoba Pork Council