Perspectives on Retention: 5 Tips for Building an Inclusive Company Culture

HIGHLIGHTS

1. Make sure your employer branding strategy is more than window dressing.
2. Create a people-centric onboarding program to aid in the transition.
3. Be candid and create an open dialogue with your existing workforce.

Finding the right talent for hard-to-fill roles, especially in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) positions, is challenging. In our ebook Hiring a Foreign National Employee: Essential Sourcing and Screening Guide, author, speaker and consultant Laurie Ruettimann asked five leading HR influencers how to create a talent acquisition strategy that will help you source and screen the best global workers. Here’s an excerpt. 

Tim Sackett is the president of HRU Technical Resources, an engineering and IT supplemental staffing firm that works with leading organizations. Tim advocates for transparent communication and talking about culture and organizational values long before an international worker joins a company. Here’s his take on how HR and recruiting professionals can manage culture and assimilation for foreign nationals entering the U.S. workforce. Tim Sackett

1. Make sure your employer branding strategy is more than window dressing.

Showcase your company’s culture through videos and social media accounts. Ask real workers to talk about what they love about your company. You can film these videos or share social updates in multiple languages. You can publish your job descriptions in multiple languages and direct candidates to your social media accounts.

2. Create a people-centric onboarding program to aid in the transition.

Once you make a commitment to hire a foreign worker, build an onboarding program that goes deep into your work culture and workplace expectations. Ask your hiring managers and colleagues to collaborate on this project. Start by asking them to share one quick tip that will help this new employee. Then, as part of the onboarding program, encourage the new employee to share his or her story. For example: How did she get to this point in her life? What does she love to do outside of work? What’s one thing she wants people to know? What’s the best way to offer her feedback? A smart onboarding program starts on the right track by setting expectations.

3. Be candid and create an open dialogue with your existing workforce.

Start with your existing workforce. If you want to create a culture where foreign nationals succeed, facilitate a lunch-and-learn. Create a safe space where people can talk about their concerns, fears or even hopes. No questions are off-limits. Bring in a local professor or business leader with firsthand experience as an immigrant to talk about what it feels like to be an outsider who joins the American workforce.

4. Ensure inclusion happens through education.

It’s both naive and shortsighted to assume that your employees know anything about people who’ve come to work in America from countries all over the world. If it’s important for your workforce to know the difference between Pakistan and India, help them learn through online tutorials and video modules.

5. Clue into ways to bridge the gap between cultures.

America is a fan-driven culture, and we love cheering on our favorite sports teams. We are not unique in that way. Sports brings so many people together from all over the world. Your new employee might be a cricket fan. What’s her favorite team? Can she teach your American office what the heck cricket even is? Also, does she have any interest in learning about American football or attending an NBA game? Leverage the universal love of sports to create a work environment that is fun for everyone. Sharing regional cuisines is another method of participating in cultural understanding and appreciation.

Read more about creating an inclusive company culture, as well as other acquisition and retention strategies, by downloading the e-book Hiring a Foreign National Employee: Essential Sourcing and Screening Guide

 


Laurie Ruettimann is a former human resources leader turned influential speaker, writer and strategist. She owns a human resources consultancy firm that offers a wide array of services to HR leaders and executives. Reuttimann sits on the strategic advisory boards at Vestrics and BlackbookHR, two HR technology firms focused on learning analytics, big data and employee engagement. She is also recognized as one of the Top 5 career advisors by CareerBuilder and CNN.