Newcomer success: Is it better to be ‘more Canadian’?

2 studies focus on integrating immigrants into workplace
By Danielle Harder
|Canadian HR Reporter|Last Updated: 02/25/2011

Nava Israel wrote her PhD thesis in English yet, when the dietician arrived in Canada from Israel 10 years ago, she quickly learned she needed to know more than how to speak the official language. She also needed to understand its nuances and, more importantly, the subtleties of Canadian workplace communication.

“In Israel, for example, when you disagree with someone you say, ‘No, no, no. Let me tell you why not. Here’s the right way,’” she said. “In Canada, that’s seen as rude and dismissive.”

Fortunately, Israel had the benefit of a peer mentor to guide her, providing the feedback she needed to become “more Canadian” on the job.