Here are 10 of the most common qualities valued in the Canadian workplace. The following do’s and don’ts are suggested ways by which you can display these traits. As you gradually immerse yourself in the Canadian corporate culture, you will learn more ways to practice these qualities. It will become second nature to you.
Interacting positively with others
- Greet everyone warmly; acknowledge their presence.
- Smile! Be approachable.
- Maintain eye contact when interacting with someone.
- Interrupt when someone is speaking.
- Shy away from social situations.
- Be paranoid and think that everyone is judging you.
- Understand work requirements and job expectations completely.
- Aim to make a solid contribution to your team/company.
- Manage your time and resources at work wisely.
- Depend on your boss or co-workers all the time.
- Waste time on complaining or gossiping.
- Say yes when you don’t understand completely.
Punctuality & Attendance
- Come 10-15 minutes early for work.
- Submit assigned work on or before the deadline.
- Report for duty regularly and give advance notice if you will be absent.
- Come late or too early for an interview or a meeting. Coming late is rude while being too early may place undue pressure on the person/people you are meeting (coming early by 10-15 minutes is fine!).
- Be absent without informing your supervisor or co-workers.
- Leave during office hours without informing your boss or co-workers. If an emergency comes up, they will know where you are.
- Suggest ways to improve your work/workplace.
- Offer to help out others when you have time.
- Volunteer information that may help others in the team.
- Always depend on your boss or co-workers for direction.
- Make major decisions that will impact the company without consultation.
- Do the work of others sacrificing your own.
- Listen to the ideas and opinions of others.
- Ask for suggestions whenever appropriate.
- Put your phone on silent mode during meetings.
- Always consider your ideas to be the best.
- Abuse company resources.
- Receive calls during an interview or a meeting.
- Learn about customs of other cultures.
- Share elements of your own culture.
- Be careful about body language and tone of voice.
- Stereotype people.
- Crack “risky” jokes (your humor may not be understood by everyone).
- Use your native language when in a group with people of other nationalities.
- Read the latest articles and journals about your profession.
- Enroll in short courses to learn new skills.
- Join professional associations and attend conferences.
- Make lack of finances or time (or your age) as excuses.
- Be complacent about your skills.
- Be discouraged when you have trouble picking up new skills.
- Be a team player.
- Always seek solutions at the earliest possible time.
- Seek additional support when needed.
- Keep silent when something is bothering you.
- Always go straight to management for every little concern.
- Blow problems out of proportion.
- Participate in company events.
- Volunteer for company activities outside of your duties.
- Suggest ways by which the company can improve or save money.
- Limit yourself to only doing tasks that are in your job description.
- Feel bad when your suggestions are not picked up.
- Spread yourself thin by volunteering in all activities.
Personal and professional management
- Know when to say no to tasks when you have too much on your plate.
- Balance your time for work and for leisure.
- Have a long-term career goal.
- Come to work distraught or stressed.
- Stop developing your skills.
- Be a workaholic.
Want to know more?
Watch this an 18-part video series that talks about cultural differences in the Canadian workplace and how to manage them: Developing Cultural Dexterity in your Organization. The presentor is Lionel Laroche, HR expert and cross- cultural consultant of MultiCultural Business Solutions.
Read the sentences carefully and decide if the bolded words are a verb or noun.
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