Involving all staff members
Involve your local employees in efforts aimed at international professionals. Prevent difficulties from seemingly preferential treatment of new employees and create an open welcome culture – one that includes everyone. Make offers available to all employees, so that nobody feels left out.
A sustainable welcome culture promotes a working atmosphere in which specialists are willing to commit in the long term. Mutual respect, an open attitude, friendliness and the appreciation of diversity are important core values that are shared by the workforce, corporate management and immigrant employees.
As corporate management, you can make a commitment to diversity and tolerance in the corporate philosophy, and communicate this internally and externally. This also influences the external perception of your company positively.
In order to promote openness and tolerance in the company, the intercultural competence of executives and the core workforce can specifically be trained through seminars or lectures. Lesson content can include, for example, the knowledge of different working cultures and types of communication (facial expressions, gestures, tone of voice) in different countries. This will prevent misunderstandings and avoid conflicts. Whether an active intercultural awareness of the workforce is essential depends largely on the experience that has already been gathered in the company.
One way to involve an organisation’s employees in the integration of international professionals right from the beginning, is to introduce an integration strategy. This strategy is a guideline approach that offers a step by step description of how integration should be implemented. This should be developed in cooperation with the staff council, and ideally all employees should have the opportunity to get involved.
The integration strategy is a document with specific ideas and practices for integrating international professionals, either as a uniform strategy or as an individual integration plan, specific to each international employee. The integration strategy refers to internal and external aspects. The document can and should be revised on a regular basis, to include the experiences made with international professionals in the meantime.
Recommendations for the welcome culture in companies have been developed, among others, by the Competence Centre for Skilled Workers (KOFA).