Business culture is a topic often not commonly spoken about. Learning a new culture, let alone a work culture, can be a steep learning curve. Due to Canada’s large influx of immigration from all nationalities worldwide, choosing to apply for a work visa in Canada is a unique business destination to experience many working cultures all in one country. However, with all these cultures, what is the Canadian work culture like?
To understand and make your transition into Canadian society easier to adapt to, we’ve developed an overview of what it’s like to work in Canadian work culture.
What makes Canadian business culture unique?
In Canadian society, there is a significant value placed on equal rights and opportunities for all people. This sort of mentality allows employees and managers to present their viewpoints or knowledge without the concern of an idea being disregarded. In Canada, business values operate on convenience, making directors or managers accessible to speak to internally whenever needed. Managers in Canadian society value and rely on individual employees or their teams to work towards problems together. It is pretty standard for managers to meet regularly with other staff members to share and discuss information freely. Therefore, a good rule of thumb to communicate with others is to be straightforward when exchanging information.
Canada is very much an individualist society. In the workplace, employees and managers are expected to take the initiative and are self-reliant on their everyday work tasks. If employees wish to climb the ladder in a company, internal promotions are based on work ethics and evidence of what an employee can do or has done.
In Canada, society has a ‘work hard, play hard mentality. Working in Canadian society means work-life balance is predominant, and employers encourage their employees to enjoy time with families and friends, embark on personal interests, and enjoy life. However, it’s important to note that although there is a work-life balance, Canadian’s are hard workers and strive to attain high performance within the workplace and everyday life.
Working in Canada, proposing new ideas, and the willingness to try new things are openly accepted in all business areas. It’s essential while working in Canada to adopt a mindset to share opinions and ideas, which is expected and encouraged by employers. Canadians are less emotionally expressive and have a more relaxed rule approach in the workplace due to the open-mindedness of being encouraged to share.
In Canadian society, being punctual and respecting others’ time is highly valued. It is pretty common to arrive 15 minutes before a meeting and have everything prepared beforehand. It’s crucial to adhere to the scheduled meeting times from start to finish. Showing up at the scheduled time is highly frowned upon and can easily cause complications with your employer if it happens too often.
Titles and Greetings
It is common for both men and women to greet one another with a handshake, followed by a short personal and company introduction in Canada. Using words like “Mr.” or “Mrs.” or if in the french speaking workplace, “Monsieur” or “Madame” followed by their last name is standard practice in corporate business settings. Once a meeting has finished, always be sure to thank them for their time.
For more information on life in Canada and Canadian culture, visit our blog section.