Pork Sector Employers Encouraged to Research Effect of Cultural Differences on Communication

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Farmscape for September 10, 2021

Full Interview 9:34 Listen

A professional speaker and trainer with tWorks is encouraging pork sector employers who hire foreign farm workers to make themselves aware of how cultural differences can influence communications. A combination of factors, including increased farm size and challenges sourcing labor locally has prompted pork sector employers to seek foreign farm workers. The topic “50 shades of beige” will be among those discussed as part of Saskatchewan Pork Industry Symposium 2021 set for November in Saskatoon. Tina Varughese, a professional speaker and trainer with tWorks, says farms are increasing relying on foreign workers.

Clip-Tina Varughese-tWorks:
These are workers that are coming from all over the world and their values will differ. So, I think that their employers need to recognise the communication styles will differ with people coming from different countries. If it’s the Ukraine, they trend to be very direct in their communication style, the Philippines tend to be very indirect in their communication style. Recognising what that means as an employer, even if your offering feedback to one of your workers and how that feedback should be offered so as not to shame or blame or embarrass but to help engage an employee, teach an employee, increase that employee engagement. We really want these foreign workers to be staying at these farms and becoming part of the community as well. A lot of these foreign workers that go into smaller rural centers tend to stay and become part of that community and part of that economic growth where as you’ll more migration patterns with immigrants that are moving from, let’s say, Toronto to Calgary to Montreal. When they become part of that community and feel like part of it, they’re more willing to stay which is going to assist with the growth of those farms.

Varughese encourages pork sector employers to do their own research on cultural differences. She says that doesn’t necessarily mean changing how a business or farm is led but it does afford an opportunity to adapt.

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