These days more than ever before effective communication is vital in any organization. When the message is not clearly understood by all the parties then ultimately productivity and profitability falters.

In some organizations this can be an acute problem especially when the Canadian workplace is becoming increasingly culturally diverse. It is predicted that one out of three positions will have to be filled by immigrants due to baby-boomers beginning to retire and low birth rates.

Here are some points to keep in mind when communicating at work, especially with new immigrants.  Keep the written and spoken sentences short and right to the point. Avoid using long and complicated sentences, and refrain from using idioms.

When advertising a position, keep the description simple and how to apply. Training and policies should be kept straight forward because at times even native born speakers find it difficult to decipher the real message. This is really important especially when machinery is operated.

Since many of us come from different parts of the world, our accents can be a hindrance and difficult for people to understand. If you have an accent or are a native born speaker, the key to getting your message across is to SLOW down and enunciate your words. For instance instead saying….’whattadayneed”, you can separate the words and say, “What do you need”.

The key is to be aware at all times as to whom you are speaking with. Perhaps someone who has just come from a foreign country, it takes them a little longer to understand so have patience. It is no different than native born Canadian trying to understand someone from Scotland. They speak English but with a different accent.