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Human resources in North America, Australia, New Zealand Human resources in North America, Australia, New Zealand
by Joseph Gatt
2019-11-02 09:40:00
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Sweeping generalizations about human resources in Canada and the US, Australia and New Zealand.

-First one, perhaps big one. Unless stated otherwise, in Canada, the US, Australia and New Zealand, any information you give people will be considered “not confidential” and “not classified” which means they will tend to feel free to share it with everyone around them. In Canada, the US, Australia and New Zealand, workers tend not to feel the need to compete against each other, and will share any information that they think other people will find helpful.

ausy01_400-So if you go to a meeting or a business meeting or whatever and things go horribly wrong, you want to make it clear to those who attended that what happened in the meeting stays in the meeting. Otherwise, for the next week or so, the failed meeting will be all the talk at the workplace.

-Canadians, Americans, Australians and New Zealanders tend to view cooperation as an important part of working together and doing business together. So they will want to provide complete information, and they will expect you to provide complete information. They will share any information they think can benefit the rest of the team or the company.

-Most companies have company secrets, but many companies in Canada, the US, Australia and New Zealand publish books or information that in other countries would be considered highly classified because they are basically sharing a lot of what would be considered “business secrets” in other countries. Many companies believe that they are “so good no one can beat us.”

-Now here's the thing. In Canada, the US, Australia and New Zealand, especially Canada and the US, many people have so much debt that they will turn down job offers that don't provide a high enough salary to cover their debt. So they could be very interested in working with your company, will try to negotiate the kind of salary that can help them keep making their monthly payments.

-Now in most countries around the world, a work contract is kind of a vague, loose agreement between a company and a worker, and many workers won't even bother reading it. But in Canada, the US, Australia and New Zealand a work contract is a serious deal. If workers think they are being cheated, they will refer to the contract, and if there's a contract violation of some kind, they'll probably take that to court, or in either case will confront you about the contract violation. And, they will tell everyone from the janitor the senior manager, in great detail, how you cheated them in their contract.

-Canadians, Americans, Australians and New Zealanders tend to look for something they like to call “well rounded” and “flexible” people. That is most people try to show diverse skills and talents in their resumes and cover letters. During the job interview, they will try to show that they have a wide range of skills that they can use on the job.

-In most countries, deadlines are vague and time is a loose notion. However, in Canada, the US, Australia and New Zealand deadlines tend to be strict. Bring it on my desk by Friday means it should be on his or her desk by Friday.

-Different workplaces work differently. But many Canadians, Americans, Australians and New Zealanders have something called “stream of consciousness conversation” which means they will say pretty much everything and anything that comes to mind. If they're thinking about their weekend, or reminiscing a fight they had with their ex, or have some kind of memory about their 15th surprise birthday party, or remember that 1996 presidential debate or whatever, they'll just talk about that.

-In most Canadian, American, Australian and New Zealander companies, people don't get hints and don't get innuendoes. So if you hang an “angry birds” poster on your desk, they'll probably think it's because you like angry birds or something.

-If there are problem people in the office, Canadians, Americans, Australians and New Zealanders have kind of an “either he's out or I'm out” attitude. So if you don't get rid of problem people, a lot of “good” people are probably going to get a job elsewhere.

-Finally, something that can be shocking in many countries, Canadians, Americans, Australians and New Zealanders openly discuss other job opportunities in their office, sometimes even in the presence of the CEO or of important people. If you are company A, a lot of conversations will be like “at company B they pay this much, and at company C you have this, and did you see the ad for company D, and I think I'll try much luck by applying at company E.” Don't be shocked by this.


     
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