- Plan your career
- Discover who I am
- Learn about your personality, interests, values, skills, and abilities; start to define your career goals; and begin to shortlist your options
- Explore my options
- Learn how to conduct occupational research, options for studying and working, and trends in the world of work
- Choose my direction
- Learn how to evaluate your options, make a decision, and take action
- Achieve my goals
- Learn how to define and reach your goals through goal setting exercises, work and volunteer opportunities, extracurricular involvement, networking, and professional development activities.
- Join the workforce
- Learn how to write a resume, develop your interview skills, network like a pro, and find the hidden (and not-so-hidden) job market
- Continue to develop
- Learn about re-careering, relocating, leaving a job, losing a job, and professional development
- Home page
- Go to the Plan My Career home page
The Canadian Workplace
Workplace Cultures and Behaviour
Just like other countries, Canada has its own distinct workplace culture. Although a variety of behaviours are accepted and workplace culture can vary between organizations, there are still basic expectations for behaviour at work. It is important to spend time learning these behaviours when you first start a job. How to Find a Job in Canada and the Saskatchewan Immigration website have information on workplace behaviours and culture. We have listed some of their advice below:
- In the Canadian workplace you shake hands when you first meet someone to introduce yourself. It is also common courtesy to shake hands before meetings and interviews. However, if you see someone regularly, a simple ‘Good morning/afternoon’ will work.
- In Canada you generally call people by their first name, especially after you get to know them. Although when you first meet someone it is proper etiquette to address them by ‘Mr. or Ms. (Last name)’. It is also proper etiquette to address letters or emails in this manner.
- It is common to refer to professionals (Doctors, Lawyers, Teachers, etc.) by ‘Ms., Mr., or Dr. (Last name)’.
2) Verbal Communication
- Small talk is common in the workplace and involves discussing everyday matters such as weather, family, sports, or entertainment. Discussing personal information, such as religion, salary, or age is less acceptable.
- Interrupting people in a conversation to change subjects is considered to be bad manners.
3) Non-Verbal Communication
- In Canada making eye contact throughout a conversation is highly valued as it demonstrates that you are interested in and are listening to what the other person is saying. Looking away or avoiding eye contact suggests boredom or poor listening skills.
- Personal space is valued in Canadian culture and you should not move any closer than an arm’s length from another person’s body.
- Punctuality is valued in Canadian workplace culture. Arriving on time for scheduled shifts and meetings is considered a sign of respect, and arriving late a sign of disrespect. If you are going to be late it is acceptable to call ahead to inform your co-workers. If you need to prepare before your shift starts you should arrive early enough to do so.
- Canadian workplace culture places a high value on teamwork. Working well with others, listening to others’ ideas, and sharing responsibility are important skills in the workplace. Conflicts in the workplace are frowned upon, so it is important to value your teammates and work well together.
The dress code in Canada varies between employers. It is important to ask your employer what the dress code is and follow the code. To learn about the different types of dress code view the SECC Interview Guide.
In Saskatchewan, workers are protected by law in the workplace. Labour standards ensure that workers remain safe and are treated fairly and equitably. Employment legislation regulates hours of work, rates of pay, termination, and other elements of employment. Human rights protect workers from being discriminated against because of their age, sex, race, religion, or disability. It is important to know your rights. You can learn more about your rights by visiting the Saskatchewan Immigration website.
Expectations for New Workers
Once you have started a new job you will need to become acquainted with some new processes. It is important to understand how you will get paid, what benefits are available to you, how many holidays you get, and much more. Visit the Saskatchewan Immigration website for an introduction to common workplace practices.
You can also read the Guide for New Workers to learn all about working in Canada.