australian workplace culture - part three

Download Australian Workplace Culture  - Part Three

Post on 04-Dec-2014




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Helping recent migrants to achieve employment and gain career success - Part Three. You can contact me at


  • 1. Australian Workplace Culture
    A guide for newly arrived migrants
    Ursula Walker 2011
  • 2. Session Outline
    In this session we will be looking at
    Attitudes to Work, Hierarchy and Leadership
    Organisational Communication
    Achieving Success in the Australian Workplace
    Employer Expectations
    10 Top Tips for Skilled Migrants
    Ursula Walker 2011
  • 3. Attitudes to Work, Hierarchy and Leadership
    Australians work to live rather than live to work
    Workplace is not overly formal but there are clear lines of authority and decision-making.
    Workers talk on an equal basis with their superiors AND inferiors, often using humour or irreverence.
    Promotions tend to be based on merit and seniority.
    Being a good team player is highly regarded by employers.
    Ursula Walker 2011
  • 4. Organisational Communication
    In many countries a
    top-down model of organisational communication is still very common.
    Australian organisations
    tend use a more interactive model.
    Ursula Walker 2011
  • 5. Case Study

    Organisational Communication
    Employers in Australia want employees to communicate openly and take responsibility for their opinions and actions.
    In this real-life example, an Australian manager unfamiliar with working in Asia regularly asked his new team to provide him with feedback, so as to get the experienced advice of his local staff on the best way to run the company.
    However he found it very difficult to get their support, as his Asian staff found it very strange that a manager should ask such a thing, and had interpreted this request as ignorance, deciding that he didnt know much about management OR his new role!
    Ursula Walker 2011
  • 6. Achieving Success in the Australian Workplace
    Australian employers like employees who are:
    Appropriately skilled and qualified
    Take the initiative and can be assertive when necessary
    Are both able to work well independently but are also a team player
    Have excellent planning, problem solving and organisational skills
    Are good communicators
    Are enthusiastic and self-motivated
    Ursula Walker 2011
  • 7. Case Study

    Im not sure about Gunawan. I know he has great skills but he seems to need direction constantly.
    I think he has some good ideas and I keep asking him to speak up in meetings but he just goes along with what everyone else thinks.
    The rest of the team dont seem to like him much hes a bit of an outsider.I seem to be missing something but I am not sure what the problem is.

    Ursula Walker 2011
  • 8. Case Study

    Im very unhappy here. I always listen to Graham and try to carry out his instructions to the best of my ability, but I dont think he is happy with my performance. I am always ready to anticipate his needs and offer him my support.
    But meetings are especially difficult, everyone speaks so quickly I find it hard to follow. I was invited to the pub after work a few times but I dont drink and I am not sure I have much in common with my colleagues.

    Ursula Walker 2011
  • 9. Employer Expectations
    Employers expect employees to give and receive feedbackand take initiative on projects.
    While Australians like communication to be direct, they still expect manners and politeness.
    Good interpersonal skills such as listening and being able to negotiate differences are highly regarded.
    Personal qualities such as punctuality, enthusiasm and motivation are highly valued.
    Ursula Walker 2011
  • 10. Top 10 Tips for Skilled Migrants
    Are you becoming disillusioned or depressed about the difficulties in finding appropriate employment or understanding your new workplace? Read on
    Ursula Walker 2011
  • 11. Treat others as your equal
    Australia has inequality and Australian workplaces have hierarchies, but people tend to speak with each other as equals.
    Be equally polite to both the office cleaner and the boss.
    Ursula Walker 2011
  • 12. Understand Australian Manners
    Different languages have different ways of expressing politeness.
    In Australia if you dont use please, thank you and excuse me a lot, you may be judged as being impolite.
    Ursula Walker 2011
  • 13. Always be Punctual
    Plan to arrive 15 minutes before a job interview and dont be late for meetings.
    Ursula Walker 2011
  • 14. Know your Responsibilities
    Be aware of employer expectations.
    Being clear about job roles and responsibilities in your vocational field will make it easier for you to excel.
    Ursula Walker 2011
  • 15. Know your Rights
    Australian governments have laws that protect employee rights, laws to ensure a safe workplace and to promote equality of opportunity.
    Ursula Walker 2011
  • 16. Communication is Critical
    Continue to improve your English.
    Learn how Australians make casual conversation in the workplace, and learn colloquialisms and jargon.
    Be aware of non-verbal communication, particularly in job interviews.
    Ursula Walker 2011
  • 17. Build a Bridge
    Carefully identify a small number of well-respected local training courses that can deepen your understanding of Australian standards, processes and specifications.
    But remember that practical work experience is highly valued in Australia.
    Ursula Walker 2011
  • 18. Be Realistic
    Its unlikely that you will be able to start your new career at the same level that you were in in your country of origin.
    Sometimes you have to go backward to go forward be prepared to start lower so that you can learn and progress in your new country.
    Ursula Walker 2011
  • 19. Know that your Contribution is Valued
    Australias prosperity and diverse culture are largely due to the many migrants who have made Australia their home. Most Australians recognise this and appreciate it or are migrants themselves!
    Ursula Walker 2011
  • 20. Be Positive
    We have a growing economy and a falling unemployment rate. Its only a matter of time before the right job becomes available.
    Ursula Walker 2011
  • 21. Conclusion
    This concludes the final presentation in this series.
    I hope that you have enjoyed all three and have found the information in them practical and useful.
    If you would like to contact me, comment on or recommend these podcasts to others, you are most welcome to do so at:
    Ursula Walker 2011