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Cultural Differences
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Overcoming cultural differences in a U.S. workplace

  • Publish Date: Posted 11 months ago
  • Author:by Conexus MedStaff

Ways of working vary depending on where you are in the world. In the United States, workplaces – including those within the healthcare industry – may be different to those that you’re used to working in outside of America. Read on to learn what to expect when you start a new job in the U.S., how to best fit into the country’s unique working environment, and ways to build connections with your colleagues.

U.S. working culture: a quick guide

Generally speaking, workplaces in the U.S. are productivity-focused, with a culture that values both teamwork and an individual’s own responsibilities. There is an emphasis on positive feedback delivered in the form of praise and awards such as ‘employee of the month.’

Hierarchy is important in the majority of business structures, especially within the healthcare system. While it is important to be respectful of seniority and follow the appropriate chain of command, there will also be opportunities for you to share your opinions and make suggestions.

This is, of course, just a rough guide. Every workplace will be different! The best advice we can offer is to watch and learn in your new environment. As a member of the Conexus MedStaff community you will be guided by your Engagement Manager once you arrive in the U.S., and they will be able to provide you with advice specific to your new place of work.

Building connections with your colleagues

You’ll spend a lot of time with your colleagues, so it makes sense to form connections with them. Healthy professional relationships contribute to a better work experience, which is beneficial for your mental wellbeing as well as your career. Creating good relationships with your colleagues contributes to trust, respect and productivity. Other benefits can include greater job satisfaction, less stress, and a positive experience.

Here are our top tips to help you better understand and bond with your new colleagues in the U.S.

  • Be an active listener. Everyone appreciates being heard. Active listening is an essential part of good communication. It means actively engaging in a conversation by understanding not only the words being spoken, but the intention, meaning, and even emotion behind the words. This helps you to understand more deeply and gives you the ability to ask questions and keep the conversation going. Being an active listener shows that you’re taking an interest in the person you’re speaking with, which will help them feel more valued.

  • Be friendly.This one may be obvious, but it’s worth stating anyway – being friendly will help you build good relationships. Make an effort to treat everyone with the same kindness and respect, regardless of whether they’re more senior or junior to your position. Offer to lend a helping hand if you have a moment, or ask someone how their day has been. Small gestures can go a long way! Acting in this way will help create a positive reputation amongst your team members and colleagues, who will recognize you as helpful, respectful, and kind.

  • Be confident enough to ask for help.It may be tempting to keep quiet if you’re struggling with something at work (or even at home), but rest assured that asking for help is perfectly okay. It is not considered a sign of weakness or inability if you need assistance. If you feel uncomfortable asking your colleagues or the person you report to, you can speak with either your Conexus MedStaff Engagement Manager or your facility’s Human Resources team. Everyone wants to help you succeed, and by speaking up you’ll help yourself and the people you work with.

  • Be appreciative. As mentioned earlier, there is a culture of praise in the U.S., and it’s easy to get on board with. Showing a bit of appreciation for your colleagues will go a long way in building a positive relationship with them. You can congratulate them on any recent successes or milestones achieved, compliment them on a job well done (or even if they have scrubs you like!), leave a thank you note when someone does something helpful for you, or even bring in little treat for your team. Keeping a positive outlook makes you an appealing person to be around.

What resources does Conexus MedStaff offer to help me adjust to working in the U.S.?

At Conexus, we have a team of on-the-ground engagement managers that can help you acclimate to your new home away from home and connect you with other international healthcare professionals on the same journey as you.

We make every effort to find a position for you in the same city as other Conexus international nurses and medical technologists so you have a support system as you navigate your new workplace.

We also offer free, personalized growth plans as part of our award-winning program, Conexus Academy, which is built to help you thrive in your career and is customized for your specific needs.

Are you ready to pursue your future as a healthcare professional in the U.S? Apply now!