With the anticipated influx of migrant workers from Romania and Bulgaria after the two accession states joined the EU on 1 January, increasing numbers of HR departments will be expected to manage multicultural teams.
Help is at hand in the form of a migrant worker management guide from Bradford University School of Management.
The handbook covers a range of issues, including the impact of different teaching styles, how different cultures view success and failure and inclusive team working.
The tips are based on the school’s experience of helping international MBA students settle into the UK and its work with British employers.
Professor Arthur Francis, dean of Bradford’s school of management, said the guide would help managers to spot different social issues.
“Many difficulties at work are often attributed to language problems – and it can take months for a manager to realise it is a different cultural approach,” he said.
“Business leaders need to understand and develop techniques to manage cultural difference, which can affect health and safety, product quality and efficiency – to say nothing of just not making the most of the skills of employees.”
The government predicted that 15,000 migrant workers would come to the UK after eight countries, including Poland and the Czech Republic, joined the EU in 2004.
Since then, about 700,000 Eastern European workers are estimated to have migrated to the UK.