Canadian Workplace Culture

Every culture is has its own norms, including workplace culture. In a Canadian workplace, communication and behaviour may be different than your previous workplaces. Here are some possible differences you should be aware of before you begin a new job in tourism.

Expectations and roles of employees

  • Be punctual (be prepared to start on time).
  • Know your roles and responsibilities.
  • Fulfill your duties and responsibilities.
  • Work both independently and as a team member.
  • Show initiative.
  • Make suggestions and ask questions.
  • Be able to work well with others (teamwork).

Individualism and self-reliance

Canadian culture can be highly individualistic. Therefore, you may encounter:

  • Independent decision-making rather than group consultation
  • Rules and procedures that are emphasized more than relationships
  • Looser and less permanent relationships between people, compared to other cultures
  • Performance assessment on an individual basis, rather than as team member
  • Direct praise and criticism

Work and time

The Canadian approach to work and time may be unfamiliar to you. Typical Canadian attitudes toward work and time include:

  • A strong division between home life and work life
  • An emphasis on deadlines rather than on relationships
  • An emphasis on punctuality and “getting down to business” rather than on building relationships

Status and formality

Canadians can be very informal in work relationships compared to individuals from other countries. Their typical behaviour may include:

  • A stress on equal opportunity
  • Saying “no” directly
  • Emphasizing accomplishments over family background, titles, age or gender
  • Expecting you to say what you mean more directly

For more information about Canadian workplace culture

Here are other resources that explain what Canadian employers are looking for from their employees.