Hongfei and You Shi have now decided to stay in Denmark
After finishing his PhD at the Technical University of Denmark (DTU), Chinese researcher You Shi's decision to stay on in Denmark was highly dependent on whether his wife, Hongfei, could continue her career here. It was then that DTU decided to offer Supporting People's Job and Career services to Hongfei.
"We wanted to keep You Shi at DTU Electrical Engineering as he is a highly skilled researcher , but we also knew that his decision about staying at DTU depended on his wife Hongfei's career opportunities in Denmark. We are so happy that Hongfei has succeeded in finding a full time job with the help of Supporting People." Jacob Østergaard, Professor and Head of Electrical Engineering Department, DTU.
Hongfei clearly remembers how she felt before she was introduced to Supporting People, "I had attempted to find jobs myself here. But it turned out to be hard to find a good match and it seemed that there was no such thing as a smooth career path for me in Denmark. I was starting to doubt myself. We both had doubts about our future here."
Hongfei is now employed in a permanent, full time job as a Relocation Coordinator for Asia in Alfa Relocation, which is an excellent match for her competencies and this has helped the young couple to make decisions about their future.
"Supporting People gave Hongfei a new strategy of activities and found new opportunities for her, and very importantly they also gave her encouragement, renewed energy and hope. It was much more than I could give." You Shi
"I am coming up to renewing my contract with DTU. Before Hongfei found a way of developing her career, I was really unsure whether we should stay in Denmark longer. Now that she has a good start, the decision is easy. I will renew my contract, and we have both started planning for a future here. I have even started Danish lessons!" You Shi
Hop on the Cross Culture Tour!
Supporting People was invited to conduct a cultural awareness workshop for 80 participants from 4 continents at Leo Pharma's International Clinical Operations Seminar. Leo Pharma was interested in addressing the issues associated with communication across cultures, and the aim was to introduce cultural awareness in a fun, dynamic way for a couple of hours.
The workshop was built around the Cross Culture Tour Game, a tool that Supporting People uses to increase cultural awareness. After a short introduction to the concept of culture in the modern day, the participants were divided in to groups of mixed nationality and had the opportunity to play the game.
"Thank you very much for the workshop. I enjoyed having the time set aside to think a little differently to how I usually conduct business." Participant, Leo Pharma, September 2011
During the game, many issues arose regarding the stereotypes that we hold and how dependent we are on these stereotypes to determine our own perceptions of the other and our behaviour. The participants were able to open up within this informal setting which led to many good discussions about their preconceptions of different cultures.
Danish Business Culture Course
Supporting People, in collaboration with Alfa Relocation, were asked to hold workshops on the subject of Danish Business Culture for expatriate employees at Maersk Drilling, with primary focus on newly arrived expatriates from a variety of countries. The aim of the workshops was to prepare Maersk Drilling foreign employees for working within a Danish company so that they could make the most of their job, career and expatriation.
"Good insight on how Danish people live their lives. The workshop created the right atmosphere for an open discussion on the Danish business culture. Very useful for anyone coming to Denmark, irrespective of age, nationality and professional background." Participant from Mærsk Drilling, April 2011
The workshops were interactive and employees were encouraged to openly discuss the issues that were introduced by Supporting People, as well as any relevant issues they had. Themes introduced in the workshops were typical Danish management style, working with Danish colleagues, Danish workplace hierarchy and its effect on work style, and the social aspect of work.
Attendees discussed issues actively with Supporting People, which lead to many eye-opening and inspiring conversations. They were particularly pleased with the tools they were given to navigate the intercultural management styles they would encounter.
Training at North Zealand Business Academy
The North Zealand Business Academy carries out a comprehensive middle management training course consisting of 12 modules spread over one year. To put a stronger focus on middle management intercultural skills, North Zealand Business Academy invited Supporting People to hold a full day's training in March 2011 with presentations and exercises.
"With Mette Rønning Steffensen's very positive and practical approach to the concept of culture, the participants were inspired to better understand and actively work with cultural challenges in their work life."Dorthe Ingerslev, Training Consultant, March 2011
To make the theoretical presentations more lively and dynamic, Supporting People divided the 18 participants into three groups. Each group took turns to work with their own intercultural skills within three workshops, each with its own theme: Knowledge about culture, motivation for working in multicultural teams, and specific communicative behaviors. The tools were carefully selected for the occasion and emphasized a high degree of participant involvement. In one workshop, they played a specially chosen board game called the Cross-Culture Tour Game. In the second, they worked with questions and exercises drawn from Appreciative Inquiry, while the third took on a more visual approach communication skills with a range of images from Dialoogle Visual Talking.
The day was filled with discussion, reflection, and a healthy exchange of views and experiences. Participants expressed enthusiasm for the day and valued greatly the degree of active involvement.
Positive Energy in a Period of Change
Supporting People was contacted by LEO Pharma in early summer 2010 to work with the Clinical Operations department. The assistant group was going through a process of change and had new people, new tasks and an urgent need for a more independent way of working.
Our objective was to kick start this change process. We designed a day-long seminar to give the 6-man team a fast and relevant insight into the team’s personal and professional competencies. It was important that the seminar was a positive experience where the group felt that they were heard and could influence the process. They also needed to understand why the change process was important and where it could lead.
”Thank you for a great day. As manager, I thought you did a good job and it was easy to get behind what you were doing.” Kristine Törnqvist, Head of Section.
With a professional, appreciative and straight forward attitude to the team and the challenges facing them, the group took an immediate liking to the facilitator from Supporting People and became actively involved. The seminar was both constructive and fun leaving management and assistants with a positive insight into the competencies of the group and its future opportunities - and not least the next important step in the process.
Page 1 of 2
It’s funny how one can be on their best behavior in a situation and yet be seen to be something else by the other person. This is particularly true in intercultural interactions.
“Lack of jobs for spouses of foreign workers threatens integration and retention of foreign employees”
"Denmark - A need for talent", white paper published by AmChamDenmark, Copenhagen Capacity and Heidrick & Struggles, 2010