WHAT IS WELCOMING?
A welcoming community can be seen as "a collective effort to create a place where individuals feel valued and included"(Bennett-AbuAyyash et al., 2010). Welcoming communities and organizations "identify and remove barriers, promote a sense of belonging, and offer services that promote successful integration" in order to attract and retain newcomers (Bennett-AbuAyyash et al., 2010).
BENEFITS OF WELCOMING
Welcoming results in a variety of benefits for newcomers. Welcoming increases trust, inclusion, belonging and the feeling of being valued by a community or organization. Further, integration is more successful when barriers are reduced/eliminated and needs are met (Bennett-AbuAyyash, 2010).
Welcoming techniques are one way for organizations to attract and retain newcomers in order to fill gaps and tap into a new, skilled labour force (Bennett-AbuAyyash, 2010).
Understanding the factors that support and impair welcoming also enable employers to build cultural competence, reduce bias and discrimination and encourage welcoming of newcomers - something that is key to economic development and sustainability.
How Can We Do This?
Some ways to do this include offering:
Community outreach programs
(Bennett-AbuAyyas et al., 2011; Guo & Guo, 2016).