My company, a start up, has recently hired 3 new people to work in my team (I am a part of the team, not the boss or even a team leader, I've simply been there for longer and integrated quite fast). The thing is, they all come from the same foreign country (They may have known each other prior I'm not certain but they were all sponsored by the same visa-sponsor company).
They aren't hostile per se (although I've noticed they're getting increasingly confrontational with another co-worker who is particularly intransigent to mistakes, but he's so with any and everyone, it is not targeted), but they are segregating themselves more and more.
- They now often take abrupt breaks all together
- They only speak their own language to each other, rendering it impossible to even help them if we could when they are stuck on some issue or another
- They, to the exception of one of them, take no steps towards integrating with the team (the other two don't even say good morning or good bye to the rest of the team half the time)
- They don't talk much at team meetings, even when encouraged, except again for the one.
The company being a start up means things around here are actually quite cheery and not too corporate. Which means that team cohesion is actually quite important if we want efficiency.
Looking forward to your suggestions to change those tides. Keeping in mind that we probably can't really ask them to stop speaking their language without alienating them (especially since they aren't completely fluent in the home language here).
thank you for the answers.
How often do the natives try to engage with them
Maybe not as much as we should, but it's hard to gauge. It happens but it's mostly work-related. it's not rare for us to crack a joke in between talking about something serious, but now I realize that if they aren't perfectly comfortable with the language, and maybe they don't quite catch them or are unsure if it's safe for them to take things lightly.
I will see what I can do about helping them with the language( I don't have the power or standing to propose a language formation, but if i'll pay attention and if they are really struggling I will float the idea to superiors I'm friendly with ).
I've seen the idea to try and learn bits of their language, I will try that as I am pretty comfortable with many languages.
I have read all the other advises and am considering how I can implement those too, I'm not mentioning them in particular because they require some more thinking.
Thanks again for the answers, I'll keep reading if more comes.