Is yours one of many companies that is still hesitant to invest in cultural training? Do you question the potential return on investment for soft skills training? Do you believe your employees can develop these skills on the job? By then it may be too late to repair the damage or avoid a costly mistake.
In our 30 years working with global organizations, we have learned that soft issues – such as learning the host country language, navigating daily encounters, and achieving cultural understanding – can make or break an international assignment.
In our survey, over 80% of responding organizations believe it is important for their global team members to be culturally competent, and that cross-cultural training is a necessity. Over 90% of respondents said their organization would like to provide employees with cultural training, using a flexible online learning platform.
Research shows that improved access to content motivates employees to learn more. The newest learning platforms offer a high degree of portability. This means users can learn anywhere — not only in a classroom environment or the office, but at home, or even during travel. New learning platforms are also designed to assess a user’s unique needs, and provide content to meet those needs.
Customized cultural training content can minimize misunderstanding, reinforce business relationships, and guide you to a more successful outcome.
Let’s look at one of the globe’s top assignment destinations, India:
- What are typical working hours?
- What is appropriate business attire?
- What are common attitudes regarding women in the workplace?
- How are business meetings conducted?
- When and where do businesspeople socialize?
Businesses should strive to create the kind of culture that maximizes learning and brings ongoing performance improvements.
“The single biggest driver of business impact is the strength of an organization’s learning culture.”
-Josh Bersin, Principal and Founder, Bersin by Deloitte
If you don’t already provide cultural training, what are you waiting for? Cultural understanding provides the confidence required for global roles. When you invest in your employees, they feel valued and supported. And your customers know you care enough about them to see the world from their perspective.
Written by Cathy Heyne, GMS-T, Managing Director