Cross-culturalism is increasing in a large number of major cities throughout the world. Workforces and communities are getting exposed to a wide range of practices, cultures, and traditions. Moving enterprises and employees on a global scale are helping in community setups and corporate cultural diversity within the organization, shaping multinational corporations across different countries.
Challenges in cross-cultural operations:
While cross-cultural connections provide an opportunity for knowledge exposure, it also generates a plethora of differences as follows.
- Employees cannot correlate to the foreign culture and their values. Operational conflicts and employee disengagement include a lack of ethnic knowledge, stereotyping, and linguistic disparity.
- Due to budget restrictions, workers may not necessarily visit the new area to gain first-hand cultural experience, which leads to preconceptions and obliviousness.
- Disagreements and the inability to negotiate while finding a solution to problems and resolving the conflict are unavoidable and frequently result in uninvited issues and delayed responses.
For example, if an Asian Pacific sales head for the organization does not know anything about diverse Asian Pacific culture and values, how will he evaluate the best sales strategy for the Asia Pacific region of the organization?
How will he approve if the sales campaign is under the marketing campaign of the region? Persistent divergence results in an overall negative ROI in the long term for the organization.
Developing a cross-cultural training strategy and tools
To avoid misunderstandings and deviations within multinational organizations, spreading awareness around the diversified cultures is essential. Understanding ethnic history, sensitivity, and history can help businesses in different regions grow, irrespective of a company’s race, color, and language.
Cross-cultural experts, strategists, researchers, trainers, and designers develop cross-cultural management tools that can be used in tandem with training and consulting programs. The following is a list of the five most effective cross-cultural training tools:
1. Cultural compass
With the help of tests and assessments through quizzes, cultural compass provides personalized feedback about your professional and personal preferences. Based on the answers to these questions, the cultural compass will provide customized cultural advice to help you:
- Figure out why people with other cultures behave the way they do;
- Recognize the effect of your own cultural value choices
- Avoid common behavioral mistakes while dealing with people of different ethnicity
2. Learning Management system (LMS)
LMS designed by a team of learning and development trainers, graphic designers, content writers, editors, business and cultural consultants guarantees to impart knowledge about the customs and beliefs, including history, dress, conventions, rules, interests, and beliefs systems of that ethnicity. Micro videos on ethnic heritage can be incorporated into the training program to generate a visual impact and improve the learning experience and employee engagement.
With specialized LMS like mindflash, employees can have training about culture’s interaction style, conduct, expressions, and basic facts.
3. Country differentiation tool
The country differentiation tool compares any country in important cultural areas throughout the world. Some of the important factors for calculations are the distance between power sources, idealism, gender biases, avoiding uncertainty, orientation to the market for a long period, and compassion. This tool evaluates the difference in culture between two countries at the ground level with the help of collected information and assessments.
4. Culture adaptability profile calculator
In a traditional global organization, the work culture usually leads to workers engaging with people of different ethnicities. Thus contracting operations overseas and transnational businesses require diverse cultural workers to collaborate. The cultural adaptability profile calculator lets us know how compatible the employee is with adapting and adopting foreign cultural values in the organization.
5. Blended workshops for cross-cultural training can be included in training
Employees, on the whole, are eager to learn about other backgrounds to improve productivity and communication. Regular blended learning workshops and training snippets are utilized in introducing the workers to a new perspective.
Other methods of cross-cultural training can include:
- Vocal and accent training for employees. This method enables employees to communicate effectively with people from various cultures. Another form of communication that has to be inculcated in the process is nonverbal communication, such as bowing down in Japan and Folding hands in India.
- Introducing a cultural ambassador and using real-time applications and publications to stay up with current events.
Including cross-cultural tools like cultural adaptability calculator, differentiation tool, cultural compass, and LMS will help the workforce adapt to the foreign culture quickly for collaborations. As a result, it will also help organizations flourish overseas and establish a name for themselves, forming a long-term cultural bridge that will benefit nations, organizations, and people alike.