Enhancing Intercultural Competence in a Growing, Global Company
A mid-sized U.S.-based specialized electronics company with operations in Europe, Latin America and Asia, began to see that the challenges of working globally needed to be addressed internally as employees at all levels of the company were increasingly working with international colleagues. Because of the diversity of the projects and the number of employees the company was trying to target, the learning & development team could not schedule face-to-face intercultural training for all of the departments who wanted to enhance their intercultural knowledge.
IOR developed several initial programs:
- a full-day session that enabled members of a management team to explore cross-cultural challenges and develop strategies for moving forward;
- a session that raised awareness in the global HR team of their own cultural differences, and compared them with several countries of operation;
- and a post-acquisition meeting with senior leaders to explore the cultural business challenges of integrating corporate and national cultures.
As interest in this type of work grew, the learning & development team worked with IOR to find ways to reach more employees. Together, we are working on developing an interactive eLearning module that will allow employees to explore intercultural concepts, learn more about the values and behaviors of the company’s largest international markets, and gain a better understanding of the skills needed to manage and bridge cultural difference.
Employees throughout the company who feel the need for additional intercultural training and understanding will be able to access learning at their convenience. The dialogue has been started and employees at all levels are developing an understanding of what it means to be a truly global corporation.