Challenges of International Training Initiatives
One of the greatest challenges of creating an effective global workforce is training all of your staff equally, so what can you do to break down barriers for a successful international development initiative?
These days, almost every large corporation has adopted some kind of global workforce in order to have some kind of international presence. Whether you’re offering basic services to overseas customers or have established a base of operations in another country, there are many different ways to utilize a global workforce to grow your business.
However, rapid global expansion doesn’t come without its challenges. One of the biggest issues that we have is being able to train all of our employees and ensure they follow the same principles and values that you’ve established in your home country. With so many different personal circumstances and cultural backgrounds, it’s easy to overlook the problems with international training initiatives.
But it’s not just large corporations that have to face these issues. Even smaller businesses are starting to recruit internationally thanks to remote working technology. It greatly expands the pool of talent that they have access to and it can offer an incredible level of flexibility. As such, even smaller businesses are facing the same challenges of international training initiatives. So what can you do to combat those problems? How do you overcome those issues and ensure that your entire team is on the same wavelength?
The key challenges
Let’s start by identifying the challenges of establishing international training initiatives. In particular, the problems that we face when creating Continuing Professional Development (CPD) programs to encourage conscious and proactive learning.
Understanding cultural differences
One of the biggest challenges is understanding the cultural differences between different regions in the world. Whether it’s work ethics, regulations on work hours, or even approaches to training, it’s difficult to grasp all of the cultural differences in your team especially if they’re dispersed throughout dozens of different countries. It should be a priority to ensure that your training initiatives respect these cultural differences to prevent misunderstandings from causing problems.
Training programs need to be consistent if you want predictable results. Trying to tailor a training program for dozens of different cultures and experience levels can be difficult, but it’s important if you want to keep your entire team productive and reduce the possibility of creating large skill and knowledge gaps.
Time zone differences
Working with people across multiple time zones can be a logistical nightmare. It’s one of the biggest challenges that you can face when establishing international organizational CPD programs, hence why many traditional training programs fail to work.
Breaking the language barrier
If you’re working with employees that speak another language, you’re going to encounter many problems in the form of localization differences and potentially dialect variations. Communicating your message can be difficult if there are no direct translations available, and it’s a time-consuming process to ensure that your CPD programs are translated accurately.
Existing experience and knowledge
Lastly, one of the biggest hurdles to creating effective international organizational CPD programs is taking your team’s existing experience and knowledge into consideration. Hiring internationally can bring a lot of talented individuals to your company, but with varying degrees of expertise and experience, you can’t apply the same training program to everyone and expect the knowledge to sink in or even be an effective use of their time, especially when it comes to leadership coaching and development.
As you can see, there are many challenges that come with setting up international CPD programs, but there are many reasons to work out these difficulties and solutions to make them easier to handle.
Why globalize CPD programs?
There are many good reasons for companies to start globalizing their CPD programs.
- Ensures that all of your staff, both national and international, are on the same level which makes collaborating easier, leading to a higher level of productivity.
- Reduces the complexity of tailoring training programs for specific regions and/or experience levels within the company.
- Gives your company access to a global pool of talent.
- Makes your company more agile and able to adapt to evolving international and local market conditions.
- Reduces the overall cost of hiring talent and training them to a sufficient level to be productive within your company.
- Allows you to break into overseas markets with more ease.
Encouraging your employees to participate in global CPD programs will ensure that individuals can continue to adapt to changes in the workplace or even in the industry. It allows them to upgrade their skills and experience to take on tougher challenges, and it allows employees to distinguish themselves.
For companies, it allows you to show your commitment to improving and assisting your team members. It shows that you recognize your staff for their hard work and leads to a more fulfilling office culture that leads to improved staff retention and productivity.
Solutions for globalizing CPD
There are a number of fantastic solutions that will help you globalize your CPD programs in preparation for international expansion, but one of the key things to lean into, especially for leadership development, is the idea of e-learning through, for example, a coaching app.
Utilizing e-Learning technology
e-Learning technology is one of the best solutions to help you globalize your CPD programs on a simple and easy-to-understand platform. It’s extremely customizable and allows you to deliver international training regardless of time zones and cultural differences in teaching. It simplifies the logistics of training and is surprisingly budget-friendly once you’ve established all of the systems.
e-Learning helps to break down a number of barriers when it comes to globalizing your CPD programs, but it also helps you encourage employees to set their own learning goals instead of forcing them to follow specific methodologies that may or may not cause conflicts with respect to their existing experience or knowledge.
The use of e-Learning within your organization’s structure is one of the best ways to train an international team. It overcomes many of the challenges in establishing international training initiatives and provides a much better experience for your employees to study in their own time and define their own learning goals, while still providing the support they need to facilitate their continuous professional development.