Empowering multicultural teams and employee mobility through comprehensive cross-cultural and language training
Wendell Lewis Willkie, an American lawyer, and the 1940 Republican nominee for President of the United States once said that:
“There are no distant places any longer: the world is small, and the world is one.”
More than eighty years later and the world has become even smaller and our horizons even broader. Knowing how to successfully navigate your way around in life, in a foreign language or even in a different culture has become a highly sought-after skill for a long time now and with the advent of the internet, social media and remote working our world has definitely become smaller. Companies are, now more than ever, taking advantage of this increased connectivity to create international teams and looking for cross-cultural training solutions to keep top employees employable.
The importance of cross-cultural training and language classes
Having a culturally diverse team can lead to new approaches to problems through new ways of thinking, better communication, and higher output. On the other hand, diversity, if not handled appropriately, can lead to stress, strain and ultimately rupture between colleagues and co-workers. When successful key elements are relocated, and the transition is not done correctly this can often lead to difficulties at work, but also hardship at home, with the family also finding it difficult to adjust to a new way of life and a new way of living internationally.
Finding common ground with a universal language is a step in the right direction, and individuals and companies invest in language classes to enhance these communication skills between their co-workers in and out of the work environment, and language penetrates every aspect of life. As Federico Fellini famously said:
“A different language is a different vision of life.”
Emphasis on language classes importance
Nowadays as global citizens, having the ability to speak in a foreign language fluently is fundamental. With English being the go-to language for business and the official language of the 20 most relevant international organizations, a third of the world chit chats in this language, while over a half of the internet is in English, too. English is spoken in 94 countries so brushing up on your communication skills with some language classes or business communication classes will make the difference between success and failure. Families also benefit from the confidence of being able to interact in another language to carry out their daily activities increasing the cultural adaptation process in an international situation.
The frameworks that govern our lives play a huge role in determining who we are as people and understanding the drive behind others can lead to greater success and profitability.
How cross-cultural and language training improves employee performance
Employee mobility can be seen as a skill that a key worker has, in order to be placed or relocated within a company, either at home or abroad, and like any skill it requires training and practice. A truly mobile employee will be aware of their own cultural background and place in the world and cultural impacts, biases of those they interact with. A culturally aware person is able to build bridges between people and is also a good communicator. While comprehensive mobility programs for employees will take into consideration cultural aspects and cross-cultural training as well as an important language feature to heighten the chances of success for all parties involved.