Overcoming Challenges of International Training Initiatives

Feb 16 2021 | Insights
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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 corporation has adopted a global workforce in order to have an international presence. Whether you’re offering services to overseas customers or establishing a base of operations in another country, there are many different ways to utilise a global workforce to grow your business. 

Of course, rapid global expansion doesn’t come without challenges. One of the biggest issues is being able to train all of your 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. Thanks to remote working technology, even smaller businesses are starting to recruit internationally. In addition to expanding the pool of talent, it can offer an incredible level of flexibility. As such, it seems all businesses are facing the same challenges with international training. So what can you do to combat those problems and ensure that your entire team is on the same page? 

The Key Challenges

Let’s start by identifying the challenges of establishing international training initiatives. For this, we’ll focus on the problems faced when creating Continuing Professional Development (CPD) programmes to encourage conscious and proactive learning. 

Understanding cultural differences 

One of the greatest challenges is understanding the cultural differences between global regions. Whether it’s work ethic, 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 multiple countries. Your priority should be ensuring that your training initiatives respect these cultural differences and prevent the misunderstandings that cause problems. 

Keeping consistency

No surprise, training programmes need to be consistent if you want predictable results. Trying to tailor a training programme 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. 

Managing different time zones

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 organisational CPD programmes and why so many traditional training programmes are ineffective. 

Breaking through the language barrier 

If you’re working with employees that speak another language, you’re going to encounter many problems in the form of localisation differences and 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 programmes are translated accurately. 

Who needs to know what?  

Lastly, one of the biggest hurdles to creating effective international CPD programmes 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 programme 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 emerge when setting up international CPD programmes, but there are many reasons to work out these difficulties and create solutions that make the programmes effective. 

Are global CPD programmes even necessary?

Yes, and there are many good reasons why companies should start globalising their CPD programmes. 

  • Collaborating is easier when all of your staff, both national and international, are on the same level. Better collaboration = higher productivity.  

  • Reduces the complexity of tailoring training programmes 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 and training new talent.  

  • Allows you to more easily break into overseas markets. 

Encouraging your employees to participate in global CPD programmes will ensure that individuals can continue to adapt to changes in the workplace and your industry. It allows them to upgrade their skills and experience to take on tougher challenges and gives employees an opportunity to stand out. 

For companies, it allows you to show your commitment to improving and assisting your team members. It shows that you recognise your staff for their hard work and leads to a more fulfilling office culture that leads to improved staff retention and productivity. 

How do I globalise my CPD programmes? 

There are a number of fantastic solutions that will help you globalise your CPD programmes 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

Taking advantage of innovations in e-Learning technology 

e-Learning technology is one of the best solutions to help you globalise your CPD programmes because it’s housed on a simple and easy-to-understand platform. These technologies are customisable and allow you to deliver international training regardless of time zones or cultural differences. 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 globalising your CPD programmes, 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. They can improve at their own pace, on their own terms.

The use of e-learning within your organisation’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.

Give your team the extra support and tools they need to navigate global expansion with Ezra’s world-class employee coaching, built to fit into today’s working life. We’ve redesigned leadership coaching for the modern age to help transform people through affordable, scalable and high-impact solutions, with equitable access through our world-class coaching app. Find out today how digital coaching could make a big difference to your organisation.

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