Online Training Resources You Should Include In Cross-Cultural Online Training
Cross-cultural online training helps build tolerance and acceptance in the workplace. It also benefits your consumers, as employees are more aware of different backgrounds and societal norms, which allows them to enhance the customer experience. It goes beyond merely acknowledging cultural diversity, and encourages your corporate learners to respect the values, beliefs, and ideas of others even if they may not agree with them. Here are 8 essential cross-cultural online training resources to include in your online training course.
Top Cross-Cultural Online Training Course Activities
1. Cultural Etiquette Video Demos
Every culture has certain etiquette rules that must be followed to avoid causing offense. However, some “norms” may seem unusual or unfounded for people who don’t share the same background or experiences. Video demos can help your employees understand etiquette, and why it’s so essential to follow the unwritten guidelines. For example, they help you learn how to greet a Japanese client via video conferencing. Or, how to politely decline a gift from a customer who finds it perfectly acceptable to offer a token of gratitude. Despite the fact that it violates your COI protocols. Demo videos can even feature a brief troubleshooting guide for overcoming the cultural “gap” without disrespecting the other party. For example, they can teach you how to let a co-worker know that their behaviors or comments aren’t acceptable or that they’re violating regional compliance practices.
2. POV Stories To Build Awareness And Empathy
Seeing things from a fresh perspective can help corporate learners understand the motivations and decisions of others, including their co-workers’ and customers’. It also enables them to develop empathy and build cultural awareness. POV stories give them the opportunity to explore challenges and situations from a different viewpoint. For example, they can learn how their counterparts from international branches handle customer complaints. Or, why customers may find their sales pitch too pushy by showing them how it’s done in their respective country.
3. Online Training Simulations That Feature Real-World Challenges
Text-based stories can give employees a glimpse of other cultures, but online training simulations allow them to immerse in real-world situations. For instance, an online training simulation that features unique challenges that customers from certain backgrounds may encounter on the job. Or problems their international co-workers have to contend with on a daily basis. These interactive online training tools help them connect on a deeper level by experiencing what it’s like to step into the others’ shoes.
4. Interpersonal Skill-Building Branching Scenarios
Interpersonal skills are a crucial part of your cross-cultural online training course. Corporate learners must be able to interact with others and respect their viewpoints, as well as decode their body language, facial expressions, and other non-verbal cues. Branching scenarios give your employees the chance to build these vital skills and learn from their mistakes. For example, they must work alongside a virtual employee who hails from a different background.
5. Stereotype-Debunking, Real-World Examples
Even if they aren’t aware of it, some employees may be relying on stereotypes. These don’t necessarily need to be negative. For instance, they might be under the assumption that certain cultures are astute negotiators or excel in a certain skill. However, stereotyping still stands in the way of cultural acceptance and understanding. You can help debunk the most common myths and preconceptions with real-world examples. Another great way to challenge their assumptions is to use personal anecdotes as subtle eye-openers.
6. Social Media Groups That Facilitate Knowledge Sharing
Social media already brings us together and exposes us to new cultures. However, you can also use it to your advantage in online training. Launch a closed social media group that allows your culturally diverse workforce to share their experiences in a more private setting. This also serves as a valuable knowledge-sharing platform given the fact that they can upload resources, links, and tips to help their peers raise cultural awareness. As an example, employees from your branch in Germany can give their American counterparts a taste of what it’s like to do business in their part of the world. Or even offer insights that help them prepare for a client meeting or product launch in Europe.
7. Webinars That Feature Multicultural Hosts
Invite various members of your organization who represent different cultures to host their own live online training event. It can be something a simple as a Q&A, or a more involved presentation that involves online training activities and supplemental online training resources. The goal is to give every member of your organization the opportunity to not only learn about unfamiliar cultures but ask questions in real-time. A webinar is a two-way dialogue that allows them to do away with pre-conceived notions of how a culture behaves or what they believe. The hosts can also share workplace experiences that made them feel out of place or uncomfortable. That actually prompts attendees to reflect on their own actions and if they are out of touch with cultural diversity.
8. Serious Games That Explore Different Societal Norms
The implementation of serious games is entertaining, and this draws employees in allowing them to immerse in the online training environment. But they can also impart meaningful experiential knowledge that allows employees to explore new societal norms and cultural perspectives. For instance, every level of the serious game delves into how five distinct cultures handle the same situation. Like client meeting etiquette or resolving a work dispute. Corporate learners must successfully navigate the challenge and select the best course of action based on that culture’s beliefs and etiquette.
Cross-cultural online training creates a positive work environment that makes employees feel included and respected for who they are. No matter where they’re from or what their professional ambitions might be. Use this article to cover 8 crucial components of a cross-cultural online training course and foster an all-inclusive community for your remote employees.
Does your current online training course honor different viewpoints and make every member of your team feel welcomed? Designing culturally sensitive online training is more than important for modern businesses nowadays. If you are ready to go global and create a cross-cultural online training but still have a bunch of questions arising, consider hiring an eLearning content provider who can offer niche expertise.