Using eLearning For Your International Business The Right Way
Many of the world’s companies today, especially major corporations, have workers based in different time zones and cities. As a result of this, the ability to communicate effectively despite those time zones and cultural differences, while still maintaining a consistent product or service, can be a challenging task.
In a highly digitized economy, it is a much less common element in international business that employees share the same office space. Around 63% of companies employ some remote or hybrid style of work now. Since locations of offices and facilities provide plenty of advantages for businesses and their employees—such as reduced operating costs, employee satisfaction, and employee retention rates—it is very unlikely that businesses will be reverting to the old, in-house models anytime soon.
How Can Companies Ensure Consisted Training For Their Distributed Workforce?
When a company’s task force is distributed, it makes for a much more difficult time to be able to ensure that teams all working toward the same overall goal are actually on the same page. This is tricky, not only because of the time zone differences, but also language barriers, cultural behaviors, and educational levels. The consequence of all this is that it can become difficult to see that training programs are consistent across borders. A great way to overcome this challenge is with eLearning.
Having the ability to customize online training courses according to time zones, languages, and culture helps to see that teams that are separate can receive coordinated training regardless of where they may be. The following are some ways and reasons that you can use eLearning within your international business to help train employees.
Why And How You Should Use eLearning In Your International Business
1. Training That Is Culturally Sensitive
Being that so many businesses have diverse workforces, inclusive language is just one of many factors that should be considered when creating training programs. That’s where eLearning comes in handy. Many platforms that offer educational services are now aware of the diversity present within the global economy, so features like language options are built into the courses.
Customizing eLearning for your business in ways that respect the cultural norms not only makes the content more approachable, but understandable and thus increasingly beneficial to those employees who are participating in the classes. The familiarity of eLearning courses that are tailored to the demographics present in the offices and teams regardless of time zones, countries, or continents ensures that your team feels cared for, teams are well trained, and customers are better served.
2. Providing Clear Learning Goals
Before considering which programs or third-party course services might be best suited to train your employees, it would be a good idea to figure out what goals should be company-wide. It is one thing to do this in a single country, it is quite another to attempt to do so uniformly with differing cultures.
In order to do this well, taking the time to consider a few questions to refine those goals will be helpful such as, what specific skills, abilities, or technologies are best suited to each team; how do the different governmental bodies affect the compliance mandates per country; how does the available infrastructure for each office vary from place to place; do certain teams need more training in other areas? Being clear about these questions will narrow down which resources and providers will best be able to serve you and your company’s specific needs.
3. Cultural Barriers
Communication in general seems to be quite the challenge among people-groups, but offices are now the exception. In fact, it may be more important than other situations, if only because the health and success of a team and company in business translate to better livelihoods for individual employees, which then trickles back into their own social spheres. A work environment that successfully communicates while in the same culture and time zone is one thing, attempting to do so when the workforce is scattered is quite another.
The bright side to this is that cross-culturally sensitive eLearning platforms and their comprehensive curriculums work around this challenge. It also can be a perfect means and excuse to train employees of different cultures about how to engage with people of different backgrounds. Finding platforms that host such customizability can ensure that your methods and strategies for team success are understood first within the organization, and then externally. This builds bridges of understanding, compassion, and camaraderie throughout the business. When your employees feel respected and cared for, they will not only be more inclined to engage in training but be happy with the work they do. All of this translates to better productivity and employee engagement with customers.
4. Empowering Employees
People want to feel valued; they also want to feel purpose and enjoyment in the work they do. Providing employees with opportunities to learn new skills, build talent, and demonstrate their abilities and intelligence is a great way to help them feel empowered. Empowered employees mean passionate, task-oriented, and self-regulating employees.
By using eLearning courses, employers can demonstrate that they value their employees. Going the extra mile and tailoring programs which are culturally and linguistically sensitive communicates that you, as an employer, don’t need or want a homogenized workforce, but instead are proud to employ persons regardless of their differences. When teams from different cultures see that they are being recognized and celebrated for their variances, they will feel welcomed and cared for. That energy will translate to every interaction that takes place within a workplace context.