Due to globalization, employee mobility has increased immensely during the last decades. On top of corporate relocations, millions of people relocate individually or become global nomads. Consequently, there is a natural need for information on how to go through the transition phase efficiently and adjust quickly to a new culture: professionally and personally.
Communication problems are one of the main challenges that expats, business traveler’s face when moving into a new country. If you add the cross-cultural factor to it, then you have a recipe for disaster. Even international companies becoming conscious of need to offer more support to help their employees improve their communication skills when being relocated and in dealing with international teams and colleagues. In recent years, special attention has been put in the needs of the spouses and relocated children as international relocation failure is very often caused by the lack of adjustment of expat families.
After having spent the last 15 years training expats and their families, I started CountryExperts in order to provide the best possible interventions for relocated managers and their families and individual business travelers dealing with a specific country. Cross-cultural training often has advantages which are mostly valuable in the first 3-6 months after arrival. We can list several advantages of cultural preparation:
1 Decreased culture shock
Culture shock always occurs when experiencing an unfamiliar way of life due to immigration or visit to a new country, or simply when travelling to country with a different culture. These country-oriented courses provide knowledge on particular issues like business, management, leadership, etiquette, negotiations, etc. And it will allow you to get a general understanding of the ethics, morals, values, and work style of a specific country. You will also learn how to manage people, communicate effectively and take organizational culture into account. As a result you will be able to conduct your business more productively and achieve success through a perfect international communication.
2 Stronger teams
Better understanding of mutual expectations creates better results and higher team cohesion. Cross-cultural team building sessions will strengthen trust, respect, and understanding among team members. This kind of training will help improve communication within international teams and decrease the stress level of your employees when dealing with cultural complexity scenario.
3 Easy cross-cultural communications
The courses will help managers, expats and business travelers to negotiate more effectively in new environments. And by doing so you avoid losing money as a result of cultural misunderstandings, and possibly missing out on new international opportunities.
4 Smooth navigation in the target country
In its consultative side, training will address common issues of specific markets and product or services.
5 Cultural training for children and spouses
This training is specially created for children relocating with their parents to a new country. The faster the family positively adapts to a new country, the easier it will be for the relocated employee and the better his/her productivity will be. Since family adjustment is one of most important aspects to be taken into account during the relocation process, it will need to be discussed in more detail in the near future.
As a conclusion I would like to add that it is very important for each individual to feel confident and have enough competence and skills in order to successfully adjust into a new culture. And therefore all the advantages described above will greatly help you to assimilate into a new culture, deal with international collaboration, be a part of your new community and be professional in all cross-cultural communication levels.