Pre-Departure/Post-Arrival Cultural Training
Intercultural training is a practical and beneficial preparatory step, prior to an international assignment. In demystifying the host country culture and preparing transferees and their families for life in their new home, intercultural training has proven to dramatically increase the chances of assignment success and transferee adjustment and satisfaction.
Bridges offers fully-customized personal cross-cultural training on the impact of culture, effective global communication skills, international negotiations, international management skills, culture shock, and family adjustment issues, as well as country-specific business and social etiquette. Training can be held prior to departure to the host country or on arrival.
Training may include:
- Fully customized training sessions, conducted at the transferee’s place of work, home or temporary accommodation in either their home or host country.
- An introduction to how ‘cultural programming’ shapes attitudes and values, and how these inform preconceptions and behavior.
- Strategies for managing cross-cultural adjustment — tuition in mechanisms for being receptive to new cultures and adapting to different environments.
- Detailed information on the drivers of culture and behavior in the host country, delivered by one or more specialists in the host country culture. This includes up-to-date profiles and protocols, including guidance on how to behave in specific work and social situations.
- Business Behavior Briefings, providing tips on how to relate successfully to colleagues, clients and suppliers in the host country.
- Where feasible, a practical question and answer session, with a professional person of the same nationality as the transferee, who has lived in the host country.
- Language training for transferees and their families where required, either as a stand-alone service or as part of intercultural training
Our innovative Children's/Youth Cross Cultural Training programs are designed and aimed at children and teenagers who will be relocating with their parents.
The aim of the program is to involve the children of the family in the relocation process and to help minimise the negative effects of culture shock. The programs are orientated in style and content to issues facing the younger members of the family.
The Youth Cross Cultural Training course seeks to help by:
- Exciting children about the relocation process.
- Helping them understand their role in the relocation.
- Introducing them to the target destination.
- Giving them practical information on life in the new country.
- Providing them with coping strategies to employ when missing home.
- Encouraging them to embrace the new culture.
The youth program is aimed at children aged between 7 and 18. It is typically administered over a day, but can also be integrated with language training over a longer period of time. Each programme is tailored to the client’s particular needs and delivered by a cross cultural consultant with experience in training or teaching children or teenagers.
Repatriation programs enable the returning expatriate employees and their families to understand the psychological, cultural, workplace, and social issues involved in repatriation. The return home often causes more difficulty than the adjustment that was made to the new culture. This difficulty is caused by several factors, but the most important one is that the returnee is not expecting any difficulties in adjusting to a culture which is his or her own. This unforseen difficulty manifests itself in what is called “reentry shock” or “reverse culture shock”.
The program can usually be completed in a one-day session. The employees and their families should be involved in the repatriation program as it is important to deal with the workplace and cultural issues as well as the family issues.
Family issues involve the adjustment of the spouse and children. These issues include education, reentering the workplace, reentry shock for small children and teenagers, change in social status, reestablishing a home, reestablishing relationships with friends and family, and others.
The workplace and cultural issues involve adapting to a new and different working and home country environment, changes in technology, politics, corporate culture, personnel and others.
Working Across Borders
Many companies are working beyond their national borders. Are these companies global in their mindset and approach? The single most unique challenge of globalization is managing the myriad work and management styles companies face across geographies, businesses, functions and projects.
When global work styles clash, organizations can become dysfunctional and productivity suffers. These clashes can cause social distance, which results in lower performance and lost revenues. Managers who are attuned to global work style differences can develop effective strategies to minimize the risks and maximize the opportunities present in the global marketplace.
Culture is not the problem. The problem is that business objectives are not met!
The aim of this workshop is to help participants reduce the likelihood of these negatives happening by showing how to become more aware of other cultures’ perceptions and behavioural “norms” in order to create rapport quickly, communicate better and interact flexibly. The emphasis is on establishing credibility with your global partners, communicating with virtual teams, and understanding cultural differences.
Service Across Culture
Globalization, technological and transportation accessibility have made it easier, more convenient, less expensive and more profitable for international organizations to expand their businesses globally to service more customers across many cultures and languages.
Service providers working with customers from a range of cultural backgrounds often experience:
- Difficulties in establishing trust, credibility and rapport - elements which are critical in customer servicing.
- Concern that they may unwittingly be culturally insensitive.
- Confusion about how to cater to customer needs from other cultures.
This workshop is designed to aid service staff in developing the awareness, competencies and skills required to service multicultural customers. Our goal is to help customer service providers to understand and manage cultural differences in their everyday work. The program covers key issues essential to effective interaction with customers from various backgrounds.
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