Master the Art of Cultural Awareness Training with These Eight Tips

Master the Art of Cultural Awareness Training with These Eight Tips

Introduction – When you have a workforce that includes people from different cultural backgrounds, it is important for your employees and managers to be aware of the cultural facts of each and every culture.

What is cultural awareness training?Cultural awareness training equips learners with those skills that will help them to comprehend, work and grow with different cultures, not just their own. It is also known as intercultural, cross-cultural, and cultural competency training and covers training on such diverse topics as cultural values, beliefs, and attitudes, cross-cultural communication techniques, intercultural management skills and business strategies, and many more.

What are the cultural assessment tools? Cultural assessment tools help in measuring a company’s culture, and that is a daunting task in itself. Some criteria can be easily defined, while some others cannot be defined as easily. In order to determine if your cultural awareness training program is working, it is important to measure the progress made by such a training program. Some of the cultural assessment tools are as follows:-

Pulse Checks – These are short questionnaires that help in understanding the company’s base culture and then measuring the progress of cultural change over time.

Knowledge Testing – Knowledge testing, especially after training has been conducted, will help in finding out if the employees have learned new skills or if they need further training.

Self-Assessments – With the help of self-assessments, employees test the new behaviors that they have learned in a safe environment.

Multi-Rater Assessments – Managers, customers, colleagues, and direct reports help in understanding if the new behaviors are deployed at work through multi-rater assessments.

Who provides cultural awareness training? – A Cross-cultural trainer provides training on different cultures, and it is through them that you learn the nitty-gritty of other cultures. For instance, if people from a particular culture prefer handshakes or if managers belonging to a certain culture prefer giving blunt criticisms or constructive criticisms or they like to provide criticisms in an encouraging fashion.

CQ (Cultural Intelligence) versus Cultural Awareness – CQ is what sets you apart in an era of artificial intelligence, technological advancement, and innovation. It helps in assessing and improving cultural effectiveness in an environment where people from diverse cultural backgrounds work together. It is different from cultural awareness as it helps us in strategically using cultural differences to put forward innovative solutions.

3 Areas in your cultural awareness training - Open Access BPO

Now that we know about cultural awareness training, cultural assessment tools, and CQ, let us look at the eight tips that you can use to master the art of Cultural Awareness Training –

Hire the best company culture consultant – Hire the best company culture consultant who determines the sentiments of the employees about the company culture and plans actions based on the information to create the best company culture that becomes the envy of the competitors.

Train employees on the way to act in a culturally uncomfortable situation – Train employees to act in situations that make them uncomfortable in a cultural sense. For instance, you can train employees from Asia to speak out in situations where they normally tend to be silent unless asked to speak or train Americans to provide blunt feedback.

Assess the workforce needs with the help of HR Managers and company culture consultants before designing a training program – Company culture consultants should conduct interviews about cultural issues that are of growing concern to the employees and submit reports to the management to improve the effectiveness of cultural awareness programs.

Develop policies to promote standard company culture and avoid stereotyping – When you are trying to determine the cultural traits of different cultures, the key is to avoid stereotyping or racial discrimination so that you don’t fall into legal trouble. The best thing to do is to work with your company culture consultant and HR to develop policies directed towards developing a composite culture that can be specific to a particular company.

Train employees to retain their own culture – The idea behind cultural awareness training is not to train employees to forget their own culture but to embrace the company culture while retaining their own culture. Your company culture consultant will suggest the same.

Make cultural awareness training a daily practice – There is no point in having cultural awareness training once or twice a year. Rather make cultural awareness training a daily practice to ensure its effectiveness. For instance, include religious holidays of different religions as religious holidays take a significant amount of a person’s time.

Training Goals should be crystal clear – Decide on the training materials and tools after a thorough consideration of the goals of the cultural awareness training program. Only then can you ensure its success.

Include All levels in your cultural awareness training – Strive to get support from all levels, starting from the top management, as you need access to training materials for your constituents so as to master the art of cultural awareness training. Remember, “Patience is the key to success,” and you should have patience at all times, no matter what.

Conclusion – Having a proper cultural awareness training program in place is extremely important when you have a culturally diverse workforce. However, equally important is to know these above-mentioned eight tips to master the art of cultural awareness training to develop a composite culture in your organization.

Melissa Rogers

Melissa Rogers