In today’s interconnected world, businesses would do well to give serious thought to the notion of cross-cultural training. Cross-cultural training encompasses many distinct yet interconnected educational programs. Each has the overarching goal of fostering understanding among groups that share no common cultural background.
There are many uses for cross-cultural awareness training, which focuses on how culture shows up in the workplace. The focus is on analysing the difficulties that arise from a combination of different cultural norms and practises in the workplace and then finding effective ways to overcome them.
Today’s businesses and corporations often employ people from a wide variety of cultural backgrounds and/or engage in cross-cultural trade. Co-Workers of different backgrounds work together in the same office or across national boundaries. Problems can emerge from a variety of management approaches, preconceptions, decision-making, planning, resolving conflict, and modes of communication.
Businesses and organisations can better tailor training to the needs of their remote workers and enterprise if they have a thorough understanding of what training entails, both the expected and unexpected advantages. It’s not hard to get the training you need; all it takes is a little time spent conducting a TNA (Training Needs Analysis) with an experienced trainer, whether they work for you or not. The first crucial step in any training cycle is the analysis of training needs. Any purported training lacking such direction is doomed to fail due to its incoherence and lack of well-defined goals.
The Next Step is To be Culturally Savvy
Misunderstandings on both a linguistic and cultural level contribute to many of the issues that arise between call centres and their customers. Despite this fact being more and more widely acknowledged by contact centres, cultural awareness continues to take a back seat to language instruction. This isn’t good enough anymore. Customer service representatives should advance their skill sets to better communicate with people of different cultural backgrounds and increase the satisfaction of their clients as a result.
They Need to Develop Their Cultural IQ (CQ)
Successfully interpreting and adapting to new cultural situations is a hallmark of a person with high levels of cultural intelligence. What we mean when we talk about “cultural intelligence” is the set of mental abilities that allow us to understand and interact productively with people from other cultural backgrounds:
Knowledge of one’s own culture and how it shapes one’s behaviour is just as important as knowledge of other cultures when it comes to having cultural intelligence. The ability to recognise and adopt the norms and customs of another culture is a key indicator of cultural intelligence (CQ).
The capacity to acquire knowledge about and interact with other cultures, in addition to the motivation to adapt one’s thought processes and values to match those of the other culture, are all components of cultural intelligence.
Having cultural intelligence means being equipped with the tools necessary for successful communication and interaction in a foreign culture. Skills in these areas are essential for interacting with people from other cultural backgrounds and include communication, interpersonal, empathy, and rapport-building.
Because of how deeply ingrained in a person’s character many behaviours are, improving one’s cultural intelligence in this area is one of the most challenging tasks. To communicate effectively across cultures, one must be able to read the mood of the conversation and act accordingly.
Improve Your Intercultural Communication Skills With Cultural Intelligence
It takes time and effort to learn and develop one’s cultural intelligence to the point where noticeable differences can be observed almost immediately, but it is possible to do so. The following are some helpful suggestions that contact centres can use to begin equipping their staff with the knowledge and abilities necessary to communicate effectively with customers of all cultural backgrounds.
Methods for Enhancing One’s Intercultural IQ
Cultural awareness training should be incorporated into already established programmes at contact centres, using a variety of approaches. First, there must be both universal and specific components to this type of training. Therefore, the training should impart both particular knowledge about a culture and a more general understanding of culture and its impact on behaviour.
It is important to implement experiential methods so that workers can learn from doing. The best way to teach is to let students do it themselves, so this is the best way to teach. As a final point, it’s important to spend some time delving into “critical incident” studies, as doing so helps students develop their ability to problem-solve and observe in real-world contexts.
Certain activities should be required of all employees as part of their ongoing personal development and skill training in addition to cultural awareness training. Training in these areas includes communication, empathy, relationship building, observational and responsiveness skills, and the modification of particular attitudes and behaviours. Individualised practice requires not only constant interaction with individuals from various cultures but also the capacity to reflect on one’s own experiences in the workplace.
The training manager must provide long-term preparation and employee engagement incentives in addition to providing constant support and assessment of individual progress. Many call centres have a serious problem with employee turnover. When these issues arise in a country, measures must be taken to incentivize the best employees and reward them regularly. In the long run, this will ensure that workers remain loyal to the company.
Qualities of a Culturally Intelligent Person
So, what does someone who is culturally savvy look like? Individuals who can provide evidence of cultural intelligence are likely to exhibit several traits, including:
- Affective factors and dedication
- Compassion and awareness
- Ability to question the veracity of generalizations Openness and lack of prejudice
- Understanding of cultural norms and differences
- knowledge of cultural influences on behaviour
- Superb abilities in talking to and understanding others
- Cultural awareness and the ability to interpret subtle social cues
- Adaptability, or the capacity to alter one’s behaviour in response to novel circumstances
Understanding Another Culture and Its Language Are Only Two Components of Cultural Intelligence
Successful cross-cultural communication and interaction depend on the ability to recognise and adjust to differences in individual and cultural behaviour. By incorporating such a strategy into existing training programs, businesses can begin fixing the communication issues that plague so many companies and increase the likelihood that callers will feel their issues were understood and resolved to their satisfaction.
Improving cultural intelligence may not be the magic bullet the outsourced call centre needs to get back on track. While this won’t solve all of the problems that arise when a customer contacts a service representative, it will go a long way toward solving them. When it comes to offshore training, businesses must realise that doing nothing is not an option.
As the sector develops, we all must improve our knowledge of what factors affect the results of customer experience in a contact centre setting. The assured higher levels of client service, enhanced rates of client satisfaction, and, inevitably, the anticipated cost savings can only be realised by recognising the communication problems facing offshore call centres. Visit IconAF’s website to view an example of a telemarketing company that has implemented cross-cultural training which will inevitably increase the quality of service to their clientele.