What Stands in the Way of a Company Thinking Globally?

In 2008, ASTD partnered with the Institute for Corporate Productivity (i4cp) to better understand the challenges in today’s workforce due to globalization. The Study identified the four most widely cited barriers that keep the learning function from being deeply involved in international operations: budgetary constraints, not enough staff to conduct training, insufficient in-house skills to conduct training, and insufficient involvement of the learning function early enough in expansion. [more]When designing and delivering learning content to a global workforce, a number of complex issues arise. The ASTD/i4cp Study on globally dispersed workforces notes the most widely used practices to overcome those issues: use local subject matter experts have local experts review translated materials avoid the use of colloquialisms but use local data and images. Cultural learning doesn’t begin at headquarters for most companies. Global organizations tend to work harder at familiarizing employees in new regions with overall corporate values than they do at familiarizing headquarter employees with the culture of the new region. The study found that when at least one representative of the learning function joins a project team that focuses on how cultural differences affect management, this activity is associated with higher levels of both success of learning initiatives and the smoothness of the transition to international operations. Source: Learning’s Role in Globally Dispersed Workforces (ASTD/i4cp) Click here to learn more about ASTD Research.

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