Cross-cultural courtesy: A guide to business etiquette
As an organization grows, it becomes increasingly likely that its employees will interact with people from different countries and cultures. Your company may have offices overseas, or you may do business with customers and vendors abroad. Even when everyone shares a common language and business goal, cultural conflicts and misunderstandings can occur. It might not be possible to avoid all incidents of miscommunication, but a little preparation and training can go a long way to prevent major problems.
If you have ever been on a conference call with people from more than one country, chances are you noticed the conversation can be somewhat stilted at times. Lacking body language and in-person cues, it is even harder to negotiate differences in what makes acceptable small talk, for example. Meetings and business meals can present their own challenges. Being clear and direct might be appreciated in one culture, yet seen as rude and offensive in another.
Smart organizations address the problem by providing intercultural sensitivity training. This type of training lends itself quite well to eLearning, where users can consider scenarios and learn how to manage them.
Because the material can be sensitive, management should fully vet the course ahead of time. A single, standardized eLearning course is often a safer training model to use than hiring a team of instructors to deliver sensitive material in a closed classroom setting.
SS&C Learning Institute offers offers hundreds of highly regarded online courses for financial professionals, including a course called Business Etiquette which addresses the challenges that can arise when people from different cultures interact in a business setting. The course can be easily customized to address issues specific to your organization.
Contact a learning specialist from SS&C Learning Institute to find out how this course can be deployed on its own or with a curriculum of lesson modules to meet your organization's training goals. For more information you can download our brochures or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.