Training and develoPMENT in a global economy


By Bill Swan, Principal Consultant

How can a company with a diverse group of people deliver effective training that will meet a variety of learning styles and cultural backgrounds? Improving employee performance, financial results, products, and services is important to all organizations. In the current global economy, there are likely to be a variety of cultural backgrounds, and different people can have different preferences in learning styles. The following are some tips on delivering training to diverse backgrounds.

Strive for training materials free from cultural bias or stereotypes. Consider the following:

  • Training that only references holidays, celebrations, or legal aspects specific to one country can leave a more global audience feeling excluded.
  • Using only all-male pronouns or scenarios in examples or role-playing can alienate employees from more egalitarian cultures.
  • A program focusing on a single communication style may disadvantage some employees. Assertiveness may be the norm in some cultures, whereas an indirect approach is the norm in others.

It is important to provide translation for multiple languages, but also consider communication styles, body language, and perspectives of other regions of the world that your employees represent. To have everyone engaged in the training, considerations must be made to help them be represented in the material. Otherwise, it can come across as “this is meant for someone other than me.”

When a group of people are together, there is a good chance that various learning styles will get better results than one. Consider the following:

  • Using a variety of formats like videos, written materials, interactive exercises, and role-playing activities to cater to visual, auditory, kinesthetic, and other learning styles.
  • Break down complex topics into smaller, bite-sized modules for easier comprehension.
  • Offer online modules or resources that employees can access and complete at their own pace.
  • Incorporate group discussions, team projects, or case studies to engage learners who benefit from social interaction.

If time and resources are available, consider using assessments to identify individual learning styles and tailor the training experience accordingly.

Including employees from diverse backgrounds in designing and developing the training program to ensure its effectiveness and cultural relevance will get the organization better results. Employees helping to change and develop an organization is an effective way to improve engagement and performance, which are often some of the training and development goals.

Gathering feedback from participants to gauge the effectiveness of the training and identify areas for improvement will help to make improvements in future training. Gathering feedback is a good practice, and we encourage it.

By implementing strategies such as these, companies can create a more inclusive and engaging training experience catering to a diverse workforce, maximizing knowledge retention and skill development. Here at FIT, we can help your organization craft training to meet your organization’s objectives. Contact us! We would love to help.