As the global workplace continues to evolve, cultural agility is an absolute necessity for strong and healthy collaboration among teams. The key to success is finding a committed and experienced learning partner that will walk alongside you through the journey. After decades of pioneering a new approach to understanding culturally diverse teams and the impact this diversity can have on organizations, we know that finding the right cross-cultural training partner is no easy task—and it’s important to get it right to ensure you’re investing in the right learning journey for your organization. Based on our 30+ years of experience in the cross-cultural field, here are the questions we recommend you ask in your search for a training partner:
Understanding Expertise and Experience:
- What is your background in cultural training? Assess their training experience and ask them to speak to their company’s mission. Companies with a strong mission-driven culture and who are passionate about their clients’ successes are the best long-term partners.
- Can you provide examples of your past work, client success stories, or training evaluations? Ask for case studies, testimonials, or client references to gauge how effective they are in delivering cultural training and meeting goals.
- What is your learning philosophy? Understand their approach to learning to see if it matches your organization’s values and learning objectives.
- Are you able to deliver training in multiple languages and in different countries? Determine if they are able to deliver trainings effectively to your workforce, whether in-person, virtually, or both. It’s important to find a partner that can produce learning experiences consistently across regions and adapt to local environments. (Check out our Global DEI Map to get a peek into the DEI issues relevant in various cultures.)
- What assessments and inventories do you use, and are they statistically valid? Inquire about the specific tools or assessments the partner utilizes, the validity of them, what data would be collected, and their security certifications to ensure the safety of learner data.
Training Approach and Content:
- What methodologies and tools do you use in your cultural training programs? Understand how trainings are structured, how they ensure learner retention over time, how they will help you meet your goals.
- How do you ensure trainings fit the needs of different audiences? Enquire about their ability to tailor programs for different teams, considering roles, backgrounds, locations, and languages spoken.
- Can you address specific challenges our organization faces in cross-cultural communication? Ensure that the training you invest in can target and resolve your organization’s unique hurdles.
- Do you deliver virtual, in-person, and blended learning solutions? Assess their different training modalities and see if they will provide a learning journey for your organization, not just a one-time event.
- What are your trainers’ qualifications? Inquire about the qualifications, experience, cultural expertise, and lived experiences of the trainers who will interact with your teams.
- Do you have trainers with expertise in the locations of our offices? Understand if the partner organization has trainers familiar with the specific cultural nuances and contexts relevant to your office locations.
Measurement and Evaluation:
- How do you measure the effectiveness of your training programs? Understand their metrics for success and how they measure the impact of trainings.
- How can your training solutions integrate within our existing L&D or DEI strategy? See if their learning solutions align with your existing Learning and Development (L&D) or Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) strategies and goals.
Logistics and Support:
- What kind of logistical support do you provide? Discuss aspects like scheduling, locations, technology requirements, and any additional support needed.
- Can you accommodate any specific needs or preferences our organization might have? Ensure flexibility to align with your company’s schedules, languages, or other requirements.
- What does your support team look like? Who will my point of contact be? Understanding the support team structure helps in clarifying the communication channels and knowing who to reach out to with questions or in case of any issues.
Finding the right cultural training partner involves diligent research and asking these critical questions to help your organization reach your goals. By properly evaluating potential partners, you can make an informed decision that drives cultural agility within your organization and amplifies global collaboration and innovation.
Please contact us if you’re interested in partnering with Aperian for your cross-cultural training, and start your organization’s free trial of the Aperian learning platform now to get started on your journey.