Global expansion is a strategic objective for many businesses and a reality for others. Having business locations in numerous regions helps increase business reach, influence as well as revenues while bringing diverse perspectives and values into the mix. Here arise the challenges associated with the global workforce management, with staff education and training as the key one. The timely review of staff education challenges for the global businesses is vital to keep the systems, productivity and company’s products and services’ quality consistent across the regions.

Since an increasing number of businesses are hiring people from across the world, educating and training staff has become a huge challenge as the global workforce needs global training, education and development strategies. Aside from that, the businesses must adopt the optimal strategy to balance the learning requirements of their global staff with the company’s own specific interests, needs and budgets.

Staff Education Challenges are Leading to Global Training Need

If you have ever worked at a multi-national business, you must have an idea of what global training is. While this term is self-explanatory, there is a significant difference if compared with the online or on-site learning. The differentiation lies in a fact that your educational and training material and strategies must be developed to cater a broad and diverse audience, unlike a particular staff group or workforce demographic[1].

When teams are made of employees from across the world, the business’s global training and development strategies must be attuned to meet the learning needs of all those learners. This is the area where challenges arise in designing an effective, comprehensive and advanced educational and training approach for a global, diverse business’s workforce.

Challenges Involved in Global Business’s Staff Education & Training

  1. Linguistic Diversity

Language barrier is the most commonly cited challenge when it comes to staff education challenges for a global business. In Europe, more than 230 languages are spoken, while in Africa, more than 2,000 languages are there with varied dialects leading to diverse connotations even among the regions speaking the same language[2].

How to Overcome this Challenge?

To overcome this staff education challenge, it is useful to hire some employees from the specific areas, speaking both the native language and the language used in most of the business’s training and educational content. These employees are helpful for translating or reorganizing the content, training a newly hired workforce for a specific area, and responding to local customers’ calls[3].

  1. Cultural Challenges

Since the global business has staff from different regions, it also has various cultures simultaneously. Cultural differences make it hard for the businesses and their human resource personnel to determine the expectations and motivations of the employees[4]. Something appreciated in one culture might be disregarded in another.

How to Overcome this Challenge?

There are cross-cultural communication and business ethic courses that are helpful in educating, training and developing staff belonging to different countries. Having a profound understanding of the cultural values and norms and customizing education and training to incorporate those, can help make training even more effective than simply trying to translate and apply existing training manuals and guides.

  1. High Educational & Training Costs

Before expanding across the borders, it is critically important for the business to know that training global staff is much costlier than training a local team consisting of people from same demographics. A lot of businesses allocate a fraction of their budget for cross-border staff education and training, which leads to affected workforce competency, issues in staff retention and lower productivity in the newly acquired location[5].

How to Overcome this Challenge?

Restructure the training programs with cultural customs, language and effective metaphors in consideration. The training programs must have the ability to be clearly conveyed online or via travelling staff training team.

  1. Not Enough Technological Infrastructure

Using online training model might seem an advanced and effective way for training global staff; however, it needs complete understanding of the technology infrastructure in the region. Not all regions are technologically advanced nor all employees come from advance technology background[6]. Hence staff access to the training content might be confined to what is given at the company.

How to Overcome this Challenge?

It is mandatory to educate staff about using the new devices and technology to have more comprehensive, faster and enriched learning experience. Let your training team encourage the staff to use new devices and technology for learning and communication.

Is Online Learning the Solution to Staff Education Challenges for Global Business?

The answer is Yes and No, both. Yes because Learning Management System (LMS) eases the learning process, and No because it is not a magic. For instance, having an LMS may save huge training costs. Rather than sending business trainers across the regions, or assimilating learners at a common place, a business can shift all its training on a centralized location, online. When it comes to staff education challenges for global business, an LMS can solve problems with time, location and sometimes language too[7].

An LMS also helps scale business’s training content and lets businesses track the training completion, certificate issuance and learners’ progress easily and instantly. However, having an LMS doesn’t imply that you will address each and every staff member’s learning needs fully, nor does it guarantee you to make your training content more effective. It does offer, though, a benefit by offering a medium to easily approach your global staff.

Looking Ahead

Addressing the staff education challenges in a global business with 100% accuracy is not possible. However, when you devise your global training strategy, always consider three important things in mind; your learners, your resources and the role of your staff education and training team.

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