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2017 -2018 Cross-Cultural Training Trends


With 2017 flying by and 2018 fast approaching, the team at Commisceo Global have decided to share a snapshot of some of the cross-cultural training trends we have witnessed so far this year.

Remember this is only what we have seen as a company, not what the whole cross-cultural training sector is experiencing.


Cultural Training

  • Asian cultural training requests have increased significantly with India taking the lead.
  • The UAE is still seeing a lot of activity in terms of companies using it as a stepping stone into the region.
  • Cultural training requests in the UK have slumped dramatically in the UK which seems to be driven by Brexit economic uncertainty. We anticipate this changing in 2018 however, as multinationals headquartered in the UK companies relocate key staff to other European offices.


Bitesize Training

  • The shift towards ‘bitesize’ or ‘lunchtime’ cultural training via webinar (which was first highlighted by Commisceo as a potential trend in 2012) is now surging forwards and we are increasingly asked to provide short snapshot cultural training which won’t have too dramatic an impact on the productivity of a delegate’s core day.
  • Clients typically accept that they will only receive high-level messages and not the detailed direction needed to make robust and truly beneficial changes within one’s role.


Online Training

  • An increasing number of our clients request the platforms to engage in cultural training in their own time and from their own devices.  As such, 2017 has seen a significant increase in requests for online training.
  • Online / eLearning cultural training has been a burgeoning medium for a number of years now and will only continue in demand.
  • We have not seen the same demand for online training within countries that emphasise relationships and trust.  Companies from within such countries (i.e. the Middle East, Africa and Asia) are still typically opting for face to face cultural training.



  • With demands for online cultural training increasing, so too have requests for ‘online cultural games’. 
  • Clients see the value in introducing games to the online training platform. 
  • This applies particularly to new start-ups which, in our experience, often have a younger employee base.


Translation and Adaptation

  • Many companies have moved away from the standardisation of training materials for international offices and now localize their training materials as a prerequisite to distribution.
  • As globalization accelerates, clients increasingly see the value in delivering employee engagement through meaningful localization changes.
  • Along with other peers within the cultural training industry, requests for the translation and adaptation of cultural training courses have increased dramatically.


So, what do we see as cross-cultural training trends leading into 2018?

We envisage a continued increase in demand for:

  1. Online cultural training - whether webinar or static / off the shelf courses
  2. Bitesize training with the need for speed and easy accessibility as the driving force
  3. Training material translation and adaptation as the perceived value of localization increases
  4. Relocation cultural training for those companies exiting the UK
  5. Face to face training for companies within Asia

We also anticipate that the training industry as a whole – not just those in cultural training - will need to further streamline fees where possible as demand for online / bitesize training often goes hand in hand with a demand for fee reductions.


Please let us know what you think – how do your experiences marry with ours?  Is there anything you have witnessed in the training industry that we have not experienced to the same degree?

We welcome your comments or Tweet us your thoughts.

Photo by Chase Clark on Unsplash

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