Blogs for Culture Vultures

HR Directors, Basil Fawlty and Cultural Training


Some recent findings by The London School of English show language and cultural training are still not getting the attention they deserve within companies today.In fact, the spirit of Basil Fawlty seems to live on within some British businesses!

Despite the Government pinning hopes on UK PLC exporting, it brings into question whether UK companies are thinking globally and making the effort to understand their target cultures, or whether they are instead relying on the rest of the world to think and act like them?

The findings suggest that, "UK-based businesses could be risking international growth by failing to invest in cross-cultural and communications training."

The results spwan from research carried out that questioned 100 HR directors on their attitudes towards communication skills and their approach to training.

These centenary research results show a shocking lacking of regard for our international business partners,” says Timothy Blake, Chief Executive of the London School of English. “The Brits may be reluctant to learn other languages, but this research suggests that we are not even prepared to invest in understanding the cultures they work with."

Headline findings in the report include:

•    98% of HR Directors believed their non-native English speakers should communicate effectively in English.
•    Although 67% of those questioned believed that it was “very important” for business people to have a good cultural understanding of their trading partners; only 23% would offer training.
•    Only 4% believed the “Basil Fawlty” approach of speaking “more loudly” would be effective in communicating with non-native English speakers.

Worrying stuff isnt it?

Cultural training has fantastic benefits for international staff. It's helps them to get the best out of their relationships and to maximise their business outputs.  Ignoring it, or failing to appreciate its importance, demonstrates a lack of business insight. 

If you're not of this ilk and see the importance of cultural training for your staff then why not enrol them on our fantastic Cultural Competency Online Training course?  Jam packed with insightful and practical direction, this course will ensure your staff navigate cross cutlural and multicultural interactions with confidence and credibility.  

by +Neil Payne

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