International Training Bounces Back: Tips for Effective Global Training

It had been a quiet couple of years for in-person training, with COVID forcing almost all development activities to virtual and e-learning since 2020.  But 2023 has brought a resurgence in live, in-person training both domestically and internationally.  Organizations are looking to rebuild a sense of community and individuals are craving a greater sense of connectivity with colleagues.  Especially in the case of crucial soft skills, the ability to bring people together in a physical space has generated both productivity and a sense of belonging.   

Many of TRACOM’s larger clients run SOCIAL STYLE on a global scale with sessions and content in dozens of languages.  We’ve built a network of outstanding partners who help us cover the globe on behalf of our clients.  I recently spoke with Tom Hallett, managing director of Excel Communications, a UK-based consultancy about their experiences with global training delivery and he echoed many of the themes we’re hearing from other partners around the world.   

“Successful international training needs all the same elements as any training; it must be engaging, relevant and immediately applicable so that it sticks,” said Tom.  “With an international audience the key is to be both consistent, to enhance your global culture and capability, whilst allowing it to be tailored regionally to meet local norms and ways of working.” 

Excel has 55 expert trainers, facilitators & coaches worldwide.  They bring a huge amount of experience from a variety of industries and professional development topics.  Their training team operate all over the world and can deliver programs in over 12 languages including English, French, Spanish, German, Portuguese, Italian & Japanese.    

Tom says they’ve identified several key attributes for successful global training and he shares them here: 

Native language vs English 

  • Using your people’s native language will almost always make learning more effective.  However, for multi-national groups there is often the need to compromise to a common language; one idea for this situation may be to run a training in English while providing materials in a language of their choice. 

Balance virtual with in-person.   

  • Smart businesses are approaching the blend of virtual and in-person learning pragmatically.  Some skills can be learned just as effectively online as in-person and it is more budget and environmentally friendly.  Yet, you can’t fully replicate the experience of the training room, so when designing your learning plans, finding the balance between the two is critical both for your learners and your bottom line!  

Have a solid training plan, share it and execute it. 

  • Your training plan needs to really be based on a learning needs analysis so you know what you want to achieve.  Make sure your people know why they are going on a training program and what they will get out of it. Deliver training with expert trainers who have the knowledge and expertise to adapt the training to the needs of the people in the room (virtual or in-person).  When possible, use a blended approach of pre-work, virtual prep, live delivery and on-demand resources.  And it’s very important to get feedback and update for next time! 

TRACOM has built out an industry-leading network of global associates.  With more than 200 worldwide Associates, we can deliver in almost any country and many languages.  We also offer more than 20 international languages for our assessments and profile reports.  Plus the SOCIAL STYLE Passport is a powerful tool to understand how your Style may be seen in dozens of countries based on their own local norms and behavioral patterns.  Learn more about TRACOM’s international capabilities here.