What is competence in personnel development internationally

International personnel development: "Intercultural Awareness"

The more international a company operates, the more often its employees have to cooperate with colleagues from abroad and abroad. Assuming a company has production facilities or sales offices in the USA, India and Poland in addition to Germany, for example, numerous projects are usually carried out in it, in which those involved work in different countries.

Why suppliers follow their customers

The needs of customers also often require cross-border cooperation. For example, if a company supplies car manufacturers with lamps or sensors and these always work internationally, then their supplier must also operate internationally. Only in this way does he stay one attractive partner. The same applies to the suppliers and industrial service providers in other sectors.

Cooperation abroad requires international skills

To achieve this goal, it is not enough to open production facilities and sales offices around the world. Because companies also expect the service they are used to from their suppliers abroad. So they have to have the necessary information there competence build up. That sets you Exchange of experience and information between employees in Germany and abroad. In addition, the Ability of employees be developed for cross-border cooperation.

Multinational trainings: the demand is increasing

Therefore, education providers are more often confronted with inquiries such as:

  • "Can you also train our employees in the Czech Republic and Brazil?"
  • “Do you have coaches that multinational groups can train? "

To this Customer requirement few German training providers have reacted - also because they often register when trying to set up such a pool of employees: In Germany there are few trainers who can train multinational groups.

Because such training places higher demands on a trainer than working with purely German teams. Why? If a trainer works with participants from several countries, he not only has to be technically fit. He still needs other skills. For example, he has to Master the intermediary languagein which the group communicates. Mostly this is English.

Multicultural skills are required

Some trainers answer the question whether they can also train in English: I trust myself to do that. Truly multinational teams are trained, but this is rarely the case in such cases.

Multinational team training is underestimated:

For the pure imparting of technical and product knowledge it is usually sufficient if a trainer has acquired sound foreign language skills during his school days and on vacation trips. But even when it comes to applying product knowledge, more competence is required. Because then will too Attitude and behavioral issues addressed, and in order to work on this, trainers must have an in-depth knowledge "Intercultural Awareness"to have.

What is intercultural awareness?

Under the term "Intercultural Awareness" the experts summarize a bundle of skills. This includes the awareness that people from different cultures are different in the same situations Behavior patterns demonstrate.

Furthermore, that these behavior patterns Expression of values that are constitutive for the society in which the person concerned lives. Strangers usually only learn what values ​​these are after immersing themselves in the relevant culture for a longer period of time.

How can you acquire intercultural awareness?

A trainer cannot acquire the skills required to train multinational groups at a desk. To do this, he must have lived (and worked) abroad for some time. Otherwise he will notice the differences in behavior, but he will not be able to interpret them.

It is correspondingly difficult for him to analyze with the participants in multinational training courses, for example, why the communication does not work - also because the trainer does not know the cultural roots of his own behavior. Therefore, he cannot adequately interpret the behavior of people with a different cultural background.

Personnel concepts have to be adapted culturally

The personnel development departments of many German companies also lack this competence. Your "multicultural competence“Is often lower than that of the specialist departments. In contrast to their colleagues in the purchasing or research department, the HR managers are not forced to communicate with foreign colleagues or suppliers every day. They lack such work contexts.

Important for the personnel development concept of a company:

The HR managers approach the topic cautiously and often hesitantly international or multinational personnel development. Rightly so! Because, for example, the “German” management culture of a company cannot be transferred one-to-one to its foreign subsidiaries, as it contains many culturally determined elements.

  • This starts with the way people lead,
  • continues on the form of cooperation and
  • ends with employees being praised and reprimanded.

Therefore everyone has to Personnel development concept experience a national interpretation.

Our book tip for the topic:

Culture-conscious personnel development in value-oriented companies

Paperback: 352 pages
Publishing company:
VS publishing house for social sciences
eBook: 16,99€

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(This article was updated on January 6, 2017.)

Bernhard Kuntz (born 1958) is the owner of the PR and editorial office Die ProfilBerater. He specializes in marketing and sales as well as human resources and corporate management. He is the author of the educational and consulting marketing books “Selling the Cat in a Sack” (2005) and “Fette Beute for Trainers and Consultants” (2006). He also published the PR guide for service providers and consultants "Why does everyone know him?" (2008) and "With PR to catch customers" (2010).