Moving to a new country often reveals a skills gap which needs to be addressed. This might mean taking steps to improve a language or learn about the cultural nuances of your new location. However, it may be challenging to find the right training course to match your requirements. This is often the case during the busy period leading up to a move and where ideally a Global Mobility programme should involve partners and children whenever possible.
Recent advances in technology could provide a solution to training needs through remote delivery. A variety of different methods including: e-learning courses over the internet, live webinars, live face-to-face internet training and pre-prepared, tailored podcasts are available on many topics now.
Forward thinking training organisations are now also providing bespoke content through web-based platforms and some corporate organisations are beginning to include these methods of delivery as part of a blended learning offering to staff, or as a complete solution. As most people are familiar with using the internet, they are comfortable with receiving information in this way.
These developments can therefore be helpful to expatriates, as they can now access remote training from anywhere in the world.
There are further benefits of remote delivery of training in terms of potential cost savings and the increased flexibility relating to session timing and content. This is because the internet allows the facility for both one-to-one and groups, where participants and the trainer can be geographically separated, to receive training at the same time.
Participants can work with a trainer individually or in groups and feedback can be provided at the touch of a button, all as if the participant was in the same location as the trainer and the other participants. This could be particularly advantageous with staff teams whose members work in different offices around the globe and where it would be difficult to bring them together for traditional classroom based training.
Online training also provides easy access to the very best trainers -- regardless of their location -- as it removes the need for trainers to travel. This means trainers and sessions can also be more flexible with respect to availability, which can be at a premium for leading trainers in any field.
Geographically dispersed people can access the same training programme as those based close to a training facility. Similarly, people can gain access to the same calibre of quality training that may have only been previously available to those within a reasonable vicinity.
Due to the widespread use of Wi-Fi, it is possible to undertake training wherever there is access to a computer -- this could be at home, in the office, or taking advantage of downtime during a stay at a hotel for example. Again this can be helpful in involving the family, even after they have arrived in their new location.
The other growth area is the provision of training using a podcast format. This allows people to access training in specific modules in their own time and review the learning as many times as they need. Small on-line, self-assessed questionnaires can be built into modules, or at the end of the series, to test knowledge retention.
Podcasts allow the same training message to reach a large number of people, across a variety of platforms, such as i-phone, Blackberry or memory sticks -- where people may not have easy access to internet connectivity.
For example, Farnham Castle recently produced a tailored podcast series for staff on an oil rig, ensuring everyone could benefit from the intercultural programme created. Podcasts can also be accessed through company intranets allowing employees to receive valuable information and advice at a time to suit their own schedule.
Due to the elimination of the cost of venue hire and travel expenses, remote training has far less impact on any training budget, allowing essential training to become as accessible as possible. From an environmental perspective, using technology in this way also reduces the impact related to unnecessary travel which should also be a concern for every member of society in today's world.
Remote training has many advantages for the expatriate and the developments in technology over the past few years have begun to allow this new and exciting method of training to deliver. Moving to a new country is exciting, and yet at the same time can be stressful and challenging. The right training delivered at the right time, can help the smooth integration into a new culture and now this can be accessed remotely from anywhere across the globe.
Jeff Toms, Marketing and Client Services Director at Farnham Castle
For further information on remote training for expatriates and available programmes, please visit: www.farnhamcastle.com