If communication is a critical component of an employee’s job description, companies may choose to offer onsite training as part of an overall professional development benefits package. In order to ensure that these voluntary programs are perceived in the best light, trainers and Human Resources consultants must consider several factors including the employee’s:
- Personality and customary communication style
- Gender and age
- Level of responsibility within the organization
- Preferred learning style
Other recommendations for handling this potentially sensitive area are as follows:
- Handle dialogues about accent and communication with sensitivity and tact.
- Help employees recognize that communication is a core competency for many job descriptions, and reassure candidates that they are not being singled out for their ethnic or cultural background.
- Discuss how offering this training is part of a diversity initiative to increase awareness and acceptance of communication differences, while facilitating effective and respectful interactions among colleagues, customers, and others.
- Present the program as an optional professional development opportunity.
- Encourage employees to speak with others who have participated in similar programs to get a sense of how it has helped them in the workplace.
When presented as a positive professional development opportunity, most employees are more than willing to actively participate in these programs to help further their career and enhance their daily interpersonal communication.
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