Monday, July 17, 2006

Improved Cross-cultural Communication Increases Productivity

A recent study by Accenture found that lack of cross cultural understanding is hindering effective global sourcing. Accenture is increasingly using global delivery of IT solutions. The highlights of the study is given below. One can read the entire survey results here.

A study based on survey of 200 US business executives found that:

  • 66% of the respondents had experienced miscommunication issues with their global sourcing partners
  • Offering cross-cultural training to their employees reduced the number of instances of miscommunications
  • Executives believe adopting cross-cultural communication training programs can increase productivity by 26 percent, on average.
Main factors causing problems between onshore and offshore workers are:
  • Different communications styles (76 percent)
  • Different approaches to completing tasks (53 percent)
  • Different attitudes toward conflict (44 percent)
  • Different decision-making styles (44 percent).

The survey also found that providing cross-cultural training resulted in lower attrition, increase in employee morale and higher productivity.

Closing Thoughts

Having a global delivery team increases cultural diversity, but diversity creates communication problems. To overcome such problems, employees must be trained in cross-cultural communication skills and global soft skills as these skills are essential for success in a global project delivery.

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