Cross-Cultural Training in Singapore

cross cultural training in singapore
In Singapore rules and respect are everything when it comes to doing business.

Singapore is very clean, orderly and extremely business and training friendly. It has a diverse population of about five million, and a business language of English. International organizations do not pay tariffs, and can maintain direct control over their businesses. It is one of the most corruption-free locations in the world. As a result of these positive characteristics, multinational corporations are flocking to this Southeast Asian nation. This country has few natural resources, and is very motivated to build its human resources. The Singaporean government has encouraged the development of an export oriented economy over the last thirty plus years, and has been successful with this policy. This open economy accepts investments from around the world, and has become a financial powerhouse in the region. The government is moving toward developing a higher skilled workforce. Training plays a key role in their plans.

Training costs in Singapore can be slightly higher then in the U.S. Companies that invest in training these highly literate employees have experienced great business success. The Training programs that are in demand include those that address customer service, management development, and communication and presentation skills. Training Challenges Your trainees will expect you to conduct a traditional program, with the trainer providing the class with their expertise through lecture. Although Singapore is a group oriented culture, you should minimize or even avoid small group activities and role plays. Participants don’t want to “stand out” in the class. The trainer is expected to take the lead. As a teacher is a respected figure in the culture your participants will not feel comfortable disagreeing with you. Older students and those with seniority are deferred to and respected as well. Students may censor their thoughts for fear of offending you and their classmates. The trainer should refrain from discussing controversial subjects. In Singapore rules and respect are everything. Chewing gum, littering, spitting, jaywalking, smoking in public, forgetting to flush a toilet, can all cause an individual to incur large fines. The trainer should refrain from discussing controversial subjects. Politics, sex, religion, comments questioning aspects of their culture, should all be avoided. Although English is the language used in business in Singapore, as a trainer you need to be aware of the words that you use in your program. Certain vocabulary and idioms may not be familiar to your program participants. You may also need to slow down the speed of your delivery. Recording a session and analyzing your presentation could help improve your training effectiveness.

Singapore is a country to watch. Companies appreciate its open business climate, literate workforce, and key global location. The value you provide your organization as a global training expert in this part of the world will allow it to be a winner in the global business arena.

Dr. Neil Orkin is president of Global Training Systems. His organization prepares corporate professionals for Global Business Success and cross-cultural management.