Cartus spearheads employee awareness programs through volunteer lunchtime multicultural awareness programs.
By Margery Weinstein
Cartus Corporation employees work from service centers worldwide to support customers transitioning not only to foreign countries but also to unfamiliar cultures. Effective support of Cartus clients’ international assignees requires its employees to have intercultural awareness/skills and requires diversity in both hiring and employee development.
In addition, Cartus serves clients through global virtual teams, making effective communication between its own offices essential. To encourage effective communication and excellent customer support, the Danbury Diversity & Inclusion Council spearheads employee awareness programs locally and globally through volunteer lunchtime multicultural awareness programs.
Here are the details on this program and how Cartus rolled it out:
The Council was founded in 2003 with Kevin Kelleher, president and CEO of Cartus, as its ongoing chairman. This group has been active in promoting awareness of cultural and national differences through ongoing educational programs and targeted initiatives (such as a Diversity Cookbook and Diversity Calendars). The council started as a national council and was expanded globally to include Singapore and the UK in 2008.
At the root of the Lunch & Learn Awareness sessions is the desire to share and learn about other cultures. These low-cost sessions leverage the first-hand experience of Cartus employees who have lived and worked in many cultures. The intercultural understanding these sessions promote increases each employee’s appreciation of the cultural diversity represented in Cartus customers and in fellow employees supporting international assignees.
By design, these sessions are not overly formal. Instead, they allow Cartus employees to present their own view of the relevant cultural issues in a country or region in a flexible format. Employees discuss everything from geography and history to food, religion, and social customs.
Last year, Cartus employees educated its staff on Latin America, France, China, Germany, Japan, India, the Ukraine, and Croatia, some of the most common destinations for customers that Cartus employees support in preparing for international assignments.
To reach the broadest possible audience, live presentations also are shared through Webconferencing to the company’s regional offices. Additionally, recordings are made available on Cartus’ intranet for replay at each employee’s convenience.
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