Developing cross-cultural competences for UTZ management and employees
How can we develop cross-cultural competences for our UTZ management and employees?
An overall restructuring of the organization is taking place. A survey amongst all employees of UTZ led to the request and need for a training on intercultural communication and more intercultural awareness as different styles in communication and value orientations arise at times, in specific about direct and indirect ways of communicating, on task/goal oriented focus or relationship focus, to illustrate as example that came out of the survey.
In order to prevent further (minor) tension, friction and confusion from happening and improve skills of the staff of UTZ on dealing effectively and productively with cross cultural differences, expert advice from a specialized intercultural training organization / expert was asked.
About the organization
UTZ is a non-profit organization aiming to create a world where sustainable farming is the norm. UTZ has the largest certification program for coffee and cocoa and has certification schemes in other commodities including (herbal) tea, rooibos and hazelnuts. The UTZ certified label features on over 20,000 different products across 135 countries.
UTZ consists of approximately 140 employees, of who around 100 are based in headquarters Amsterdam, The Netherlands and around 40 colleagues are based abroad on various continents. Most nationalities in the Amsterdam headquarters are: Dutch, German, French and Latin American. Abroad the nationalities vary from China, Vietnam, India, Kenya, Ethiopia, Ghana, Ivory Coast, Turkey, United States, Nicaragua and Guatemala to name a few.
UTZ consists of four executive directors, responsible of different impact areas. UTZ has 16 executive managers: one manager has a non-Dutch background, the rest of the managers are all Dutch nationals. Twelve teams are overall operational within UTZ.
Diversity Matters offered a training support program to make UTZ a truly international company, with staff able to orient themselves internationally, shift perspective when needed and be effective in their communication across cultures. Diversity Matters offered several consecutive trainings for teams of 12-15 pp. to the international staff over the course of 1 year (2016-2017).
Intercultural Communication – Communication across Cultures
(1 day – max. 12 – 15 pp. employees)
Managing International Teams
(2 days – max. 8 pp. per group)
Making International Teams Work
Reaction of employees and management to the training intervention