My field of work is within the Hospitality Industry. Currently, I work for a online travel agency called Booking.com. During my one year tenure with the company, I have attended many training sessions with the company. All of the trainings are geared towards development in my position of Account Manager. A lot of the objectives taught in these courses are topics I am aware of, and some of these topics have been covered in previous trainings with other Hospitality companies I have been employed at in the last ten years. What makes the training so different?
Prior to Booking.com, I worked for several Hotel Chains in various management roles, including Holiday Inn, Kimpton Hotels, Coast Hotels, and Delta Hotels. When we completed trainings with these companies, the trainings were done primarily internally. The environment was safe as you often knew every other participant. The material was easy to comprehend as we were all from the same work culture.
Booking.com is very similar, however, the trainings are very different for one main reason: Multiculturalism. Booking.com is a global company. The company now has over 115 offices worldwide. Recently, I was sent to our Headquarters in Amsterdam, Netherlands for a training with the objective of how to become a better Account Manager. This was my first taste at the international aspect of our company, but was not the first time I had seen multiculturalism in our training environment. All of my other trainings up to this point, had been in North America, in areas such as San Francisco, Orlando, New York and Toronto. Even in those trainings, you really noticed how the instructors needed to adapt their delivery based off the different cultures.
Back in Amsterdam, I walked into a room and met a class with attendants from Italy, Brazil, France, Turkey, Germany, Philippines, Thailand, Tokyo, Australia, Austria, Portugal. Immediately, you began to understand that we were all in attendance to learn the same topics, but that due to the diverse cultures in the room, the instructors were going to need to adapt their instructional strategies. The first awareness was that English was not the primary language of over 80% of the class. The instructors had to find new ways to demonstrate new leanings. With this, they also created activities to ensure that participation was had by everyone. They also had an increased awareness of the cultural differences in the room and allowed for accommodation of the different cultural biases that may come up.
Allow an extreme example of multiculturalism, it is certainly something that can occur in a workplace or classroom setting. It is important that as instructors we are aware of multiculturalism and how it can impact not only the way we teach, but the way in which our students learn.
By taking the PIDP program, I am hoping to be able to either do corporate training with my current company or teach Hospitality. In both scenarios, multiculturalism is very much evident as Hospitality is a global industry and therefore, my future students can come from many diverse cultures. How to incorporate these and embrace these within a classroom setting is a growing trend in my industry.