On Wednesday morning, the Lloydminster Economic Development Corporation (LED) will conduct a 50 Shades of Beige: Communicate with the Cross-Cultural Advantage workshop at the Lloydminster Golf and Curling Centre.
The event, which features Tina Varughese as a guest speaker, runs from 7:30 to 10 a.m. and includes breakfast. Varughese will discuss the meaning and importance of cross-cultural communication between employers and employees in a working environment.
“Employee attraction, even in this (economic) time, is really important,” said Katlin Ducherer, manager events and business development, LED. “And at this time, it’s not so much about attraction, but retention, and how it’s important to keep the workers that you have or need.”
The LED has sold around 30 tickets for Wednesday, which Ducherer said is somewhat disappointing.
“I think it has a little bit to do with personal development being cut from people’s budgets with economic status right now,” she said.
But Varughese, president of the tWorks company in Calgary that specializes in cross-cultural communication, said she believes that strong organizations and individuals actually thrive during economic downturns.
“They recognize that investing in professional development cultivates a culture of confidence so that when the economy improves they have a competitive edge,” she said. “Cross-cultural communication impacts recruitment, retention, employee engagement and global business development. It’s no longer a nicety, but necessity in business.”
Some of the key takeaways from the breakfast will include cultural differences in communication styles, the significance of non-verbal communication and how global companies lose millions of dollars in revenue due to a failure to understand cultural differences.
Varughese is known as a very engaging speaker that often integrates humour into her presentations, which Ducherer says she saw first-hand at a previous conference in Saskatoon.
“When we bring speakers in, we want to make sure there’s a takeaway and that attendees are engaged throughout the whole 60 to 90 minutes that the speaker is speaking,” she said. “Through her presentation, through her charisma and her audio and visuals that she uses, she really kept me engaged and talked about a subject that really needs to be addressed here in Lloydminster, so it was just a really great fit.”
Tickets are on sale for $25 and can be purchased online at www.picatic.com/EARNApril2015.