Cultural focus at JLG

By Euan Youdale20 November 2012

JLG Industries has piloted an online cross-cultural training programme that teaches cultural sensitivity and awareness, and aims to enhance internationsal business skills.

CultureWizard was put to the test on the US-based company's third-quarter intake of interns. “It helps employees better understand cultures around the world, including social and business practices, so they can work together more effectively to serve our customers,” explains Michael Kannisto, JLG director of talent management and talent acquisition.

One of the interns, Stephanie Song, added, “The programme also helps you learn about yourself, your personality and your own culture; why you do the things you do and how that knowledge can improve both your personal and your professional relationships with individuals from other countries.”

A China native, Song is based in JLG’s human resources department and helped roll out CultureWizard to her fellow interns. “I was particularly interested in the programme’s culture calculator, which helps you identify your personal preferences; what you value in your life and your work and how that compares to others in your home country, as well as more than 125 other cultures.

“In my case, it helped me recognise the differences between the Chinese and American cultures, including business protocols and behaviors, and adjust some of my behaviors so I can work more effectively with Americans.”

Kannisto concluded, “We’re really trying to demonstrate a continued and interested presence in the communities where we do business.

"From a recruiting perspective, we try to identify local workers for jobs in our facilities. But we also work hard to be a good corporate citizen, supporting local events and a variety of community service projects. Exposing our interns to these experiences is another important way to teach them about JLG and the work we do.”

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