SunRice | Cultural Intelligence Training | Communities | Sustainability | SunRice
Aina Davis

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Cultural Intelligence Training

As we continue to expand our global footprint, SunRice is broadening our cultural intelligence training across the leadership group. The continued development and expansion of this important program will ensure 100 of our most senior leaders are aligned and leading by example consistently across the company, encouraging an inclusive and respectful culture in every interaction we have.

The expansion is based on our experience from our subsidiary, Trukai in PNG, where we have been conducting Cultural Intelligence training for expatriate and international employees for many years. With the opening of our new Vietnam Mill, it is taking the initiative company-wide, with the aim of setting up local employee life-cycle models in all its future foreign operations as part of its strategy to cement a sustainable global supply chain.

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The training aims to help participants integrate into a new local culture, through education on social and cultural norms of the country, basic language, regional behaviours, meeting protocols, leadership structures and communication options and styles, all in the overarching context of SunRice’s values.

With the opening of our new Vietnam Mill, this training forms a key component of our integration into the region and is critical for our senior leaders taking on new roles. Dean Fraser, newly appointed Head of Manufacturing for the mill, is responsible for running the operation for processing paddy rice to finished goods rice for export.

Dean completed the cultural intelligence program for a second time ahead of taking on his new role and understands the value of this training and shared cultural understanding.

“I did a couple of sessions several years ago at Trukai,” Dean said. “The training helped me understand how different problems and situations might be approached by employees in PNG.

“Because of the training I knew what to look out for, it gave me more awareness of others and different behaviours and an understanding that ‘just because it was different, it didn’t mean it was wrong’. It helped me be more patient in taking the time to understand other people’s perspective, rather than getting impatient or being dismissive.

“The training also helped our PNG people understand where expats were coming from in their approach.”

This training is just as important as any other training otherwise a lot of opportunities could be missed through lack of understanding and confusion,” Dean said.

As part of our leadership development, we conduct 360-degree surveys which enables leaders to assess themselves on how culturally adaptable they are and also to receive feedback from peers and team members. They are rated on their willingness to adapt and fit in and the process is designed to foster self-awareness and identify gaps that may require more work.

The cultural intelligence training forms part of our Sustainability Charter which was endorsed by the SunRice Board in 2017.

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