Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to examine the impact of short training in self-management skills on employees' efficacious beliefs and skills across cultures.Design/methodology/approach – A longitudinal pre-post field investigation repeated measures analysis is used to compare the effectiveness of the self-management training between employees from Australia (individualistic country) and Kenya (collectivistic country).Findings – The results suggest that there is a significant improvement in the learning of skills and efficacious beliefs post-training (24 weeks). However, there are no significant differences in improvement between the two cultures and the training is similarly effective in both cultures.Research limitations/implications – Training focus is based on previous research that is primarily individual focused and further studies need to explore the training ethos. The assessments are developed for the study and need further examination to test their reliability and validity in other contexts. The individualistic and collectivistic criteria are drawn from Hofstede's work and may need further investigation as Hofstede's sample size of the Kenyan population is small. Finally, the results are unique to retail banking.Originality/value – The effectiveness of this low-cost training for enhancing employee efficacy has positive organisational outcomes, especially for those that have a multicultural workforce. It may be particularly useful for organisations in developing countries where cost is of concern.