Effective communication and aligned online training is pivotal for business success

by | Jun 4, 2013 | Articles

With more than 20 different languages among our staff and operations in nearly 80 countries, experience has shown me that effective communication and aligned online training across borders is pivotal for business success.

It not only helps boost business productivity and empower the pool of talent within the organisation, but is a vital source of competitive advantage with today’s borderless workforce.

Today, important elements of capability building include building a culture of open communication and creating a consistent, standardised online training environment. Capability development is the number one issue driving business growth, but this cannot be achieved without a proper communication skills strategy.

The most impressive example of this is Rakuten, the Japanese-based e-commerce giant which operates in 13 countries, in more than a dozen languages. The management team there have tackled the corporate communication skills gap with a programme called Englishnization, which not only improved communication and Business English skills, but also helped to propel the organisation into the ranks of global expansion.

Organisations like Rakuten are already realising significant business benefits across nearly every skills area through improved communications and this is echoed in a recent Towards Maturity survey shows that there is almost four times as much e-enablement of language training in 2012 compared to 2010.

Lagging behind

Having said this, too many organisations are still retaining local ‘silos’ of learning, training and development,  which require more effort and financial investment than moving to one cloud-based solution. Local silos hamper organisations’ efforts to act globally, impede communication and eventually fail to leverage the benefits of the internet economy because they are operating in local pockets to suit local needs.

Social networking and mobile learning technology are also underutilised by too many organisations. It’s revolutionising the way we communicate, however we still have a long way to go when it comes to using new technology for learning. Our own research shows 63 percent of respondents allow and/or provide mobile at work, but only 27 percent of this group actually use it for learning.

Research by Towards Maturity and Gartner further indicates that only the top quartile of organisations are using mobile technology for learning  – and it is also not exclusively for large-scale corporate training either. The adoption rate of social learning is similarly lacking. The Gartner study also shows that ‘social is yet to be socialised’ and that social software has yet to achieve any significant adoption in performance or learning.

Change is inevitable so embrace it

As the pace of innovation continues to accelerate in the ever-changing ‘borderless’ workplace, the need to empower employees with the right business communication skills is becoming more crucial to the success of capability development. These changes will challenge traditional, silo-based approaches to learning and development, as well as assumptions about the role of mobile technology and social learning. Organisations already operating in the cloud are in a better position to retain talent, reduce the cost of new hires and increase the value of their internal talent pool, all of which will inevitably reflect positively on the bottom line.

Armin Hopp is the founder and president of Speexx, online corporate language training providers. For more information, visit www.speexx.com

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