In a recent survey of organizations which have operations globally, it was found that 85% of the sample translated their E-learning courses into up to 10 different languages, with a majority of them having used up to 2 languages. Thus, multi-national organizations have not only adopted e-learning as an important method of training their global workforce, but also ensured they were being translated into the language of their target audience. To know more about the survey and result, please download the free ebook on “Cross-Cultural E-learning”.
On one hand, the world is witnessing an enormous surge in terms of ‘transnational’ investments, takeovers and mergers, with the world’s Fortune 500 pulling an average of 40% of their revenues from non-domestic markets.
E-learning provides options for organizations to train large number of employees within short span of time. Therefore, it is not surprising that e-learning is being used as one of the training methods by most multinational organizations these days. In fact, we have recently conducted a study of about 100 global organizations and 86 of them indicated that they use e-learning as one of their training strategies. A whooping third of them developed more than 10 e-learning courses last year as a part of their training initiatives.
Diversifying into new geographical locations can be an exciting phase in the growth of an organization, but it also brings with it, added responsibilities and challenges. One of them is training of the globally diversified workforce according to the organization’s requirements.
Recently, a client of ours requested us to translate an eLearning course originally developed in English, into French, German and Mandarin. The content was rich in graphics and visualization, and was developed with a lot of interactive features. Encouraged by the positive response that the course received, the client wanted their employees in other countries to benefit from the course as well-hence, the request for translation into multiple languages.
Lifestyles and culture vary from place to place and so do the people and their way of perceiving matters. You train your employees in English, as all your employees are comfortable with the language. Do you still need to consider translating and localizing your eLearning courses? YES. Here are some reasons why:
Companies operating in more than one country often have to factor for the cultural and linguistic differences of individuals they deal with. They need to translate and localize marketing or communication collaterals to suit the target audience. The same is true with eLearning courses as well. A course meant for the American employees may not be appropriate for their workforce who is located in say Malaysia or Japan. There are many reasons for it. Some of them are as follows:
Companies are increasingly making attempts to go global. It suggests that every company, however insular it is in the domestic conditions, will be affected by the developments and external influences that occur in its field. So, it would be better for you to be prepared for these developments by making yourself globally competitive.
Sometimes, while conferencing with geographically-challenged clients and staff, it makes me wonder whether they really listen and understand all that’s being said. It could be that despite the most creative and effective sales pitch to our prospective clients, they may be least interested in listening. Why? Perhaps, lack of personal connectivity is the answer.
During a teleconference, the listener at the other end has only to listen and throw in a few queries to the speaker. The listener plays no active role in the conversation. At such times, he or she may feel bored with all that listening. In fact, research shows that 80% of leads that marketers pitch to the clients go straight into the bin. The most effective way to resolve this issue is via the technology of webinars.
Wikipedia defines a webinar as a kind of web conferencing for conducting live meetings, trainings and presentations via the Internet. The host connects with the participants for web conferencing via the Internet, allows them to participate in discussions, QA session and more. It is a two-way web conference having interactive elements like polling, QA sessions – enabling complete contribution between the two parties. The main advantage of holding webinars is the convenience of time and location of the presenter and audience.
Some of the easy ways to ensure creative ideas and profitable outcomes while using webinar technology are:
- Make it visually appealing by using charts, audio, presentations, photos, and graphics. These elements build interest in the subject, emphasize your point and send the right message to your participants.
- Chat with your users. Don’t just talk, talk, and talk. Involve your clients in discussions, Q&As and idea generation by encouraging participation through chats. A lively webinar spells success for business.
- If you write what you say, it will engage the participants to a great extent.
- Keep your webinar short, crisp, with loads of audience interactions and Q&A time.
Key benefits of webinars are:
- Reduction in travel time and expenses
- Improved communication
- Large audience reach
- Real time feedback
Communication is an extremely important aspect of business. Gaps in communicating during sales pitch to the client will bring about unfortunate results. The advent of webinars offer every corporate broad opportunities to express their ideas, not just clearly but also in the most creative and innovative manner.
Do share your thoughts on the same.
When you go global with your business, it is important that the product you market blends with the intended country. Suppose you create courseware for Company X, based in France in French. Company X also has its presence in Germany and Japan. The company wants to train its employees on the same course across various locations. Will the courseware created in French help German or Japanese employees? Obviously not. So, how will Company X train its employees in Germany and Japan on the same course?