Speexx, the leading global provider of online communication skills training, has called for global organisations to capitalise on greater talent development and mobility. In support of this practice, Speexx is offering a number of free online resources to HR and L&D professionals worldwide.
According to Speexx, the challenge now for global organisations is to re-examine their talent management strategy and to ensure that training investment is in line with their long-term workforce skills requirements.
Organisations seeking a competitive edge have already recognised the distinct link between strong communication skills, staff retention and boosting overall business productivity and are fast incorporating language learning within their talent management strategy. The Speexx audit confirms that 88 percent of organisations consider communication to be significant for business success. The Towards Maturity 2012-13 Benchmark Survey also echoed a surge in the uptake of language learning, with around 43 percent of organisations e-enabling foreign language training, a staggering 350 percent more than two years ago.
The top Speexx recommendations when reviewing workforce development include:
1. Balancing budget with benefits of e-learning: Organisations are faced with investing the right proportion of their L&D budgets in e-learning. This means not simply ‘throwing money’ at new technologies, but carefully calculating an appropriate budget, complementing it with a hands-on, long-term strategy aimed at ensuring maximum usage by staff in order to achieve optimum learning targets.
2. Moving towards the cloud: 41 percent of organisations are still using a local LMS. This means there is a significant gap between the opportunities offered by technology and its actual usage. Organisations need to find innovative ways to step outside traditional ‘silos’ of local training in order to embrace a global approach, with the aim to offer students a truly empowered learning experience.
3. Embracing mobile devices: Mobile devices are an invaluable way for providing flexible, on-demand access to essential learning information to a user anytime, anywhere. Although learning solutions available on smartphones and tablets promise to revolutionise training delivery, the survey revealed that while 63 percent of organisations provide mobile devices at work, only 27 percent of these actually offer mobile learning. This means that unless organisations adopt a collaborative, adaptable approach to social and mobile learning, end users will remain disadvantaged and unable to enjoy the benefits of a fully integrated solution.
4. Business alignment and long-term tactics to strengthen performance: Learning through a combination of regular assessments and review of competency levels with instructor-led support has been proven to ensure continuous skills enhancement. Integrated learning systems provide a sticky productivity tool that can be used even after a course ends and also improve ROI on existing learning infrastructures. This may include templates, such as email communication, customer presentations and dictionaries with work-specific terms. All of these will support the application of such skills in the longer term.
5. Communication skills are not just about vocabulary or grammar exercises. It is about tailoring training to an organisation’s individual circumstances. A course involving any form of communication empowerment initiative must be aligned to the practical needs of both the business and the user. The upward trend of organisations using language technology is indicative of a global shift in recognising the significant long-term value of enhancing and maintaining communication skills.
Armin Hopp, Founder and President of Speexx, comments: “Communication skills provide the key to breaking down local silos and helping global businesses to collaborate across borders and operate more profitably. By adopting the right talent management strategy, organisations can maintain a stronger, more cohesive workforce and reach out to their staff in more ways than ever before. A highly skills workforce that embraces open communications is more likely to be mobile and responsive to changes at a localised level too.”