Whether it’s an office in Milan, a coffee shop in New York, or someone’s kitchen table in Cape Town, many companies have offices, remote-workers, and operations all over the world. Every single employee needs some form of formal training to perform well in their role. The question is: how do you consistently train employees spread out around the world? Here are 5 steps to help you face this uniquely challenging task.
1. Research the Target Audience
Team members operating on a global scale have varying levels of experience, knowledge, and expertise. However, job roles around the world share key capabilities: sales roles require selling skills, managers require leadership skills, and so on. Every learner undertaking an eLearning or blended course wants to gain skills to get better at their job so that they can succeed and progress in their career.
Researching the target audience consists of identifying the shared attributes and needs of your staff, and subsequently the core learning goals of your training. Analysing differences will enable you to identify how the eLearning solution can be localised for maximum relevance in different countries. This research would need to be done in partnership with your client, whether they are internal or external.
2. Use Module Variants
If you create one master version of your eLearning/blended solution, you can then create localised ‘variants’ for each region or country. This saves you from the problems that you would face by allowing separate countries to create their own, in-house solution, and ensures the deployment of a consistent global training.
By using variants, you can condense a month’s worth of work into a week, meaning that when it comes to creating a new variant for a new language and country, only small changes to text and graphics need to be made to allow for localisation.
3. A Picture Speaks a Thousand Words
Relevant imagery is a powerful tool that should be wielded frequently. When used well, images, in addition to words, enhance comprehension and can clarify the subject matter that could otherwise be lost in translation. Whether you need to convey an important health and safety message or highlight a useful shortcut in a new software, images can be more powerful than words.
4. Be Aware of Culturally Sensitive Content
Make sure that you have reviewers from each of the relevant countries to check the learning solution. This will not only ensure the quality of the translation but also help you avoid embarrassing or offensive misunderstandings. It’s best to stay away from the problems that come with inadvertently offensive images or translations.
5. Choose Translatable LMS and eLearning Modules
This might sound like an obvious point: learners must be able to complete training in their mother tongue or at least a language in which they are fluent or almost fluent. There are few things that will shipwreck an eLearning solution as quickly and as effectively as learners being unable to understand the language.
Translation costs need to be considered right at the start of a multilingual training project, or you might end up leaving your project dead in the water. Ideally, you want an LMS and authoring tool that can quickly and effectively translate training content. An end-to-end solution that can translate entire eLearning modules and resources should be a priority for international companies.
Designing, developing and implementing global learning across multiple countries is a major challenge that cannot be fully dealt with in a single post. However, if you keep these 5 principles in mind, you’ll find that the process of creating an effective global eLearning and a blended solution will run much more smoothly.