7 Tips to Delivering Multilingual Training to your Global Workforce

Is your company really a global company? If you’re not providing multilingual training (i.e. delivering training to employees in their native language), you may not be as global as you think. According to Forbes, a full 65% of those polled say that there is a language barrier between executives or managers and other workers. That’s huge. That means need-to-know information isn’t moving up or down the pipeline.

In a global economy where ex-pats move across international borders for work, language can be an enormous barrier, or an effective tool. Global competition means that as companies, we need to understand the global market for workers and provide effective training for each of them. One way to do this is to speak their language. Literally.

multilingual training LMS

Benefits of Multilingual Training

Ensuring your workers are trained in their native language has some great benefits—both for them and for your company as a whole:

Fewer Misinterpretations

There are jokes that just don’t translate. That inability to effectively translate doesn’t apply only to jokes though, it also applies to training. Providing native tongue training allows workers to understand the nuances as well as the important points, increasing trainee success and confidence once they are out in the field.

Increased Efficiency and Effectiveness

Workers who know what’s expected of them and when it’s expected, can better gauge their workflow. Part of efficiency is understanding processes and performance expectations. Why not provide that information in a way that all employees can confidently engage with? And part of effectiveness is ensuring workers fully understand their job description. Providing multilingual training is one way companies can support efficiency and effectiveness among their employees.

Increased Engagement

Using native language training allows learners’ brains to focus on content rather than interpretation. When students have to think about content in a non-native way and translate it to their mother tongue, there is more room for translation error. There is also a problem with cognitive load. So much of our finite brain space is taken up by translation, that training takes a literal back seat. Great training reduces cognitive load as much as possible.

Increased Safety

OSHA says 25% of workplace injuries have language barriers as a contributing factor. Not fully understanding training is the first line of misunderstanding and can cost companies dearly. If workers do not fully understand how to keep themselves and others safe, how can they be expected to fully implement a safety training program built around the premise of keeping everyone safe? It can’t happen.

 

Getting Started with Multilingual Training

So, how can your company get started with multilinguistic training?

Ideally, workers would be trained in their native tongue, on every issue. Certainly this could be quite an investment for multilingual companies who do not have a paid interpreter or whose workforce is diverse enough to speak more than two or three different languages.

However, there are a few things we can do to enhance our training, reduce cognitive load, and provide better outcomes for each of our workers. What can we do?

  1. Know your audience. Who are you training? What languages do they speak? Being sensitive to your learners means respecting, not only their culture, but also their language. Keep this in mind as you build training and you’ll start moving toward a positive experience for learners and increasing learner engagement and retention.
  2. Harness technology to create a Multilanguage platform. Our learning management system, Spoke, now speaks 9 languages. We have found that when your content and technology speak the right languages, you have a win-win situation. It’s good for the learner and good for the business.
  3. Start simple. You might have to explain simple phrases, but those explanations will help learners dive deeper and get more meaning out of your training. So make sure to explain and define key phrases or jargon for your industry. Even better if you continuously check in with learners throughout the training to see if they need simplified explanations as you take a deeper dive into content.
  4. Provide training in native languages for all of your employees. We know this is a tall order and a big challenge. Sometimes the keys to the multilinguistic kingdom reside in subtitles. Adding subtitles can offer students the clarity and nuance they need to fully understand content and to build their confidence.
  5. Provide supporting materials in various languages. Best practice means you meet learners where they are. Providing supporting materials in a variety of languages can foster learning and retention. This may take the form of translating job aides, or linking to multilingual resources on the web. These supports can help bolster key nuances that may otherwise be missed.
  6. Reflect the nationalities of your audience. We all want to see people who look like us. That helps us to identify with the message and makes us feel the required skills are attainable. In an effort to help foster these feelings among learners, it’s important to use images of actors who look and sound like your trainees. For video this means hiring actors who reflect your workforce.
  7. Use demonstrations and real-life action to show learners what you want them to learn. Action is the first mode of communication when people do not have a common language. Demonstrations can fill in the gaps if you cannot provide multi-language training.

Recognizing the need for training in multiple languages can be daunting. Often companies know the need exists, but have no idea how to address it. Considering that 84% of people polled agree that that workers are more productive with managers who can speak with them effectively in their native tongue, mother tongue training becomes ever more important. It allows your team to get the nuances of sales procedures, work processes, rights and responsibilities, or HR policies—whatever you want them to know.

We Can Help

At Unboxed Technology, we partner with companies who wish to provide globalized content and technology experiences for their workers, to increase efficiency and maximize their talent. If multilingual training is developed and posted in our learning management system, Spoke, your team could experience fully immersed, native tongue training. Your company can tap into the cultural knowledge, intelligence, creative thinking, and insight of your full team using Spoke, and that is the sweetest interpretation of all.

Social Learning Tools: Debunking the Myths

There’s a lot to consider when creating an effective eLearning course. Which platform do you want to use to build it? Does it need to be mobile responsive? What type of interactivity do you need? Do you need eLearning voice over? The list goes on and on.

When it comes to deciding if you should use eLearning voice over, consider what are the goals you want to achieve and if audio will enhance the learning experience. Voice over is an important element that can help your training feel inclusive and boost engagement and retention.

When you’re ready to think over whether or not you need voice over in your eLearning, consider the following.

 

Think About Accessibility

Arguably the most important piece of the puzzle is whether or not your training needs to be accessible.  If accessibility is a consideration, eLearning voice over is a must. Consider this, roughly 19 percent of the U.S. population has a disability according to the U.S. Census Bureau – that’s nearly 1 in 5 people.

That means, when you consider your workforce, you’ll want to take special care when developing your training to make sure it’s as effective and inclusive of different learning styles and needs as possible. Having narration or eLearning voice over for learners who have vision loss or dyslexia can help ensure everyone has access to the training in a way that’s best for them. For this audience, the audio is exceptionally important because it could be the primary way they’ll consume the information.

Not just that, it’s also required by law in Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act. Even though this law only applies to U.S. Federal Agencies, it is becoming a standard consideration across the L&D industry. So while creating accessible content entails a lot more than just adding audio, it is an important part of the process and one you can’t ignore.

 

Consider Modern Learning Trends

Today’s average learner consumes more information than ever before, using all sorts of technologies and platforms. (think curated news feeds,  AirPods, Google Assitants, etc.). But what does that mean for training?

Your training needs to cater to how modern learner prefers to consume information.

Consider how many of your friends and colleagues listen to podcasts. How does that compare to the number who read newspapers or watch the news regularly? Chances are, podcasts are way more popular. Why is that?

The landscape is changing. The modern learner is tired of old school methods of consuming information. Instead, they prefer to multi-task and consume information on-the-go. By incorporating eLearning voiceover or narration, you’re catering to those who prefer to consume information by listening.

If you can weave short podcasts or other engaging voice over into your eLearning to help it feel sleek, contemporary, and engaging. Your learners will be able to listen to the training during the morning commute or when they’re driving from site to site. It’ll be more efficient for their schedules, more effective, and much more memorable—and being memorable is how you boost retention.

 

Using eLearning Voice Over to Simplify the Complex

The last thing to consider is the complexity of the information you’re teaching. If you’re covering complicated topics or providing detailed directions, using audio can help to simplify and humanize your content.

Think about it. Would you rather read a long drawn-out paragraph about a complicated topic or would you prefer to hear it explained while looking at a visual? Reading long chunks of content is exhausting and the modern learner just isn’t going to do it.

Instead, consider creating a visual to convey part of the information and using voice over as an added layer of detail. It will seem a lot less daunting toy our learners than a big paragraph and we guarantee, if the voice over is written well, it will boost retention.

The more ways you use to convey information, the more likely it is to stick.

Don’t believe us? Read this article about a study where learners were divided into groups: those who watched a silent animation, then heard the narration, those who heard the narration, then watched the animation and those who watched both at the same time. As you can imagine,  the group who did both simultaneously did best.

Is accessibility important in your training? Do you need your training to be easy to access on-the-go? Do you need to convey complex information? If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, eLearning voice over is a must.

Need help strategizing or building the training itself? We can help. With over a decade of experience, we can help identify the perfect blend of modalities for your training needs. We even have relationships with professional voiceover artists who can bring your content to life. Give us a call!

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Spoke Wins Two 2017 Brandon Hall Group Excellence Awards

We’re thrilled to announce Spoke, our next-generation social LMS, won two highly-coveted 2017 Brandon Hall Group Excellence Awards in Technology, including:

  • Gold for Best Advance in Rewards and Recognition Technology, and
  • Bronze for Best Advance in Learning Management Technology.

Brandon Hall awards

The awards recognize two innovative features we added to Spoke in 2017 – Spoke News and Spoke Rewards.

Enterprise organizations using Spoke have measured a 5X increase in training completion and a 2.5X increase in non-required activity since introducing these two new features.

Spoke News

Spoke News helps training leaders improve the execution of training initiatives by using targeted and engaging news articles, notifications, and email newsletters to announce new training content, share company updates, and keep their teams in the know.

Spoke-new-homepage

Spoke Rewards

Spoke Rewards allows employees to earn and redeem Spoke Coins for real-world rewards for completing their assigned training.

Brian Leach“We’re thrilled to add these awards to our growing trophy case,” said Brian Leach, Unboxed’s CEO. “Brandon Hall has long been viewed as the industry experts when it comes to researching the human capital management space, and it’s exciting to receive their recognition for the success our clients are experiencing using our innovative training and technology.”

“Brandon Hall has long been viewed as the industry experts when it comes to researching the human capital management space, and it’s exciting to receive their recognition for the success our clients are experiencing using our innovative training and technology.”

“Human capital management is evolving faster than at any time in its history, and it is powered by innovative technology developed and implemented by organizations big and small,” said Rachel Cooke, Chief Operating Officer of Brandon Hall Group and head of the awards program. “The technology innovators who won Excellence Awards this year were focused on providing users with a better overall experience. That is what our research says employers want, and our award winners are leading the way.”

Mike Cooke, Chief Executive Officer of Brandon Hall Group, said, “Our technology award winners are truly outstanding and set a high bar for others. We have learned a great deal from what they have accomplished. The awards programs supplement our quantitative research in providing our team with unique insights to share with our members and clients.”

A panel of veteran, independent senior industry experts, and Brandon Hall Group senior analysts and executives evaluated award entries based upon the following criteria:

  • Product: What was the product’s breakthrough innovation?
  • Unique differentiators: What makes the product unique and how does it differ from any competing products?
  • Value proposition: What problem does the product solve and/or what need does this product address?
  • Measurable results: What are the benefits customers can expect to experience as a result of using this product?

Meet Spoke

Want to get a personal tour of Spoke News, Spoke Rewards, and everything else that makes Spoke a next-generation LMS, reach out!

About Brandon Hall Group, Inc.

With more than 10,000 clients globally and 25 years of delivering world class research and advisory services, Brandon Hall Group is the most well-known and established research organization in the performance improvement industry. We conduct research that drives performance, and provides strategic insights for executives and practitioners responsible for growth and business results.

Brandon Hall Group has an extensive repository of thought leadership, research and expertise in Learning and Development, Talent Management, Leadership Development, Talent Acquisition and Human Resources. At the core of our offerings is a Membership Program that Empowers Excellence Through Content, Collaboration and Community. Our members have access to research that helps them make the right decisions about people, processes, and systems, combined with research-powered advisory services customized to their needs.

Empower Social and Collaborative Learning With Spoke Community

If you’ve ever used social media to ask for advice, you know how powerful it is to get just-in-time feedback that helps you accomplish your goal. Whether you’re trying to find a great plumber or get restaurant recommendations, social, collaborative learning gets the job done.

In your professional career, it’s no different. You and your employees often rely on ad hoc, informal best practice sharing to excel in your work and delight your customers. That’s why ever since the earliest Spoke® designs, we wanted to create a safe place for learners to share and collaborate. Over the years, we’ve seen tens of thousands Spoke Community posts—each one a reflection of the power of collaborative learning.

Even still, we wanted to make Spoke’s Community even better. Watch this quick video to see how the redesigned UI inspires users to share what they know:

Keep reading to learn more about the benefits of social learning.

Embrace collaborative learning, get A Return on Investment

Although some find the benefits of social learning to be self-evident, available research on the topic should interest even the most committed skeptics.

Here’s why: studies indicate social learning encourages employees to have a collaborative mindset, and social learning technology makes it easy for them to help each other. Over time, this leads to greater organizational success and delivers a return on investment.

The Association for Talent Development report Building a Culture of Learning says top companies are almost five times more likely than lower performers to have extensive learning cultures: “In high-performance organizations, employees share knowledge with their colleagues at a rate four times greater than that of workers in lower-performing firms.”

In a Bersin & Associates research bulletin, The Changing Social Learning Landscape: Why You Need a Social LMS, Karen O’Leonard writes, “Today’s workers still need formal training that is built around specific problems and talent needs; however, they also need a complete learning environment that provides support, as well as the ability to collaborate, network and share information to solve problems.”

“At the leading edge of this technology are social learning management system (LMS) solutions that not only embed social learning into the workflow, but also blend different types of social learning such that people are learning from peers and experts in more organic ways than we have seen in the past,” O’Leonard explains.

According to ATD, the type of collaboration made possible by social LMS solutions develops a company’s culture of learning and yields impressive financial benefits. When Rite-Solutions used its social platform to solicit product development ideas, it developed 15 new products that represent 20% of their total revenue.

That’s why the Spoke Community user interface (UI) inspires users to share knowledge, thought leadership, and encouragement in an engaging, respectful way.

collaborative learning with Spoke, by Unboxed Technology

 

Learners, admins, and managers can also share resources and job aids in formats such as Excel and PDF.

Share resources and collaborative learning

Drive continuous learning, promote recognition

To foster a culture of learning, companies must look for ways to drive continuous learning through a variety of formal and informal channels.

Spoke’s Community enables fast feedback and just-in-time training. Plus, the Spoke Community appeals to learners’ curiosity. They want to log in and see what’s new. Why? Spoke’s Community algorithm automatically curates trending content and critical conversations relevant to learners based on their team and permissions. Trending conversations move to the top of the feed so they’re easy to access.

Learners can also filter their feed a few different ways, such as by “My Activity,” “Posts I Follow,” and “People I Follow.” Or, they can go directly to a topic they’re interested in.

enable collaborative learning with Spoke from Unboxed Technology

 

They can also earn Spoke Coins for joining the conversation, completing training, and sharing best practices. Then, they can redeem their coins for tangible Spoke Rewards like company apparel, swag, or even paid time off.

According to ATD’s Building a Culture of Learning report, high-performing companies fuel their learning cultures by:

  • rewarding workers for learning
  • providing tools and resources for creating and sharing learning content
  • making knowledge sharing a performance expectation at all organizational levels

With Spoke Community’s social and collaborative learning and next-level gamification capabilities, companies can easily embrace these best practices.

Simplify administration and moderation

While the advantages of a social LMS outweigh the potential downsides, enabling Spoke’s Community is still optional. Your organization can turn the Community on, or keep it off. Excited about the benefits of social learning, but want to make sure there are safeguards in place? Here are some things you should know.

  1. If you’re an admin or moderator, it’s easy to restrict the ability to comment on a specific Topic or discussion if necessary:
    Don't be afraid of collaborative learning. Spoke let's you enable or disable commenting.
  2. How-to videos, shared in the Community, are a great way to demonstrate behaviors and techniques that drive favorable results. Albert Bandura, the social psychologist who coined the phrase “social learning,” observed that when we watch someone doing something, and then try it ourselves, we’re fairly successful. When admins, leaders, and peers can post how-to videos easily, companies can solve problems faster and be more productive.
  3. Spoke admins can curate Community Topic feeds and Featured Posts. If your company is launching a contest, wants to promote a training course, or needs to drive awareness about an initiative, Spoke admins can easily designate Community Topics and Featured Posts. Community Topics appear in a learner’s left navigation, and Featured Posts appear at the top of a learner’s feed.
Put collaborative learning topics front and center in Spoke using Featured Topics.

With the redesigned UI, it’s easier than ever to administer and moderate the Spoke Community for teams of learners.

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Want to see collaborative learning in action through the redesigned Spoke Community? Contact us. We’d love to show you Spoke can help you train, engage, and reward your teams.

8 Modern LMS Features That Drive Learner Engagement

On the hunt for a new learning management system and interested in modern LMS features?  Based on our experience, any LMS can host your training content, but an LMS with modern features lets learners take training into their own hands. This list includes 8 modern LMS features that will set you and your team up for success.

 

smiling-woman

1. SOCIAL AND COLLABORATIVE LEARNING

Community functions like discussion boards, content ratings, upvoting, and the ability to follow specific users make it easy for learners to collaborate with peers, instructors, and managers long after the training course has ended.

Educational researchers have been touting the benefits of discussion features in online learning for decades now because they allow participants to mindfully reflect on their peers’ contributions before responding—and this type of thoughtful collaboration may be one of the most important elements of effective online training.

Capturing and encouraging conversations that surround your business’ training content and best practices is a powerful way to help your team learn more efficiently and effectively. It also gives you insight into what training content is working (and what’s not).

 

2. INTEGRATED COMMUNICATION TOOLS

The “If you build it, they will come” approach doesn’t work in L&D. Not only do you need to develop great training—you also need an effective communication strategy to let people know there’s exciting new content in their LMS.

It’s more like: “If you build it, market it internally, give learners multiple ways to engage with it, and reward the effort, they will come.” 

That’s why one modern LMS feature on the rise is integrated communication tools. Integrated communication tools allow you to create training alerts on users’ dashboards, send email notifications and newsletters, display pop-up notifications, and even have a news portal where users can quickly see what’s happening in the company.

 

3. REAL-WORLD GAMIFICATION

Don’t think of gamification as a distraction. Instead, think of it as a way to hook learners and get them excited about training. We’ve seen real-world gamification drive results like a 5.5x increase in course completions and nearly a 2x increase daily logins.

Incentives like points, leaderboards, badges, and levels motivate users to engage with your LMS and increase their social capital. They also create friendly competition.

The concept is simple—show people their progress, reward their performance, and they’ll want to do more. Truly modern LMS platforms go the extra mile and allow users to trade in their points for real-world rewards like apparel and company swag.

 

4. BLENDED LEARNING

Blended learning occurs when the best delivery methodologies available for each specific learning objective are incorporated into a curriculum, according to ATD.

And based on our experience, to create a perfectly blended learning experience, you need to let the subject matter inform your modality, embrace learners’ constraints, and choose a learning platform that supports blended learning.

If a learning platform has modern capabilities, its LMS features should supports and encourage blended learning. How? Its user interface should make it easy to upload and complete courses across a variety of modalities—from ILT and VILT to eLearning and interactive learning guides.

 

5. GREAT CONTENT

You can have a platform with every learning management system feature available, but if you fill it with boring, uninspiring content, you’re not going to get very far.

Boring PowerPoint presentations don’t cut it anymore. Your employees can’t learn if they’re sleeping through their training. Training content that gets results is short, personalized, and engaging.

 

6. EASY TO USE

A modern user interface isn’t enough. An LMS with nice visuals can still be a nightmare for learners and administrators to use.

You want an eLearning platform that not only looks great, but is also well organized, easy to access and navigate, and just makes sense for users.

 

7. Integrations

From CRM tools like Salesforce to HR and recruiting systems, you have many software products you already use to manage your day-to-day. Who wants to remember another username and password?

That’s where integrations come in.

When choosing an LMS, consider features like APIs (application program interface) and SSO (single sign-on). APIs, SSO, and other integrations can help you work your eLearning platform into your workflow seamlessly.

 

8. Analytics to prove roi

It’s time to look beyond baseline reporting to help determine ROI. Course completion and pass/fail rates are a good start, but your LMS should deliver other valuable data and insights.

For example, track how popular and helpful discussion threads and resources are. Track course ratings and reviews. And merge your LMS data with other business results like VOC scores (Voice of the Customer), sales, revenue, how long it takes to get new employees up to speed, etc.

Armed with these analytics, you can identify training gaps. You can also see what content and formats resonate most with learners, and use all of these insights to inform how you design your next training module.

 

Put Them All Together

Think finding a single platform with all these LMS features is a pipe dream? It’s not. In fact, we call it Spoke®.

Spoke is a modern learning platform that combines personalized, social, and collaborative learning with real-world gamification and built-in communication tools to keep learners engaged.

How much more engaged? Compared to other leading platforms, companies using Spoke have seen up to:

  • a 5.5X increase in course completions,
  • 3.5x increase in logins, and
  • 2.5x increase in non-required activity

If you’re not seeing those results with your current learning platform, check out Spoke LMS.

 

What LMS Features Matter To Your users?

If you’ve completed your LMS requirements checklist, let us know which of these 8 modern LMS features made it to the top of your must-haves list. What other items did you prioritize? Leave a comment and share your thoughts.

Spoke® Updates: Enhanced Communication Tools

We believe to truly create a culture of learning in your organization, you must train well and communicate well. So, the latest version of Spoke includes enhancements that bridge the gap between training and communication, creating a one-stop-shop for everything employees need to do their job.

Here’s a quick video that highlights the new enhancements.

Want all the juicy details? Keep reading.

Redesigned News

With a completely redesigned News experience for both admins and learners, it’s easier than ever to quickly create and publish targeted, visual news posts to announce new training, share important company updates, and keep teams in the know. Think of it as a well-targeted company blog.

Admins can now:

  • create highly-visual News posts using images, videos, and rich text
  • organize posts using custom categories and tags
  • target posts to specific teams so learners only see content that’s relevant to them
  • prioritize the most important posts using the Spotlight widget on the learner Dashboard, or by marking posts as “Featured” on the News homepage

Learners can now:

  • see the most important updates first in the Spotlight widget on their dashboard and in the new ‘Featured’ section on the News homepage
  • experience highly-visual content on the new News Post page, just like they would with their favorite website or blog
  • mark posts as “Helpful”
  • filter and sort posts based on date, categories, tags, and “Most Helpful”

Here’s a screenshot of the enhanced Spoke News homepage.

Spoke-new-homepage

Email Newsletters & Notifications

This release also brings two new email capabilities that increase training engagement by allowing admins to send compelling, action-oriented emails that encourage your team to return to Spoke to continue training and stay up to date.

Admins can configure a weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly email newsletter that serves as a Spoke digest for all users and are designed to include content and metrics from across Spoke, including:

  • company announcements
  • latest News articles
  • recently added resources
  • a user’s recent activity, training progress, and upcoming training

Plus, users can now receive email notifications whenever admins publish new News posts. The enhanced email notifications for News posts are designed to fit the new look and feel of Spoke’s enhanced News section and ensure everyone gets the just-in-time info they need.

Here’s an example of an email notification from a recently created News post.

Spoke email notification

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Want to see the latest version of Spoke in action? Contact us. We’d love to show you Spoke can help you train, engage, and reward your teams.