The Next Generation of Talent: Multi-faceted, Localized Training for a Global Workforce

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This month RWS Language Solutions was pleased to attend the BCF Annual Networking Event for coatings and chemicals industry professionals and the CIPD Learning and Development Conference. At both events, training the next generation of talent was a key topic of conversation. In this blog we review the latest approaches to training, including how we can support content localization for a global workforce.

A lot of organizational learning is still highly focused on face-to-face courses. RWS Language Solutions has been providing translation of multi-language classroom training materials for many years. We provide advice on partnering with a translation company and consult on drafting source content with translation in mind. Dedicated account teams, streamlined processes and an efficient post-translation review process ensures we deliver high-quality content in a timely manner.

However, there is no doubt that the future of online learning is one of massive growth. It is believed that education will continue to turn away from teacher/trainer-focused learning towards a community-based, knowledge-sharing learning approach. Learning content must be in place to allow learners to develop their knowledge and skills in their own language. The online content we translate can be as simple as written information, or involve a host of multimedia content such as videos, interactive quizzes, games, online assessments, live classrooms, surveys and questionnaires, checklists, infographics and podcasts.

It is common knowledge that people learn best in a series of short learning sessions with gaps in between them, rather than one long, set piece of learning. Spaced, repetitive learning works because each recall session activates the learner’s short-term memory, while also fixing it in the long-term memory. At RWS Language Solutions we have noticed that compliance training is one area in particular where this has proved popular and effective. It enables organizations to break down what is often technical and potentially boring learning into small, manageable chunks. This makes the learning both more accessible and memorable for learners.

As learner engagement steps to the fore, gamification is becoming a popular way to space learning. It is believed that video games are the most effective training tool, with completion rates much higher than traditional e-learning. Recently RWS Language Solutions helped a client to localize a ‘purposeful play’ game product for on-site visiting customers in 32 languages (for 42 markets). Other games could be used to develop business acumen, customer service, leadership and team management skills.

Last but not least, online learning is also social learning. Virtual Learning Environments (VLEs) allow for ease of collaboration and the exchange of ideas, while peer discussion in group forums reinforces learning and aids memory. This develops communication and teamwork skills and can increase social cohesion within groups. But if you believe that communication in a virtual meeting will flow without providing interpreting support when people have different levels of understanding and ability to express themselves in a language that is not their native tongue, you better think again!


To find out more about our specialist language services for learning and training, please visit our website or contact us today.

Managing your EWC Effectively

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All over Europe, thousands of colleagues are discussing company developments at their European Works Council. While our specialist interpreting teams keep up with technology and terminology, participants need to keep up with trends and training to maximize the effectiveness of their EWC.

A European Works Council is a valuable way for senior management and employee representatives to consult on major developments. This interaction though requires considerable investment including venue hire, travel expenses, interpreters and time spent away from normal operations. It makes sense to ensure both the management team and the employee representatives are equipped to make the most of their meetings. Indeed the EWC directive itself indicates members have the right to receive training and expert advice to help them carry out their work and ensure that consultation is effective and efficient.

Lisa Wilson, an Interpreting Manager at RWS Language Solutions comments, “Currently we are seeing a strong trend for companies to offer additional training around their current EWC meeting, typically adding on an extra day at the start or end of the existing event. It works well as the interpreting team know the delegates and company terminology and all the technical equipment is already on-site, a considerable saving on the costs of an additional meeting. We can also translate any documentation alongside the main meeting presentations allowing clients to benefit from volume discounts using our specialist translation software. We hear very positive feedback from the delegates who appreciate this training; this is good for everyone involved as it makes processes more effective.”

Philip Sack, Director of ProVizon, a provider of bespoke EWC training, has been advising companies on this area since 2005 and recommends, “An agreed training programme should cover the areas appropriate to each individual European Works Council and those needs will change over time. It’s important to work with your chosen trainer to design a highly interactive programme so that participants find it interesting and stimulating, and can put into practice what they are learning.”

Training might cover a number of areas – a newly created European Works Council or an existing EWC with several newly elected representatives may need instruction on the purpose of the EWC; the roles of the employee chair, select committee and individual representatives and how they carry these out effectively. Additional background training might include looking in detail at the timings and information needed for the information and consultation process including the use of expert advisers or the legal background to the EWC directive, national legislation or their own EWC agreement.

Training might be around practical points about how to conduct a meeting well. A well-organized meeting will see the chair of the employee representatives come to the meeting with a prepared agenda, which gives time to allow all countries to talk about developments and raise questions. This is then used to create a summary of points and questions for management who in turn need to allocate time to consider the points raised and come back with meaningful responses and actions. Following on from the meeting, participants need to know how to handle confidential information and how to make the most of reporting back to employees and local works councils to raise awareness and interest amongst the wider workforce.

Training might also include updates for example changes to the EWC brought about by corporate restructuring or how the meeting might be affected by politico-economic factors for instance the implications of Brexit for EWCs and for UK representatives.

Since the establishment of the EU’s European Works Councils directive, over one thousand EWCs have been created. Twenty thousand people are directly involved in actively contributing to them while millions more are involved in receiving news from the colleagues who represent them. Given the numbers involved, investment in training is essential to ensure that company developments are negotiated effectively and communicated clearly.