Mubarak is a Sales Manager at Babbel for Business and has regular discussions with customers about the challenges their company is facing. As a result, there’s no one better placed to identify common problem areas for companies looking for a digital language solution. From miscommunication in meetings to a lack of confidence interacting with colleagues, some of the reasons for language learning can be so subtle you might not even notice they exist.
We asked Mubarak to explain how digital language learning can target and rectify these areas, as well as how management can ensure their newly implemented digital language tools are utilized in a way that’s beneficial.
Challenge 1: Internal Communication
Especially in the DACH region, companies employ a diverse range of employees that come from all around the world. But alongside their wealth of experience and perspectives, an international workforce brings with it some difficulties.
Mubarak says that companies with a multilingual workforce often experience challenges with communication. For example, some German employees might not be comfortable speaking English with their international peers. With that comes a reluctance to speak up in company meetings and a tendency to be less confident on phone calls. Not only that, but there could be miscommunication between colleagues which might lead to mistakes that are expensive to rectify.
Mubarak says that in order for company communication to be effective and productive in an international office, employees need to be confident in speaking more than one language.
Babbel’s digital learning app includes speech recognition software so employees can practice speaking on their own to gain confidence. Babbel for Business also offers companies the opportunity to provide group or 1:1 video lessons to their employees so that they can practice speaking and listening and get conversational.
Challenge 2: External Communication
Mubarak says that employees who aren’t confident in speaking the language of their customers, business partners, or other stakeholders might be less effective at negotiating and fail to get the best prices, miss out on a good deal, or fail to close a sale.
For example, it might be the role of an employee to negotiate prices with external suppliers. Negotiation takes practice and technique, so confidence in speaking is absolutely crucial, as misunderstandings could be very expensive for your company.
Babbel offers a unique teaching methodology with lessons designed to tackle the very same problem areas your employees may be struggling with. This includes conversation practice that prepares learners for real-life scenarios, anchored in language that’s specific to your industry. For example, our Business English course tackles the nuances needed to negotiate effectively, while our bite-size industry-specific lessons cover the vocabulary needed to apply it to your field of expertise.
Challenge 3: Low Engagement and Motivation
Mubarak says there are many companies that previously offered classroom lessons that are looking for a more effective solution. Some companies found their employees did not engage and skipped lessons when urgent work commitments came up, and some didn’t complete the course at all. Understandably, companies may be concerned that the same will happen when they introduce Babbel to their team.
But Mubarak explains that many employees are much more likely to engage with a digital product rather than in-person lessons. Digital classes enable learners to learn when it suits them best, fit short lessons into busy schedules, and choose the content that is most relevant to them. Additionally, classroom lessons are less desirable as people continue to work from home and avoid being in enclosed group spaces.
Furthermore, your company will have access to a dedicated Babbel for Business account manager to help onboard your team and give you the tools to motivate your employees. Besides a large amount of motivational material, learning paths are available to offer guidance to learners. You’ll also receive usage reports at the end of each quarter to understand better the habits of your learners so you can check on their motivation and provide tactical boosts where necessary.
Challenge 4: Lack of Flexibility
Mubarak says that some companies find it particularly challenging to implement classroom lessons, especially when employees work in customer-facing roles and in shifts. It’s almost impossible to get everyone in the same place at the same time, and therefore a digital solution is a more viable option.
With Babbel, these employees can learn a language at their own convenience, perhaps on their lunch break or on their way to work. Our lessons take 15 minutes to complete for optimum flexibility, and your company pays just one price for company-wide access.This is less expensive than classroom lessons, where teachers are hired by the hour and work spaces and writing materials must be paid for.
Challenge 5: Lack of Personal Touch
In classroom lessons, everyone is learning the same thing at the same level. It can lead to some of the less experienced learners feeling left behind, or some of the more confident learners feeling bored. Mubarak says that many companies want a personalized learning experience, where each person is in control of their own progress.
For example, some team leads want a specific member of their team to progress at a certain rate to fulfill an important aspect of their role. It’s hard to accomplish this with classroom lessons.
With Babbel, learners can choose their level and target the areas they need to work on. Babbel for Business offers 1:1 video lessons with a professional teacher to practice their conversation skills and apply what they’ve learned to everyday life.
Challenge 6: Slow Progress
Some learning managers are wary of the process being too slow with classroom lessons. Completing a module with classroom lessons can take 6–8 weeks of two lessons per week, which is enough time for motivation to flag and for learners to lose interest.
With Babbel, learners can fast-track their progress as and when they want to. As a learning manager, you can keep track of your employees motivation with our quarterly reports, meaning you can step in with some motivating prompts when necessary. You can learn more about these in this blog post.
In what circumstances might Babbel not be the right fit?
When your company employs a young, tech-savvy, and international workforce, a digital learning offering is a great solution. But what if your workforce isn’t comfortable learning via app? In this case there’s a chance they might feel more motivated and learn better in a classroom environment.
On the other hand, introducing Babbel might be a great way to get your employees more comfortable with technology! So the decision is in your hands.
Interested in finding out how your company can overcome a specific challenge? Feel free to get in touch with the Babbel for Business team.