Offering business language training within your company is an essential goal in employee development. So when it comes to choosing the best corporate language training for you and your business, you want it to accomplish all of your requirements and motivate your employees. But with such a vast amount of business language learning options available, how do you find the right fit for you?
Step 1: Assess your corporate language learning needs
Here at Babbel for Business, our years of experience crafting language courses have taught us that the end is always the best place to start. From a learning perspective, that means determining what you want to get out of it before launching your team into a learning program. But when you’re taking the needs of an entire organization into consideration, this can be easier said than done.
There are a few key steps involved in effectively assessing what your company needs from a language learning solution. To help you get started with determining what will work best for you, we’ve broken these steps down here.
Logistics: Determine “Who?” and “When?”
Which employees will participate in your language learning program? Will the opportunity be made available to all employees or a select group? This information is vital for determining which learning strategy will be best for your team of learners.
Next, you’ll need to determine when the language learning will take place. Is there a specific timeframe for the completion of your course, or will it be made available for users to learn at their own pace? Knowing this will help you streamline your budget planning and make product selection much more straightforward.
Content: Decide “What?” and “Why?”
Now it’s time to decide on the content you’d like users to engage with and the appropriate level of language training intensity.
To help, ask your management why your organization has decided to offer language learning in the first place — is it to help new employees integrate, to strengthen international business relations, or to launch your company in a new territory? Why your employees will be learning goes hand-in-hand with how intense your program will need to be and what content they’ll want to work with.
Accessibility: Decide “Where?” and “How?”
Finally, deciding where and how your employees will be engaging with content will help you determine what type of learning solution you’ll need. Does on-the-fly app usage fit best for your employees, or will regular in-person lessons make more sense?
Step 2: Define which corporate language training strategy is right for you
We’ve defined three straightforward strategies that companies can adopt to help get them on the right language learning path and to ensure long-term success. These outlines were designed to help management teams determine the best corporate language training for their employees based on company requirements and expectations.
Strategy 1: Language learning as a corporate benefit
“Employee benefit” learning strategies work great for organizations that want to make language learning an option for their team, but not mandatory.
As many multilingual teams face integration challenges, companies with employees from abroad often find this to help them settle into their new job and surroundings. Plus, it’s a great employee perk to offer to teams with a personal interest in language learning.
This strategy offers your employees the desired flexible, on-demand learning and access to whatever content they find interesting and relevant to their work at their own pace. And of course, we have a product tip that we think provides the best solution for this strategy: Babbel Professional.
Strategy 2: Language training for casual users
“Group language training” strategies are ideal for organizations with specific yet flexible corporate language learning objectives.
If your team is looking to improve internal communication and access new markets, a casual strategy works well to prepare employees for interactions in a new language and enhance your company’s ability to work in target markets abroad. Management can define benchmark goals that will help guide and monitor learners as they progress while still offering user flexibility.
Strategy 3: Formal language training
“Formal language training” models are designed for organizations with specific, imminent learning objectives.
Some examples include companies with ongoing international expansion, multilingual client bases, or the integration of newly acquired teams from abroad. This is the best solution for companies seeking high-level, monitored progress from language learners, a structured curriculum, and regular daily use. For formal corporate language training, we suggest a blended learning approach, either by adding online language learning to your existing classroom training or by implementing our full digital blended learning solution: Babbel Live or Babbel Intensive.
Step 3: Talk to your employees
Use your company’s existing knowledge. It’s often helpful to interact with employees and find out what’s important and motivating for them — which language course or app they use already, for example, and how their experiences have been.
For online learning, young employees are often quite well-versed and have even used language learning apps such as Babbel already. This knowledge, partnered with a structured analysis of your company’s needs, will make your research a lot more effective.
Step 4: Find the best product fit
At this point, you should have a clear understanding of what you will need in a corporate language training course. The next step is to take enough time to research so that you can be well informed about all existing options.
Read all information and reviews of corporate language learning courses, and contact customer service to obtain a demo version and success stories from long-term customers. Definitely find out what sort of additional offers each provider has available — for example, at Babbel for Business, there is the option to book a blended learning package (with Babbel Live or Babbel Intensive), which combines individual learning in the app with live video lessons with a teacher. This kind of offer is perfect for businesses and adaptive to their needs.
The goal of all of this research should be to find a provider that meets as many of your requirements as possible.
Step 5: Determine what works and what doesn’t
Now you should have a good idea of what products are on offer and the quality of their customer service. Create an overview of your research, and then rank each provider based on how they meet your specific company’s needs. Remember that the quality of the business language training itself is paramount — a slightly higher price may pay higher dividends in the long term.
How to get started with your new corporate language training
You’ve now made it past the biggest and most important hurdle: You’ve chosen the right corporate language training for your business. Now, together with your new provider’s customer service department, it’s time to make the language course available to your employees.
Once they have registered, it’s really time to get going:
- Set team development goals and individual learning incentives
- Arrange “Language Lunches,” film nights (with subtitles), or other fun learning activities
- Keep your employees keen to learn with our learning and motivation tips
To learn more about Babbel for Business’s language learning solution, contact the team today.