Environment and Climate Change Canada

Supporting and motivating workers to achieve true bilingualism with Babbel

About the customer

The Meteorological Service of Canada is a division of the government department Environment and Climate Change Canada, which primarily provides public meteorological information, weather forecasts, and warnings of severe weather and other environmental hazards.
Government Administration
Company Size:
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The challenge

As a bilingual country, Canada encourages its public service employees to speak both English and French. However, much of their workforce was not fluent in both languages. The Meteorological Service of Canada knew they needed to improve their communication efforts in both languages to provide better service to their clients. 

We spoke to Serge Desjardins, a senior manager in the division, whose goal was to offer employees the chance to learn either French or English in an easy and effective way. The team also needed a flexible learning solution since a large number of employees are shift workers who can’t attend classes at the same time. 

Previously, the Meteorological Service of Canada had been offering weekly group classes and an intensive 6-24 month training. However, these were expensive, and therefore only available to a limited number of employees. The company wanted to keep these options available for advanced training, but required a solution that would give more employees the chance to get started at the beginner’s level. 

Plus, a large number of employees are shift workers who can’t all attend classes at the same time. The team needed a more cost-effective and flexible language training method that could work with different schedules.

Why Babbel?

When Desjardins came across Babbel, he found it to be exactly what he was looking for. Access to Babbel’s language learning platform, which includes individual and group learning options, meant that shift workers could learn when and how it suited them best. And each employee could start their language learning journey at the right level for them.

“Learners can be exposed to their new language every day, even just for 15 minutes, which can be more effective than a one-hour class once per week.”

Serge Desjardins, senior manager at Environment and Climate Change Canada

Babbel’s weekly usage reports allowed Serge to see how much time every learner spends on the platform and how many lessons they complete. With this information, he came up with innovative ways to motivate his team to learn as much as possible and make the most out of their learning experience.

The team also had a target of completing at least 30 minutes of learning per week; if they didn’t complete the minimum time consistently, they risked losing their license. This gave his learners a realistic, achievable goal every week and kept the number of inactive licenses low.

So far, Serge’s efforts have paid off: His team loves the gamification and he’s seen everyone improve their language skills in record time! The group completed over 4,500 lessons and spent over 1,100 hours learning with Babbel in the past year.

“I’ve never seen so many employees learning French at the same time by putting in minutes here and there. This was my goal, to expose as many employees as possible to the other language.”

The feedback from the learners at The Meteorological Service of Canada was positive as well. They felt motivated to learn and enjoyed Serge’s competitive element. One employee shared that he could already understand grammar, read sentences, and felt that he was really progressing in his learning.

Many shift workers appreciate the ease and flexibility of the classes and use their breaks, for instance, to learn with Babbel. “Seeing shift workers highly engaged is a success for me,” Serge said. 

Babbel for Business was soon rolled out to other divisions across the country and was praised as an excellent language learning tool for members of the Federal Service.

See how Babbel for Business can help your company

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