When establishing language training opportunities for your employees, it pays to establish an optimal training environment in which every individual feels empowered to grow and succeed. Democratized language training does just that, making it the best way to improve employee language skills.
What is democratized training?
Democratizing language training means ensuring that equal opportunities for professional development are provided to every employee. Online and blended (or hybrid) language learning solutions like Rosetta Stone for Enterprise have enabled organizations to successfully expand training access and accommodate the specific requirements, schedule, work model, and location of each employee. At a time when more and more employees are adopting a hybrid model or working remotely, it’s important for employees to be able to tap into training on a convenient schedule and from any location. But being able to access learning does not fully satisfy the concept of democratized training.
What are the components of a truly democratized training program?
In order to reach a point where training is truly universal, two things are important: to democratize knowledge so that information is accessible to all employees, and democratize learning so that the training process is accessible to all employees. When both conditions are satisfied, professional development programs provide strong outcomes for both employees and organizations.
Setting the stage for optimal language skills development
Internal talent development is increasingly cited as a priority for business leaders. A recent LinkedIn Learning Workplace Learning Report shows that 64 percent of L&D professionals in 2021 reported that their CEOs were active champions of learning, a significant rise from 27 percent in 2020.
Despite the concern for ongoing talent development, there is often a discrepancy between the funding allocated for training programs and the provisions put in place to support its successful deployment. As we move away from face-to-face language training towards a more accessible and democratized model, it’s important to build a corporate environment in which employees feel encouraged and supported to develop new skills.
Permitting employees the time to learn
Professional development programs can only truly be considered democratic when every employee is given the resources and space to learn. By featuring training in your employees’ objectives, you allow them to temporarily set aside work, in pursuit of professional development. At a time when face-to-face learning was the only option, this of course happened more naturally, since classes and seminars took place at established times. In an online training environment it is still important for employees to commit to a learning schedule, though it may be one that is conveniently set by each individual.
Research has shown that regular online learning sessions are most beneficial to improving language proficiency, and specifically, that regular learning sessions are more efficient than extensive but irregular engagement. For optimal learning outcomes, many companies who most successfully deploy online language training through Rosetta Stone, require learners to complete 2-3 half-hour sessions per week. In addition to self-paced online study, live tutoring sessions enable learners to consolidate this practice through real time conversation practice. When permitted the time to combine self-paced and live learning as part of their work schedule, employees will become more engaged and more likely to succeed at a rate that will benefit their organization.
Furthermore, the economic benefits of fully supported learning time increase when you consider that a break in routine work can often fuel productivity by providing an alternative outlet for creativity and thinking. Just as taking a midday walk or workout can fuel employee output, language learning can have a positive impact by forcing a productive shift in focus.
Recognizing and rewarding success
Organizations that are fully committed to democratizing and sustaining language learning may even want to consider including it as part of their employees’ key performance objectives (KPIs) or job description. This can pay off in multiple ways, not only in terms of improved workflow and customer relations, but by improving employee satisfaction and retention. To this point, results from a study conducted by Gallup in 2021 demonstrates the degree to which employees value professional development opportunities and are more likely to remain in a company that offers them: 73 percent of those surveyed stated that training opportunities increased their job satisfaction, and just under half confirmed that they would consider changing companies for more development opportunities.
This all sounds simple, but it requires a commitment on the part of company leaders and managers to fostering employee development. When employees are publically recognized for their achievements, other coworkers are encouraged to strive for the same level of success. This can involve spotlighting employees in company newsletters, or finding ways to reward their achievements through promotions or other incentives. Both internal and global mobility can do wonders for employee engagement, and can have equally rewarding results in terms of business growth.
Establishing a development mindset
Lastly, in addition to having the space and context for learning, employees need encouragement in developing a learning mindset. It often helps for team leaders to involve their employees in the process of setting growth objectives and measuring progress. This motivates employees to focus on their learning objectives as part of their everyday work, and makes them aware of the impact it has on the performance of the team as a whole. Establishing healthy competition between employees can often also fuel engagement.
Rosetta Stone for Enterprise provides the best solution to improving employee language skills
At Rosetta Stone for Enterprise, we understand the importance of learner engagement. Our teams provide resources and insights to support this, and work to understand your organizational structure and training objectives so that we can support you in deploying a training model that aligns with those criteria. Not only do our solutions include powerful reporting and assessment tools to measure engagement and track the growth in employee language proficiency, but the global structure of our company enables us to ensure access, provide support, and drive user engagement across every region of the world.