Home Customer Success Stories Language training repairs corporate communication for LKQ, following multinational expansion

Language training repairs corporate communication for LKQ, following multinational expansion

LKQ automotive found a way to close corporate communication gaps and improve employee engagement through language training.

by Rosetta Stone

LKQ Europe, a subsidiary of LKQ Corporation, is the leading distributor of automotive aftermarket parts for cars, commercial vans and industrial vehicles in Europe. Their mission is to become the leading auto service system in Europe. 

It currently employs approximately 26,000 people with a network of more than 1,000 branches and approximately $6.1 billion in revenue in 2021. The organization supplies more than 100,000 independent workshops in over 20 countries.

Language training facilitates corporate communication and builds stronger business relations in growing multinational company 

Through a number of recent global acquisitions, LKQ Europe has become a multinational organization and increased the cultural and linguistic diversity of its corporate teams. 

Company expansion caused communication challenges

As the company expanded to include more employees and languages, they started to experience a breakdown in corporate communication. They found that some people couldn’t participate as fully as they needed to in the corporate fold.

They needed to introduce language training in their key corporate languages (English, Dutch and German), and also raise awareness of cultural traits that might unintentionally cause offense or misunderstanding. “For example, Dutch people are very culturally direct”, says L&D Manager Guido Touber.

LKQ Europe introduced Rosetta Stone to overcome cultural and communication barriers, and support global mobil

As a starting point, LKQ Europe introduced Rosetta Stone Enterprise to a few hundred employees, selected by their regional line managers. Some of this pilot group were moving from regional jobs into roles with a pan-European focus and needed to enhance their language skills to support their new multinational focus.

LKQ started with a mix of Rosetta Stone Bronze and Gold licenses (Bronze licenses provide access to Rosetta Stone’s curriculum, and Gold licenses include additional tutoring sessions with native speakers). They soon realized that the option of unlimited live tutoring was instrumental in yielding the excellent results they were looking for.

Tutor delivers lesson and takes notes
Rosetta Stone tutor smiles in front of computer screen

Once this resource was introduced, employees benefited from the opportunity to reinforce their language skills through real time, guided lessons with Rosetta Stone’s highly trained native speaking tutors. The sessions built fluency and confidence, empowering learners to speak out in meetings and apply their language in a workplace setting. Users are expected to use Rosetta Stone for at least 2 hours per week, and the results have already been astonishing.

Woman in an industrial setting studies a language on her tablet.

“We’ve already seen an uptick in communication through this group and are looking to them as ambassadors for the program. Active participation in virtual meetings is noticeably better.

Rosetta Stone has played a key role in helping to strengthen connections and boost engagement across our multilingual teams.”

Guido Touber – LKQ Learning and Development

Language training has brought about multiple improvements

Improved recruitment success, engagement, and retention rates

Employees expressly value language training, and have demonstrated professional growth as a result. LKQ has seen reduced employee churn in those with access to language training, as well as improved engagement and collaboration

“We have seen colleagues who didn’t speak a word of English and are now understanding meetings and participating.”

Guido Touber – LKQ Learning and Development 

LKQ Europe also found Rosetta Stone’s language placement tests to be useful in assessing entry level language, and now intends to use them as part of their recruitment process. Candidates are required to meet a core acceptance criteria of at least an A2 English level in order to pass the HR screening process.

Enhanced global mobility success

Individuals who are required to relocate are gifted Rosetta Stone Enterprise licenses for themselves and their family members, to help with the integration process. This has had a positive impact on both performance and employee satisfaction.

Better collaboration

Online meetings have now become longer because of improved understanding and engagement. Language barriers had previously prevented some employees from collaborating with employees from other regions.

“Some language learners even ask to record calls and go back and listen to them as comprehension practice to support their learning. We’re beginning to see real traction.”

Guido Touber – LKQ Learning and Development 

Plans to expand language learning programs are already in place

LDQ runs an initiative called LKQ You, an online training portal with free courses for employees. The aim is to promote professional development to staff and make them masters of their own career development. Certain training courses, such as ethics and health and safety, are mandatory. Others are optional. As a next step, they are working to plug Rosetta Stone Enterprise into this portal so that more employees have access to language training. 

LKQ understood that their language training programs would have an exponential impact over time.

“We were under no illusions that this would be a 12 month project. We’ve already seen great results, but don’t expect to reap the full benefits of language training until 3-5 years down the line. We chose to embark on a training journey that would gradually (but surely) improve cultural liaisons across the business.” 

Coworkers meet and greet company directors

“We’re thankful to have received outstanding customer support from Rosetta Stone’s Enterprise team, and are looking forward to growing our partnership.” 

Guido Touber – LKQ Learning and Development 

Successful results

Aids talent acquisition
Placement tests measure employee language skills. LKQ Europe is planning to introduce these into their talent acquisition programs, as part of the HR screening process.

Improves engagement
A positive impact on employee engagement has resulted in much more effective meetings, where employees from across the group are able to share ideas and communicate more effectively.

Aids global mobility
Rosetta Stone is included for family members as part of the relocation package. Satisfaction and retention rates among globally mobile staff members have improved as a result of their feeling more supported and better able to integrate.

Access to all key business languages has improved multilateral communication.
Unlimited live tutoring has deepened engagement and enhanced learner performance.

Rosetta Stone

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