Having worked for over 10 years in the eLearning sector, I’m aware of the changes that have occurred in relation to development and delivery of learning in the workplace. Some of the main changes have been down to technology and more recently the prevalence of our mobile phones being our “go to” device.
Alongside the technology changes, eLearning has also grown more rapidly and become more prolific than was anticipated. The benefits of this are multiple and measurable, as many organisations are discovering by looking into the return on their investment.
Technology is the key driver and enabler, from increased access to a global network of information and people, to the rise of social media and influx of smart devices, making expectations higher than ever. Alongside the need to retain employees through better engagement, the pressure is on to utilise technology media to create great learning experiences.
Using technology means that learning can be more automated and allow global organisations to deliver a consistent experience to huge workforces across the globe regardless of their language. This is easy to say but in reality much planning and thought needs to go into creating truly global e-Learning resources.
Take this scenario: you’ve created some great, creative and engaging eLearning resources for your UK-based office teams and you’ve received excellent feedback. The eLearning has been designed to support the delivery of a better customer service strategy and it’s had a much greater impact than you ever expected – and to top it off, it’s time to deliver this to your global teams all over the world.
- You’ve used so many images with text and they’re not editable; they need to be recreated for 20 different languages.
- The images used are too local; appropriate images for local audiences need to be sourced.
- You’ve used a variety of colours, numbers & local idioms that have completely different meanings around the world; a wolf in sheep’s clothing? It’s not always locally relevant.
These common pitfalls are all too easy to make – and we can guarantee, you are not alone in falling into the trap. For most global businesses creating e-Learning materials, localization can often be an afterthought, when it should really be top of the agenda.
Recent research from the Common Sense Advisory shows that language really resonates:
90% will always choose a local language when available.
Employees today connect with eLearning from companies who speak in their language, personalising the experience based on their cultural and language preferences. Without a strategy for localisation, it can be easy to create content that won’t be relevant in local markets.
For businesses where eLearning is vital to the on-going support and development of internal teams, eLearning material that is delivered too slowly, inconsistently, beyond budget and – most importantly – unable to resonate with a local audience, will lead to uninspired and unmotivated employees as well as wasted time, effort and expense in sourcing and recreating this valuable training.
So why not speak to us first? SDL has a team of language analysts that specialise in supporting global brands to create truly global e-Learning. As with the localisation of marketing collateral, it takes skill to get the message across correctly in local markets and we have been doing this for many years.