Business Solutions

Learning Management for The Connected Economy

The trend towards recruiting for potential and learning ability, rather than just current skills, has led to greater demands on learning management programs within global organizations.

A continuous learning environment is one of the main job attractions cited by today’s Millennial recruits. According to a survey from Millennial Branding and, one-third of them rank training and development opportunities as a prospective employer’s top benefit.

On the other side of the desk, according to the latest annual PwC CEO study, 81% of CEOs say that their business always looks to equip employees with new skills.

Caught in the middle are the 85% of HR Managers who, according to Deloitte’s Global Human Capital Trends 2015 study, say learning is an “important” or “very important” problem, with the topic jumping from the No. 8 to the No. 3 most important talent challenge they face.

A New Era for Learning Management
In the industrial economy, most candidates were recruited for a job based on their existing skills and learning was often limited to an annual refresher, or an update on best practices.

In the connected economy, employees need to be continually expanding their individual and collective skills sets, to drive innovation in their current area of expertise and prepare themselves for different work challenges.

Blended Learning Comes of Age
This demand for increased training, coupled with advancements in technology, has led to a step-change in on-the-job learning. Experts have recognized both the limitations of a purely classroom-orientated approach, and the issues associated with isolated online learning.

A blended learning approach, combining formal, informal, and on-the-job training has been shown to increase engagement, reduce disruption in the workplace, and deliver immediate business improvements.

Learning English on the Job
Progressive global organizations have also realized that while English has become the language of business, their international employees do not all have to become English scholars. They just need to be able to do their jobs in English.

By marrying this idea with the proven approach of blended learning, PEBS is working with businesses to develop tailored Business English learning. Programs are focused around job-specific vocabularies and development of the communication skills employees need in their day-to-day business activities.

By learning as they work employees can quickly develop the Business English skills they need to do their jobs, with immediate productivity improvements.

ONE Standard
ONE is our digital platform that gives every employee the opportunity to participate in company-wide activities, while simultaneously improving their Business English skills.

High quality content from our partners at the Financial Times provides engaging materials to help employees develop a broad range of business skills, while online tools such as email templates and cultural briefings can immediately improve their own content development.

ONE Professional
ONE Professional is a new offering which supplements the features of ONE Standard with the services of a dedicated personal advisor to provide online guidance, motivate participation, and deliver individual feedback to business skills practice and writing assignments.

The Six Pillars of Talent Management
Learn more about the changing nature of global recruitment in our new White Paper – The New Language of Talent Management – which highlights the concerns of global CEOs, shares the success stories of industry disruptors, and outlines how the traditional approach to talent management needs to change in six core areas.

Learn more about One Standard, One Professional, and our complete range of Talent Management Solutions.

Nicole R Brown
Vice President, Go-To-Market and Operations
Pearson English Business Solutions

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Recruiting For The Future

Among the many interesting tactics revealed in Work Rules, a new book by Google’s senior VP of people operations, Laszlo Block, was the revelation that the company’s #1 criteria in its recruitment policy is not current skill levels, or even IQ, but general cognitive ability: “It’s learning ability. It’s the ability to process on the fly. It’s the ability to pull together disparate bits of information.”

This makes perfect sense in a world where the role a candidate is hired for may change dramatically in a short period of time, as the company responds to market disruptions, evolving technologies or rising customer expectations.

From Recruiting From The Past to Recruiting For The Future
In the industrial economy, the trend was to recruit from the past. Candidates were judged on a resume of standard accomplishments, and years of experience were equated with ability.

In today’s connected economy, progressive companies are recruiting for the future. The ability to learn on the job, adapt to new challenges, and collaborate with colleagues are becoming as important as existing skill sets.

Expanding the Recruitment Pool
The shortage of fluent English speaking candidates in many emerging markets has been well documented. Instead of entering a bidding war for this small group of talent, recruiters who focus, like Google, on a candidate’s learning ability are working with PEBS to expand their potential talent pool by integrating English assessment and on-the-job learning into their recruitment and broader talent management programs.

They begin by working with PEBS to establish minimum English standards for both specific roles and company-wide requirements.

English assessments can then be used as screening tools, allowing the recruiter to compare candidates against pre-set benchmarks, industry standards, and other candidates around the globe.

On-the-job English learning programs are then designed to meet the specific needs of individual recruits, with future assessments used to track progress and gauge an employee’s suitability for promotion to leadership roles, or other positions which demand a greater level of Business English fluency.

This forward-looking approach is helping raise the potential impact of new recruits, from square pegs for square holes to game changers who can shape the future.

The Six Pillars of Talent Management
Learn more about the changing nature of global recruitment in our new White Paper – The New Language of Talent Management – which highlights the concerns of global CEOs, shares the success stories of industry disruptors, and outlines how the traditional approach to talent management needs to change in six core areas:

Learn more about One Assessment and our complete range of Talent Management Solutions.

Nicole R Brown
Vice President, Go-To-Market and Operations
Pearson English Business Solutions

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The New Language of Talent Management

According to the founder of the World Economic Forum, Klaus Schwab: “Capital is being superseded by creativity and the ability to innovate – and therefore by human talents – as the most important factors of production.”

This view is underlined by CEOs in every industry, with recruitment and talent management moving to the top of boardroom agendas around the world. HR Professionals have never had a greater opportunity to directly shape and impact the future of their organizations. They have also never faced such challenges, with an increasingly mobile global workforce shifting the balance of power from institutions to individuals.

The War for Talent has never been more intense, important or complex. Increasing income inequalities around the world underscore the price that top talent can now demand. A bidding war for such talent will, by definition, yield few winners and many losers.

We believe the real winners will not be those who can bid the most, but those organizations who can create holistic talent management programs that can recruit for potential, develop on the job, and retain for the future.

The Six Pillars of Talent Management
Our new White Paper – The New Language of Talent Management – highlights the concerns of global CEOs, shares the success stories of industry disruptors, and outlines how the traditional approach to talent management needs to change in six core areas:

Recruitment: from square pegs for square holes to game changers who can shape the future.

Learning Management: from extracurricular activity to a strategic recruitment, development and retainment tool

Goals & Performance: from bureaucratic annual reviews to dynamic business drivers

Career Development: from check the box corporate-driven org-charts to outside the box employee-focused experiences

Rewards & Compensation: from show me the money to a life of fulfillment

Succession Planning: from finding clones to fill retiree’s shoes to opening up the rainbow boardroom

From Command Control to Develop and Collaborate
Command and control cultures prevailed in the capital-led industrial economy, where success was driven by efficiencies and economies of scale. In today’s talent-led connected economy, companies focused on innovation and agility are displacing those who continue to rely purely on scale and efficiencies. As they do so, the old management maxims of command and control are being replaced by cultures focused more on development and collaboration.

Innovation and collaboration are driven by diversity of thought and clarity of communication. In multi-national organizations a common language is critical, and in today’s global economy that language is English.

In an upcoming series of blog posts I’ll be exploring each of the six pillars of talent management, and showing how Pearson English Business Solutions can help you attract, develop and retain a global workforce to succeed in today’s connected economy.

Nicole R Brown
Vice President, Go-To-Market and Operations
Pearson English Business Solutions

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Changing the Conversation in the Business English Marketplace

Citing the latest Gartner CEO and Senior Business Executives Survey(1), growth and technology related changes are the top two focus points for 2015-2016. How can a company grow and achieve results when language barriers exist within a company?

Innovation has replaced efficiency as the driver of competitive advantage in today’s connected economy. And where multi-national corporations are capturing market share and overcoming competition, and start-ups are becoming billion dollar businesses – success is dependent on access to global talent as well as global consumers. Recruiters and talent managers are increasingly aware of the value that global candidates can bring in terms of cultural diversity and local market knowledge.

Talent management is about consistently and quickly developing your talents’ skills to exceed in their job function while contributing to the corporate objectives. Empowering HR professionals to use the right tools, at the right time, for the right person in the context of how they learn, where and when — is a key part of Pearson English Business Solution’s (PEBS) focus, spanning our offerings.

The New Language of Talent Management calls for a shift in how corporate learning is applied to foster the development of the right people to maximize business impact. There is not a “one-size fits all” strategy for growing your talent, and we know that the tools to develop your people require a portfolio for “right-tool, right-time talent development”. With that in mind, we are launching new products and enhancing others to help you achieve your Talent Management goals – with your company and learners’ objectives as a top priority.

New Product Bundles designed specifically for learners

PEBS announced two new product bundles to ensure that all talent are equipped with the skills and capabilities to effectively deliver their own KPIs, but in a way that contributes towards the performance their teams, departments and overall organizational aims.

ONE Standard, delivers activities across the full spectrum of communication, from more effective writing skills to the better forming of exchanges and persuasive discussions.

onestandardLearn more about ONE Standard.

ONE Professional, new offering includes the features of One Standard plus one-to-one regular guidance and personal encouragement from an advisor; and immediate business skills practice and writing feedback.

oneprofessionalLearn more about ONE Professional.

One Assessment powered by Versant
Building on a scalable online, on-demand system of assessments that help companies to determine individuals’ ability to communicate effectively using English, One Assessment powered by Versant is launching a brand new feature: Individual score reporting with mapping to TOEFL, TOEIC, CEFR, and GSE.

oneassessmentLearn more about One Assessment.

Consulting and Benchmarking solutions
PEBS’s new consulting and benchmarking services are designed to help businesses align with global proficiency standards – connected to their overarching objectives.
Two new offerings are now available:
Industry Profile Benchmark: Define candidate and employee requirements against recommended proficiency benchmark for industry role profiles.
Custom Profile Benchmark: Define your company’s candidate and employee proficiency benchmark, and set it for individual roles, departments or disciplines.

Learn more about our Talent Management Solutions.

ONE Coach in other Languages
One Coach continues to offer a structured course that focuses on the acquisition of the language, structures and confidence necessary to carry out communicative tasks in the target language. Building on the success of ONE Coach in English, we are expanding this offering to now include five additional languages: Spanish, Italian, French, German and Portuguese.

onecoachLearn more about ONE Coach.

Market Leader Series now included in ALL ONE Virtual Group Subscriptions
As an added value to our ONE Virtual Group customers, we are now offering the Market Leader Series as an integrated feature. Marketing Leader content improves the learners’ ability to communicate and lead more effectively in English by focusing on linguistic competencies in the context of global leadership.

One VirtualGroupLearn more about ONE Virtual Group.

As a team, we are very excited to announce these new products and updates. If you would like more information, please contact or visit us on LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter #english4business.

Nicole R Brown
Vice President, Go-To-Market and Operations
Pearson English Business Solutions

1 Gartner CEO and Business Executives Survey Press Release

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Multinational businesses need global solutions for effective communication.
Language Learning for the Enterprise

In an increasingly global marketplace, businesses with an international presence face communication challenges each and every day. These concerns run the gamut from individual communication between employees based in different countries to language barriers in collaborative efforts and clarity in the sharing of important, worldwide operational information. Competitiveness on the global scale is put at serious risk when there are barriers to effective communication and organizations lack a common business language, such as English, or fail to improve English proficiency.

Pearson English is here with new and improved Business Solutions to help companies not only build the necessary English skills in a just-in-time framework, but also allow them to monitor progress and success.

Developing key business skills with Skillshops
A strong grasp of English in the workplace makes it possible for staff members to develop the skill set that’s imperative for successful continued operations. Enhancing these communication techniques means better performance and a higher level of effectiveness at work.

The best solutions are delivered in the context of work and businesses need skilled workers to meet their operational goals. Business skills require not only language education, but context that suggests how and when to apply a process and how those outcomes are best communicated.

We are proud to introduce Skillshops by Pearson English: a new way to develop those key business skills and improve professional communication to the benefit of both the business and the employee.

Skillshops by Pearson English are designed around communication and management competencies tailored to the needs of busy professionals and delivered by experienced business trainers. Skillshops are intensive virtual workshops focused on the acquisition of the business skills and communication techniques required for continued global success for a business and enhanced effectiveness for individual staff members.

Skillshops provide:

  • Flexibility: The virtual classroom leverages the power of communications infrastructure and technology that enables flexibility and encourages group collaboration. Time commitments are reduced and travel costs are saved.
  • Fast, measurable results: Skillshops provide the fast track for skill development, along with data and reporting through self assessments and needs analysis, goal setting, in-session feedback and session reports.
  • “Learning by Doing”: Skillshops offer a strong focus on practical skills, adhering to the “learning by doing” philosophy. The classroom methodology is flipped, with an active learning approach in place that employees communicative and participative activities.

Learn more about Skillshops.

Empowering learners with One
One – the digital platform that enables talent to communicate, collaborate and operate in the world’s common language, English – is continuing to evolve. One empowers learners with the tools they need to successfully and professionally express themselves, and to develop their business skills in the context of work – quickly. Employees see the benefit in the work they do each and every day.

Focusing on outcomes that enable a common business culture, One by Pearson English keeps talent motivated by defining goals to achieve – and provides a reason to achieve them.

What’s new in One:

  • Relevance: Business-specific content is customized to each learner’s role and ability level. This includes exclusive, exceptionally relevant content from our partners at The Financial Times.
  • Collaboration: One offers a secure venue in which learners can work together on business projects.
  • Productivity: Learners are provided increased access to language experts for quick, productive feedback, as well as everyday business tools and templates for faster, more effective work.
  • Flexibility: One is accessible online and on demand, with content translated into 15 languages.
  • Interactivity: Employees progress is placed in the fast lane with immediate feedback on communication skills.

Learn more about One.

Demonstrating success with One Dashboard
We know how important it is for companies to see a return on investment, which is why we created One Dashboard – the robust reporting tool for One that puts you in charge of your company’s success.

With live data that indicates the progress to each user and their administrator, One is instantly trackable, accountable and tuneable. You can decide who will get access to specific data. From seeing how employees are getting on with individual tasks to setting goals for whole teams and departments, One Dashboard allows businesses to quickly and easily monitor their progress and maximize their results.

One Dashboard delivers:

  • Accountability: Effective measurement of all learners’ progress on the One platform is not only possible, but easy.
  • Control: Administrators can identify and encourage learners based on their activity and performance.
  • Ease: Helpful tools mean easy management of learner performance. These provide the information needed to make decisions about productivity and development.

Learn more about One Dashboard.

Navigating the global economy and maintaining and improving competitiveness is an absolute must for modern multinational enterprises. With the suite of powerful new releases from Pearson English, businesses have the tools they need to not only keep pace, but to create the best possible outcomes. English as a common business language is the foundation for success.

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Business English connects employees across the globe, improving collaboration and efficiency.
English Skills are Key for Great Company-Wide Collaboration

Working in teams and collaborating are two of the most important and beneficial skills of a modern professional, no matter where he or she is located in the world. Employees who can work together and create positive results are incredibly valuable to a business.While the need to collaborate locally will always exist, there’s a growing demand for businesspeople to work together remotely, whether with fellow staff on the other end of a continent or halfway across the globe. The continually progressing globalization of the world’s economy means that a greater emphasis is being placed on international teamwork than ever before. Businesses that can facilitate collaboration between their employees will have a better chance of solving problems and finding new business efficiencies. Of course, this is only true if the differences between different cultures and languages can be removed.

The Harvard Business Review highlighted the need for businesses to focus on and develop their internal collaboration abilities, as this skill is quickly becoming a source of competitive advantage for companies in the global business realm. The publication pointed out that the most successful companies are ones that have their partner organizations and satellite offices across the world share ideas and work together on projects. The Business Review also cautioned against applying traditional models of production outsourcing or other familiar processes when encouraging collaboration. Organizational leaders need to be involved in these efforts and make sure employees can be as connected as possible when creating new and potentially powerful innovations for the good of the business.

Moving Past the Obstacles

Of course, common systems need to be in place for collaboration. The rise of cloud computing, live Web-based chats and effective video conferencing have cut down on the delays that previously made international collaboration less than efficient in a time sense. The need for a common language of communication endures, however. Creating a common language for business interactions, both inside and outside of an organization, is becoming a higher priority as the global economy expands and nations experiencing an economic rise see internal and external expansion.

Companies that understand the importance of a commitment to business English education will also realize more consistent, high-quality results when it comes to their collaborative efforts. Employees can share ideas and information easily and without translation errors will be more efficient and better able to reach positive conclusions. With a strong business English learning plan in place – and an emphasis on hiring candidates with good existing English skills – companies can leverage their international employee base to put the best staff on the right jobs, regardless of location.

Mass Collaboration: The Next Step

The rise of various “mass” modes of industry and commerce, from production to distribution and marketing, demonstrate the power of a widespread approach to the overarching processes of business. Because collaboration is an internal activity instead of an external one, businesses need to have a common language in place to facilitate it. English is already the recognized and undisputed language of business. Beyond its common use in commerce, English is also a popular vehicle for communication in many parts of the globe, meaning that employees are more likely to have some experience, although it may be basic, with the language. Using business English in collaboration efforts is one powerful way to maximize the human capital of a company and create competitive advantages.

Blending Skills and Experiences for the Maximum Benefit

One of the most valuable resources that an international company has in terms of human resources is the breadth and depth of their employees’ experiences. Cultural and educational differences shouldn’t be viewed as a detriment to productivity, but a way to reach new, useful and powerful conclusions that couldn’t otherwise occur. The ideas held by an employee in Eastern Europe my be seen as outside the box by a staff member on the West Coast of the U.S., and the converse may be true. When workers with different perspectives have effective partnerships, they create concepts and solutions that are strong, diverse and exciting.

When organizations emphasize business English education, they make the potential for these fruitful collaborations a reality. Staff members who share a common language can exchange their ideas, unfiltered by translation and middlemen, to work toward their goals. The consistent use of business English across a multinational organization doesn’t only facilitate the simple day-to-day communication needed to keep a company running efficiently. It also makes these powerful chances for international collaboration possible. Having business English in place is also a benefit for companies collaborating with international partners.

With the overwhelming majority of large companies and growing startups choosing English as the standard for international communication, it’s not just an advantage to use the language; It’s a serious operational problem to be without a staff who can speak it.

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The Growing Need for Connectivity in the Global Marketplace

Attracting the best employees is a high priority for businesses of all sizes and across industries. For competitive companies that have offices across the world, bringing in top talent isn’t just a desire; it’s a requirement for continued success and growth. Organizations that move beyond their country of origin need to target intelligent, productive professionals who can think, act and communicate on a global level, no matter where they originally come from.

Collaboration in general is a great tool for businesses, especially those that span large geographic distances. The sharing of skills, experiences and ideas on both the local and worldwide levels is a major component of success in the modern economy. Companies that move away from a strictly vertical hierarchy and empower employees to make decisions in a collective, interdependent system often see better results and are more prepared to face the demands of the modern business world. The Harvard Business School pointed to collaborative innovation as one of the most important current sources of competitive advantage. The monolithic research and development department is turning into an outdated concept as more companies encourage employees working locally and remotely to innovate and craft new concepts, products and solutions.

A Standard for International Operations

The development of the global economy provides businesses more opportunities, but it also presents new, unique challenges. In-depth global collaboration wasn’t a viable option in decades past, and information that needed to be exchanged across countries was often handled by translators. This approach is no longer quick or responsive enough for modern-day business needs, and it’s one of the reasons why business English has developed as the default method of internal and external communication for companies across the globe. This is true even when there are no native speakers involved, as English provides a consistent method for sharing ideas, developing concepts, negotiating and accomplishing other tasks that simply isn’t possible when using intermediaries. It’s now common for international organizations to test recruits on English proficiency.

A perfunctory English competency test doesn’t gather the information needed to implement a consistent language policy, however. An in-depth assessment provides a wide assortment of benefits, from the ability to compare positional benchmarks to prospective candidates to crafting an internal Business English education strategy and track ongoing development. This skills test doesn’t just make sure employees have the right level of English capability to succeed; it helps craft organization-wide strategies for development that can push a company past its competitors. Facing the reality of a constantly increasing need for international collaboration means a strong commitment to English as an important business tool.

A complete assessment of English language skills and a commitment to ongoing education also allows companies to attract and hire recruits who are outstanding in many respects but don’t yet have great Business English skills. Although there are baselines below which it simply isn’t practical to hire a candidate, a company that can provide training in using the language of international business certainly has an advantage over its competitors. Offering continuing educational opportunities also helps attract candidates who already have a good base of English language skills and want to develop them further.

An international business needs employees who have a strong grasp of corporate English To communicate internally and with outside vendors, partners and even competitors. A company that can develop benchmarks, best practices and plans for continuing development in relation to Business English use will be able to fully leverage the power of international collaboration, employee recruiting and retention and development and worldwide growth.

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