Originally published by Training Journal in January 2013.
Laura Overton explains how Arrow Electronics built the foundations for global change
Arrow Electronics provides electronic components and computing solutions around the world and, like many multinational businesses, it is having to respond quickly to increased globalisation. It is a global organisation under a single brand that offers a consistent quality experience to customers regardless of where they are in the world.
Acting as a channel partner for more than 120,000 original equipment manufacturers and contract manufacturers, Arrow Electronics operates through a global network of more than 15,700 staff in 390 locations in 53 countries, so this is no easy feat. Historically, business took place at a local level, with staff communicating with each other using the local language. However, as the organisation has become more global, employees now need to communicate with colleagues across countries, cultures and languages.
GlobalEnglish Case Study: Jabil
China is a huge growth market for Jabil. As a result of organic growth and acquisitions, its workforce in China has doubled to 74,000 in just five years, and this growth is also expanding the markets in which Jabil China does business. While previously it relied heavily on producing components for products, Jabil China is now creating complex integrated products like mobile handsets, LCD panels and monitors, storage products, and notebooks. These integrated products require a much higher level of skill to produce, which increases the need for smooth, efficient communication. Jabil’s Design Engineering team in China is a driving force behind a vast array of products and value-added design and engineering services customized to customers’ needs.
GlobalEnglish Motivator™: the best way for your employees to get the most out of GlobalEnglish Edge™
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- Orientation and on-boarding
- Goal setting and progress review
- Targeted GlobalEnglish Edge feature or activity recommendations
- Resolution of questions
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And why collaboration is a key part of that
We recently dove into the concept of informal learning and the strategic need for companies to satisfy their employees’ desire for this kind of social learning by giving employees:
- Access to what they need to know when they need to know it
- The tools they need on demand and in context
- A way to collaborate around that useful content
We’re seeing forward-thinking companies already incorporating informal learning more and more into their standard employee development plans. And this shift in corporate training behavior is one companies would be wise to take note of. But if you’re still a little unsure about how to bring “informal learning” into the more traditional workplace or how to convince your colleagues that making an entry into the world of informal learning is indeed crucial, just bring up this key idea:
“If they can’t contribute, you can’t compete.”
This sentence boils things down to the root of the issue: Communication and collaboration are business imperatives, not luxuries, particularly in global business, where so much of the work being done happens virtually. Every day without clear collaboration is a day where business advantage is lost. That’s because global enterprises need to stay nimble if they want to stay competitive and gain market share. Global leaders need to respond rapidly and smartly to any competitive threats. But smart choices don’t come from top talent alone—they come from an entire workforce that is empowered to work together.
Enterprise Fluency™ ensures that your entire employee base can communicate and collaborate from the local level to the highest level, while contributing to global operations. And companies that recognize this and take steps to implement a global communications strategy focused on Enterprise Fluency will be richly rewarded: It’s the kind of ROI that is calculated in dollars as well as in employee engagement, innovation and loyalty.
According to a Reuters survey of 16,000 workers in 26 countries
It’s one thing when experts in the Business English field give you advice about how to strengthen your workforce in the face of globalization—and it’s another thing entirely when that workforce tells you itself.
A new poll conducted by Ipsos Global Public Affairs focuses on this blog’s common theme—the critical need for Business English in global business—by talking to the employees themselves. The poll surveyed 16,344 employed adults in 26 countries, and the results make some pretty bold statements about the state of our increasingly borderless business world.
…how will you manage?
“The workforce is changing rapidly—how will you manage?” That’s the million-dollar question posed in a new video we watched thanks to the Human Capital Institute. Produced by Kronos, an HR technology firm out of the U.K., it kicks off with some pretty bold facts and sizable numbers: