Global Communication

Time to Deliver for LMS Technologies

Technology continues to transform the way we work and the way we learn. But when it comes to Learning Management Systems (LMS), the promise continues to outweigh the reality according to a new report from the research team at the Brandon Hall Group.

While technology represents about 28% of an organization’s overall learning budget— more than anything except for internal headcount—according to Brandon Hall, the satisfaction with today’s LMS solutions remains alarmingly low.

Scores for a range of typical LMS success factors all fell below 3.5 out of 5 in the survey, with scores for meeting ROI expectations, reporting and analytics, and ease of integration all falling below 3 out of 5.

More than one in three (38%) of respondents are actively looking to replace their current LMS, while a similar figure (31%) would not recommend their current solution to a colleague.

As the researchers point out: “this is not exactly a ringing endorsement for a market estimated to reach $7.83 billion by 2018.”

As an antidote to this mass dissatisfaction, Brandon Hall has issued four critical calls to action for learning technology which we’ll look at in a short series of blog posts, the first of which is how technology is supporting learning behaviors:

Use Technology to Support the Learning Strategy, not Dictate it
Brandon Hall found that many companies are still allowing learning programs to be driven by the technology available to them, rather than remaining true to the actual requirements of the business.

While some companies are constrained by the limitations of their LMS, Brandon Hall found the influence of technology to be even stronger in the 43% of companies that did not have a formal learning strategy in place.

At PEBS, we believe a formal learning strategy is a critical piece of an organization’s overall Talent Management strategy, and work with clients to ensure their investments in Business English learning are aligned directly with overall business objectives.

Brandon Hall also found that many LMS solutions are inhibiting, rather than accelerating, the move towards blended learning which most organizations are striving for, because the technologies being used are designed primarily to support formal learning.

With a technology platform built to support informal and on-the-job learning, as well as formal learning, we’ve helped clients implement effective virtual blended learning solutions around the globe with a high degree of personalization, consistent quality and on-demand results tracking.

Educationalists have long proven the benefits of blended learning solutions over standalone classroom environments, now it’s up to technologists to ensure that their adoption is accelerated by providing a greater user experience, measurable return on investment and broader integration potential.

I welcome your insights and feedback.

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

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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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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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Just Released: The Heightened Urgency for Business English in an Increasingly Global Workforce (2013 BEI Report)

A look at the 2013 Business English Index & Globalization of English Research

Two recent groundbreaking studies—the 2013 Business English Index (BEI) and the Globalization of English (GOE) report—confirm the primacy of Business English as the de facto language of business.

With a growing number of companies operating in as many as 20 countries with different native tongues, the majority of the world’s business conversations now take place between non-native English speakers—in English. This standardization of English as the de facto language of business has opened up incredible opportunities, but most businesses face a huge skills gap.

The BEI allows corporate leaders to benchmark their workforce’s skills against peers and competitors, and it can help multinational companies understand Business English competency across geographies and sectors. The 2013 BEI, GlobalEnglish’s third annual release of the index, is the result of a December 2012 analysis of the Business English proficiency levels of more than 212,000 GlobalEnglish subscribers from around the world. Countries with sample sizes smaller than 50 non-native English speakers were excluded from the total, resulting in an index based on 137,000 global respondents.

As the only index focused on measuring Business English proficiency, the GlobalEnglish GOE report qualifies the situation: Based on a survey of 24,000 global knowledge workers from more than 90 countries, there continues to be a nearly universal belief among the global workforce that Business English proficiency is crucial for job performance and career advancement, yet a significant majority believe their skills are not sufficient to meet the current or future demands of their career.

Visit our BEI microsite to learn more.

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How Capgemini Italy Achieved Significant Boosts in Employee English Skills Levels With GlobalEnglish

Read the Capgemini Italy case study to see how using GlobalEnglish resulted in significant boosts in employee skills levels, and a productivity gain of nearly two hours per employee per week.

With 2,400 employees in thirteen locations and $220 million in sales, Capgemini Italy is a key part of the entire Capgemini system—and it feared that its employees’ Business English proficiency wasn’t robust enough for the task at hand: delivering world-class IT consulting across the globe in a market where transactions are often conducted in English. A wide-ranging assessment confirmed these suspicions, leading the company to implement the GlobalEnglish Product Suite.

Read the case study now »

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Hiroshi Mikitani, CEO of Rakuten, Eloquently Explains Why English Is Critical To Your Company

Englishnization: The Reasons Why

My company is based in Tokyo and the majority of the people who work for me are Japanese. Still, in order to be a fully global company, I decided our primary language of operation would be English. Everyone who works for Rakuken must communicate in English.

Read the full article online »

Originally published on LinkedIn by Hiroshi Mikitani on April 2, 2013. 
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GlobalEnglish In The News: Communication Confidence

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.

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