Continued infusion of technology and learning

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Written by Armin Hopp on 31 January 2014

The need to focus on talent acquisition, developing deeper skills and fostering employee engagement will continue to be a major driver for deploying better learning technologies in 2014. Moreover, identifying and retaining your best talent1 will play an even bigger role for businesses.

I'm very much looking forward to the Learning Technologies 2014 in London at the end of this month. The challenges of supporting employee performance are, not surprisingly, echoed throughout this year's conference programme. The Speexx team and I will be attending the show for the 6th time in a row and it's been interesting to see how attitudes to development are becoming intrinsically linked to business performance. Training and development has moved a long way in just those years.

HR and L&D professionals are ideally positioned within their organisation to make a direct and valuable contribution to the bottom line. Technology has opened up the opportunity for business to be conducted across borders and this has in turn opened up opportunities for greater talent mobility.

Delivery of an integrated, unified talent management system that is consistent across the board is the key to achieving both short-term and long-term talent mobility goals. No longer can one section of an organisation operate in a silo. One unified language training system, which is accessible to staff anytime and anywhere, is becoming an increasingly vital component of multinational organisations' talent management strategy.

A standardised, consistent approach is also essential to accurately measure the outcome of every component of talent management and development. One of the major things Speexx has seen companies get wrong is the perceived language skills level of their workforce. Most companies assume language skills are much higher, however when the unified tests are conducted there is a large gap between the assumed skill level and the actual level of communications skills. Once the standardised system is in place, the measurability of skills becomes far more accurate, and the results more visible.

Facilitating a common business language and a common goal

In a recent global survey, we found that English is the dominant corporate language in organisations (44 percent) however those audited acknowledged the need to improve the competency for non-native speakers and to also support other languages such as German, Spanish and French. 85 per cent of HR directors, CXO and L&D senior managers consider communication and foreign language skills to be important or very important for business success.

Technology is helping to bridge the gap between workforce learning and business success. The 'perfect blend' of combining virtual classrooms, mobile learning and e-learning is revolutionising the way organisations approach business communication skills training and development. With a blended approach, companies can combine self-paced learning, assignment tasks and classes, which can be attended virtually or over the phone. These learning tools can then be customised to suit staff needs and level of skill - and companies should encourage staff to use and develop their skills in ways that are both motivating and compatible with the demands of the workplace.

That said, individuals and organisations now have greater flexibility on how linguistic skills are delivered and effective results can be achieved regardless of skill, nationality or age.

About the author
Armin Hopp is the founder and president of Speexx. For more information, visit www.speexx.com

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