Overcome international online training challenges with localised e‑learning

Engage and up-skill your global workforce, wherever they are in the world, with localised e-learning – the simple and cost-effective way to maximise your online training.

Employee training and development is central to the success of many businesses. The benefits of effective ongoing training range from improved job satisfaction and retention rates to increased innovation and profitability.

When the business involves teams of workers dispersed across several locations around the world, however, traditional forms of employee training can be difficult to implement and manage, resulting in time delays and additional costs.

So, how can a global business utilise training and development programmes to maximise employees’ potential and keep pace with changing business demands? The answer is by harnessing the power of e-learning.

What is e-learning?

E-learning is a training experience where knowledge and skills are delivered online. Companies operating internationally, with a multilingual, worldwide labour force, can use high-quality e-learning programmes to deliver cost-effective training across their entire workforce with relative ease.

Wherever a training recipient is in the world and whatever language they speak, well-crafted e-learning resources will ensure they experience the same high standard of training as a recipient based at the company’s head office.

E-learning takes the strain out of all kinds of training needs, which is why – especially with the ongoing trend for remote working – demand for online learning has never been higher.

How to create an e-learning course

Developing an e-learning programme within tight timelines is a challenge commonly faced by training managers. With company product launch times decreasing, and market regulations constantly changing, it’s not only essential that employees be fully equipped with the necessary knowledge, but also for the organisation itself to remain compliant with international regulations.

Here we share some of the best practices for implementing an effective, multilingual e-learning programme. Follow these five steps and your online training will be robust, engaging and tailored to the needs of each individual.

How to create an e-learning course

1. Assess the scope of the training and the resources available

An initial assessment of the training programme’s goals is vital to ensure content is delivered to achieve a specific purpose, and that final outcomes are measurable against well-defined criteria. Other essential parameters that need to be identified before course creation can even begin are the training resources available and the budget assigned to the task.

Budget constraints can limit any training manager implementing e-learning, especially when developing courses in-house. When training is needed in order to comply with an external body or regulation – especially in multiple markets – the content will need to meet these requirements and often within a specified time limit. If an organisation chooses to outsource e-learning, these responsibilities lie with the third-party vendor.

2. Prepare an outline of content and delivery methods

A storyboard is prepared with prototype training material. Design choices are implemented and costs calculated. All of these are tested within the learning management system (LMS) – a software application used for the administration, documentation, tracking, reporting, automation and delivery of the training.

3. Develop the training course in an authoring tool

Once the outline has been reviewed and signed off by all relevant parties, the course is developed in a dedicated authoring tool. This application brings graphics, animations, video, audio and other forms of multimedia together to assemble the complete training package.

4. Test for understanding and technical competence

To assess the practicality of the e-learning programme, it is necessary to try it out with people seeing it for the first time in their own environment. There are two areas to assess: the understandability of the language and the usability of the technology.

Thorough assessment is a great way to stress-test online training. Identifying weaknesses, implementing solutions and retesting the modified material allows training providers to hone their e-learning to perfection. The higher the quality of the material after this step, the quicker and easier it is to carry out the next step.

5. Localise for every target market

Language and cultural factors affect an individual’s ability to learn. Simply translating e-learning content into the user’s language, therefore, is not enough. The content needs to be localised.

Localisation involves the conversion of the training content so that it appears to have been made by and for the local user. This means modifying text, audio and visuals to correspond with the culture, behaviour and regulations of the local area. Localisation also includes seemingly small but hugely important changes to the way data is presented, such as units of measurement and date formatting.

Why localise online learning?

Localising e-learning content enhances the impact of online training in many ways. Here are four significant benefits.

Why localise online learning

Employee safety

Research suggests that 25% of job-related safety incidents are at least partly the result of language problems. Whether it’s training on how to use a new machine, what to do in the event of a fire, or a warning about a hazardous environment, it is crucial that there is no room for misunderstanding.

Engage employees

All new employees, especially those physically removed from the central hub of a business, need to feel fully engaged in their work and the company they have joined. If they don’t, motivation decreases, employee churn increases and productivity plummets. Localisation is a great way to ensure every worker receives the same high level of respect and attention.

Ensure compliance

A compliance breach can cost a company millions of dollars, whereas compliance training costs a fraction of this. Unlike with translation, localisation takes account of local rules and regulations. Such crucial factors can bring local business to a halt if they are not properly addressed.

Increase revenue

As a result of the benefits outlined above and more, the potential returns on spending on localised training are high. Indeed, studies have shown that, for every euro spent on localising e-learning materials, an average return on investment of €25 can be expected.

Achieve learning goals for your global workforce

To fully maximise learner engagement and return on investment, the content of an e-learning course must be localised. Localisation makes online training content appealing, relevant, interactive and effortlessly understandable, whatever the language and location of the user.

Many companies choose to outsource and partner with an e-learning solutions provider, which can deliver localised e-learning modules and streamline the course workflow – to save time, maximise resources, enable content updates and leverage expert skills.

Localised courses allow companies to connect with the whole of their global workforce, increase staff retention and boost productivity. However, the localisation process is complex and can be lengthy. To avoid pitfalls, your source materials should be designed with localisation in mind.

With a vast amount of experience and expertise in every aspect of localised e-learning, we can put your business at the top of the class. To seize the full opportunity of this modern, cost-effective way to train large volumes of people, wherever they are in the world, contact us today.