Global Competence: Is Your Team Ready for International Expansion?

Is your workforce is equipped with the skills required to enter new markets? As HR leaders of an expanding global organization, you need to know—but how can you tell? Discerning how knowledgeable your staff is about other cultures, customs and communication norms is vital to a successful entrance into a new region.Gathering data from your corporate learning programs will help you better understand your workforce and determine how to best prepare them to do business in new markets.

Gather the Right Data by Setting Targeted Learning Objectives

The Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) is a not-for-profit professional body for HR leaders. According to their latest HR outlook report, only 14% of HR leaders were content with their analytics. To gather the right data, HR professionals need to ask the right questions. Before designing and rolling out a learning program, make sure you set specific goals for learning outcomes. Then, come up with tangible ways to measure your staff’s performance in these key areas. Keep goals concise and focused to ensure the data collected will inform leadership about the workforce.

For example, consider a company that is expanding into a French-speaking region. A goal to merely “expand French language skills among staff” would be ineffective. A more focused goal would be to “expand the staff’s French language vocabulary required for product selling and general business communications.” This goal would directly address the language needs of the company, and ensure that resources were allocated efficiently.

Targeted goals will also help you ensure only the most informative performance data is gathered. This will equip HR leaders to make sound judgements on the capabilities of their workforce.

Do an Initial Assessment

Once you have set goals, begin by conducting an initial assessment of your employees’ current skills. This will help you discern what skills you can build on and where skill gaps exist. Speexx offers an integrated Language Assessment Center to make the initial evaluation step seamless.

Solicit Both Qualitative and Quantitative Feedback

It is important to balance these quantitative analytics with qualitative feedback. Conducting post-training questionnaires and requesting testimonials will give an authentic voice to what the quantitative metrics are telling you. This will give HR leaders a fleshed out, big picture view of the current skills of their workforce.

Gathering data is easier than ever. The advent of comprehensive blended and online learning programs means that integrated reporting programs are often built right into the platform. Speexx, for example, has a Learning Center that helps track student performance. HR managers can use these dashboards to aggregate and dissect analytics in real time, as well as at the summation of a learning program.

Pick and Track Key Performance Indicators

Which Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) you track will vary based on the learning goals you have set. The percentage of staff taking versus completing a training program, or the average number of training hours per employee, are useful metrics to start with. However, there are other areas to dig deeper into to better understand how effective the learning is.

For example, a training manager who is rolling out a language training program may want to measure skill enhancement, or the increase of new language behaviors being used in the workplace.

After the language training has been completed, you may want to survey customer satisfaction levels. This will help gauge how effectively your staff are using their new communication skills to interact with clients. Similarly, you might test to see if sales are increasing in markets where the new language dominates. These KPIs will allow you to track the success of your business, in addition to the success of individual employees’ efforts.

Steps for HR Leaders

Learning analytics equip HR leaders with the insights they need to make sound business decisions.To make the best decisions, you need to gather the right data—and to do that, you need to ask the right questions and set targeted learning goals.

Consider foundational skills via an initial assessment, and skill growth through real-time feedback. Balancing quantitative data with qualitative feedback will help HR leaders gather a holistic picture of their workforce and determine the best methods of preparing them to meet the demands of a growing organization.

For more information, download the Speexx white paper on the rise of the international team

Photo: Rawpixel.com / Shutterstock.com

Download White Paper

About the Author:

Mehdi is MD for USA & Global Alliances at Speexx, the world’s leading online language training provider. With over 20 years’ experience in the learning industry, Mehdi has successfully implemented learning and talent management strategies for various industries, including content providers and LMS platform specialists. Mehdi assists global organizations in meeting the challenges linked to cultural diversity, improving communications within global operations and developing learning programs to enhance workforce mobility. Follow Mehdi on Twitter.