Customer Success Story

Equipping Talent with
Key Skills for International


Business Situation

Driving Digital Transformation

The BSH Group has more than 56,000 employees and more than 40 production sites worldwide. BSH recognized that businesses with an international presence benefit enormously from pooling their knowledge and qualifications but equipping key talent with the skills the Group needed, at scale, was a major challenge.

The BSH Group had developed pockets of excellence, where regional standards were ideal for the manufacturing, design or operational capacity in that country. It was important to communicate excellent practice across other areas of the business. To achieve this, BSH was looking to standardize training and upskill the workforce for international teamwork. Language and communication skills were key to realizing this vision, as well as enabling smooth communication with international customers, suppliers and partners.

To address many of these challenges, BSH set up a learning Academy more than a decade ago to embrace digital transformation. Since then, the group has been at the forefront of digital learning delivery. In 2011, the BSH Academy was looking to enhance its digital learning practice to meet its fast-developing language learning needs. Language training through classroom delivery was inconsistent and dependent on the skills of individual trainers. BSH needed a smart and efficient solution that was standard across the globe.

Large-scale Language Skills Assessment

After considering a number of potential service providers, BSH entered into a strategic partnership with Speexx. The group believed that Speexx’s portfolio of cloud-based language assessment tests, accompanied by a blended learning solution for language training that combined self-learning elements with personalized training and coaching services worldwide, best suited the global ambitions of BSH.

Crucially, Speexx was able to support BSH in assessing the existing language skills of 2,000 employees quickly and efficiently. Speexx’s language testing solution, which combines online tests with interviews conducted by native-speaking trainers, proved able to support assessment at scale, providing an internationally uniform standard of language learning and testing that has significantly increased transparency and acceptance of language skills development within BSH.

BSH started by assessing the language skills of 2,000 current employees through the language assessment center (LAC), a solution Speexx designed initially for BSH. The manufacturing group was able to integrate Speexx assessment tests and learning content into its SAP learning management system easily via a standard interface. Once the process of assessing the language capabilities of the initial cohort of 2,000 employees was complete, BSH and Speexx worked together to provide digital learning to bridge the skills gaps that had been identified.

This was an extensive digital learning program that went beyond traditional self-paced e-learning, ensuring everyone was fully engaged. Learners can access content and workshops via the existing infrastructure of the BSH Academy. Individual learners across the globe are able to book themselves onto virtual classrooms and access learning on company laptops or personal mobile devices.

“Speexx is a valuable strategic partner in helping us achieve international operational success.” BSH HR Partner

Talent Management

BSH set clear objectives for all employees to complete language learning courses. During the onboarding process, the group makes it clear to new employees that they are expected to undertake language learning and reach a certain standard pre-requisite for international collaboration and for consideration for overseas assignments. The company does not take the approach of mandating training; instead it has set out a vision for how it wants to work in future – and that includes employees having a certain level of language and communication skills.

Now, BSH has created an international pool of managers able to operate effectively in an international environment. Training delivery for this group is all in English. An English language skills level of B2.1 is the entry requirement for the pool and employees must be able to give presentations and participate in discussions in English.

The learning program has grown organically to encompass other languages as well as English – Spanish and German were added later on – and rolled out to more employees. As employees built their language skillsets and the employability, the workforce soon became more mobile. Managers were able to assign teams to work in different countries, with more confidence that they would have the necessary language skills.

Smart Upskilling Boosts Talent Resource

Learner feedback and qualitative feedback from line managers has reported improved teamwork, higher levels of employee engagement and better performance. The BSH Group has seen improved communications with customers, suppliers and partners. There is no doubt that smart upskilling has enabled BSH to enhance in-house talent to meet emerging business needs, improving the mobility and employability of its pool of employees.

About B/S/H

BSH Logo

The BSH Group, headquartered in Munich, Germany, is the largest manufacturer of household appliances in Europe and one of the largest in the world. Its portfolio includes Bosch, Siemens, Gaggenau, Neff, Thermador, Balay, Profilo, Constructa, Pitsos, Coldex, Ufesa and Zelmer. The Robert Bosch Group has owned the BSH Group since 2015.

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