Many companies recognize the importance of English training for their employees, but when it comes down to how to choose a corporate English training program, they don’t know where to begin. To solve this, let’s take a closer look at what elements a good corporate English training program should offer and some of the core considerations to keep in mind when selecting a program for your company.
What is corporate English training?
In short, corporate English training is a way to keep a competitive edge in a rapidly evolving, globalized world. Implementing an English training program ensures that your team can converse, write, and engage with English-speaking clients and leverage English-based platforms all over the web. Tailored to your area of industry, corporate English training is a series of lessons, courses, or immersive activities that prepare your employees for any engagement they might experience requiring English. Handling customer care calls? No problem. Need to work through an issue with an English-speaking IT team? Consider it handled. English proficiency will open doors for your business for years to come. The first step for any company looking to compete globally is straightforward: Invest in a corporate English training program.
What makes a good corporate training program?
The second step to taking the leap with your firm is perhaps a bit more complicated than deciding to invest in a corporate English training program. Determining which of the many available programs is right for you can be daunting. Here are five key elements to look for when researching which training program is best for your company.
Studies show that instructor-led courses are more effective when compared to self-study programs. One study found that 93.02% of students who attended live, virtual lessons were among the high-performing group, whereas only 65.12% of students in the self-study program made it into that category. Instructor-led learning offers human engagement, practical application of lessons, and more detailed learning that self-study programs simply cannot.
It’s important to choose a corporate English training program that can be tailored to your company’s needs while also maximizing engagement from participants. Live instructors can be matched with a variety of class sizes depending on the curriculum and group size. One-on-one individual attention is often the gold standard, especially for small, highly specialized teams. For larger employee pools, groups of 2-6 individuals per instructor create an ideal learning environment that encourages participation, cooperation, and communication. Implementing a training program is a major investment of your company’s time and resources. The data doesn’t lie: Real-time is a real winner.
No matter your team size, immersing your company staff in a well-developed, real-time training program is the best route to ensure that your resources and your employees’ time are being put to the best use!
A dynamic learning platform
As any titan of industry will tell you, evolution is the key to long-term success. Outdated training programs are redundant, dry, and often present materials that are now irrelevant. Think back on your last corporate training program. Was it engaging and thought-provoking? Did you engage with the material, work with your fellow learners, and feel accomplished at the end of the training? An unfortunate reality is that many business training programs haven’t evolved with the workforce. Today’s professionals are online, technologically intuitive, and often working under a deadline. Corporate training needs to be presented on a dynamic learning platform that communicates standards and expectations in a meaningful way.
Dynamic doesn’t just mean engaging, it means customizable. As your company grows and your industry evolves, you need a learning platform that will adapt with you. Fully customized lessons, integrated billing, and built-in video conferencing are just a few things that should come standard with a modernized corporate training program. If you want a program that goes above and beyond these standards, look for things that BridgeEnglish offers, like program management tools, data security, and continuous updates that won’t interrupt your workflow.
Customized learning: lessons to meet company objectives
One size does not fit all when it comes to corporate English training. Programs that are mass-produced are at best too vague and at worst focused on irrelevant terminology that will inhibit your employees’ information retention. Customized learning plans are more accessible than you might think. For example, BridgeEnglish uses state-of-the-art data analytics and a live team of account experts to tailor course offerings to each company client. When a learning path has been identified, syllabi, resources, materials, and potential schedules are provided as a package. Each package focuses deeply on the client’s specific industry, be it aviation, medicine, or anything in between. From the skies to saving lives, your corporate English training material should be tailored to your business needs.
Competency-based methodology can also be adopted, encouraging learners to hit measured metrics and goals throughout their training duration. The incorporation of real-world scenarios and conversational practice are key elements of a well-rounded custom learning plan. When choosing an English training program, be sure to consider topics such as presentations in English, negotiations, video conferencing etiquette, and formal writing (i.e., proposals and reports).
Progress checks and feedback
Successful program management relies on two contributing factors: realistic and achievable goals and measurable metrics to track the status of those goals. A well-implemented corporate English training program will provide timely and actionable feedback for each course, group, or lesson. How this information is delivered will vary based on which training program you opt for. Some companies will offer completion reports or achievement certificates. Others, like BridgeEnglish, will provide a full dashboard to track participation, course types, student learning levels, and more.
Routine feedback for students enrolled in the program is also important. Regular check-ins, quizzes, and one-on-one instructor availability will maximize engagement and ensure that no learner is left behind. Feedback is only as good as the measurement tools being used to track progress. A thorough corporate English training program needs comprehensive assessment tools from a variety of institutions. Pearson, Linguaskill, and Versant are three big players in the standardized English language assessment world. BridgeEnglish offers business English-specific exams but also includes internationally recognized tests for general English assessment.
No matter which corporate English training program you choose, be sure to evaluate how the program and your learners are progressing with check-ins and assessment dates!
Transparent communication with stakeholders
At BridgeEnglish, transparent communication with all stakeholders is a top priority. From teachers to students to large organizations, communication is key to a successful learning relationship. When you bring in a corporate English training program, you’re extending trust and opportunity to a third party. Here are the top five ways to ensure transparent and timely communication while choosing your training program.
- Know what your employees need. Have specific content and concepts that you know are important to your corporate culture in mind.
- Set definitive timelines for course development, materials delivery, and scheduled classes.
- Determine what data you need to benchmark the progress and success of the program.
- Establish a business relationship with the institution providing the training. If they aren’t responding to emails and calls, consider finding a different company to work with.
- Don’t be afraid to grow! Expanding your training offerings, continually evaluating success, and working directly with your training provider will yield long-term results and boost employee morale.
Effective communication with stakeholders should be a top priority for the organization providing your corporate English training. Know upfront what is included in your training package, get routine reports based on measurable data, and above all obtain feedback from employees to be sure that they are getting the attention and training they deserve.
How do you choose the best corporate English training program?
So far, we’ve reviewed what corporate English training is and how to identify a good program. We’ve touched on how to identify the aspects of a program that will have the most impact on your company’s workforce. Now, we need to identify what keywords, product offerings, and teaching philosophies to look for in order to separate mediocre programs from the rising stars of the corporate English training industry.
1. Assess the program’s flexibility.
Being flexible for clients means having a variety of lesson options to choose from and an education staff that can support a broad schedule of options for classes. Demonstrations, previews, or example lesson materials should be provided before a contract is required so you know exactly what kind of quality material to expect from day one.
2. Evaluate the training company’s product offering.
Evaluate the potential product offerings. You’ll want a company that specializes in English language learning but doesn’t have such a narrow portfolio that your company’s industry is new to the instructors.
3. Check for the lesson delivery method you want.
Most international companies will have corporate branches and employees based all over the world, making remote English training essential if you want one company to handle all of your corporate English training needs. According to ThinkImpact, it is estimated that 98% of corporate learning will take place online and that virtual learning can help students to retain between 25% and 60% more information. While there are many online English training options available, not all of them will offer teacher-led instruction. Before reaching out to a training company, be sure to reflect on how you want lessons delivered (online, in-person, with a live instructor, as self-study, etc.).
4. Learn about the company’s teaching philosophy.
An important and often overlooked aspect of choosing an English training program is the teaching philosophy of the company you choose. Do they value student growth? Do their fundamental business practices align with your own? There is potential for a philosophical mismatch when blindly choosing a training program. The results of a mismatch could be disastrous. From student resistance to teaching to operational disagreements, taking the time to read up on the training provider’s standards of practice can go a long way to ensuring a smooth training progression.
5. Define your objectives to see if the training program can deliver the desired results.
Ultimately, the success of implementing a corporate English training program is to have clearly defined objectives and a company that will see you through to the end results. Technical proficiency, new business partners, and a wider customer base are just a few of the reasons to seek out the perfect training program for your company. Be sure to discuss these goals with the training company to see how they plan to help you achieve them.
When it comes down to how to choose a corporate English training program, knowing what you’re looking for and what you want employees to get out of their training is the first step. Only then can you find a reputable training program that will be able to meet your company’s needs and help learners and other course stakeholders achieve their goals.