global training, global workforce, training translation

Overcoming the challenges to training a global workforce – time and money

global training, global workforce, training translation

In my last blog post, I looked at the key challenge of learner engagement when training a global workforce. Engagement can be a problem when you’re developing training content for just one market, but when a company is global, challenges like this can multiply!

Providing consistent training for a global workforce is no easy task. The more countries you need to engage with, the more hoops you need to jump through to deliver engaging training content. And all of these challenges are governed by two important things: time and money.

Here I explain how partnering with an experienced translation company can help you overcome many of these challenges.

By working closely with your translation partner training projects can be aligned with time and budget constraints, and processes developed and refined to deliver better ROI and help improve training effectiveness.

How the right translation partner can help you overcome global training challenges

The more countries your training content needs to be launched in, the more project stages, people involved, and resources you need.

In most global L&D departments the process looks like this:

1. Source training content is sent to legal in each country for sign off

2. Approved source content is translated and localised

3. Translated content is sent to overseas offices for sign off

4. Training content is launched simultaneously to ensure content is available to all countries

However, it doesn’t always happen like this! Time is not always on your side as hold ups can occur with legal teams and your market reviewers, and if revisions are required to either the source or the translated training content, you can end up yo-yoing between different project stages.

How can your translation partner help?

Translation companies like Comtec can help by managing what can sometimes be a lengthy market review stage. You can then focus on other activities while we work with your local offices to ensure a smooth review process and minimal revisions.

I would recommend starting this process with the source content, to identify any areas that require special handling. For example, some UK training methods use a case study and invite learners to ‘solve’ the problem. But in other countries this method of learning is not the norm; rather, trainers simply provide an instructional method of teaching. Learners in some countries have even expressed frustration at the case study method, preferring to be given all the facts first, before being asked to try and solve a problem.

By working with your local review team from the offset, we can ensure that the training content is appropriate for learners in that country and avoid hold ups later in the project.

We can also develop style guides, glossaries of terminology and review guidelines with your local offices to speed up the translation and localisation process. By agreeing this early on, and getting buy in from the review teams, we can significantly reduce the number of revisions requested, get content signed off quickly and, in the process, also increase the consistency of the localised training content.

Managing budgets

By saving time you may also be able to save money. Translation technology can deliver cost savings when used on an ongoing basis, which is why centralising your translations and using one translation partner for all your training content is the most cost-effective approach.

We use technology such as translation memory software to save time and money. Essentially it means you don’t pay for the same translation twice. By storing approved translation projects in each language in a unique translation memory, we are able to cross reference new content against the relevant translation memory and identify ‘memory matches’ such as a phrase we’ve previously translated. Depending on the level of memory match, we can offer discounts on previously translated content – ensuring both consistent translations and a reduction in project costs.

In my experience this is invaluable for L&D teams as content is often repeated across different training modules. Why pay for the same phrase or instruction to be translated every time it’s used, when you can pay for it once?

Technology like this can also speed up translation times, fewer words to translate means projects can be turned around quicker. And if you centralise your multilingual translations with one company, we can manage and synchronise multilingual projects so your training content is ready to launch at the same time in each country.

I hope this provides a little insight into how we support our L&D and training clients. As you can see, we do a lot more than purely translating content!

You may also find this free guide useful. It offers advice and tips for creating engaging e-learning and training content for a global workforce and managing multilingual training projects. Click here to download your copy for a less stressful translation and localisation process.

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