With corporate workforces spread across the globe, there are several benefits to localizing your eLearning content into the languages that your employees speak. When you provide training for your employees in the languages that they speak, and in cultural context, you’ll increase the effectiveness of your efforts. This will come in the form of increased information retention with the employees you train. You’ll also see reduced attrition rates, as employees are more likely to stay with companies who demonstrate compassion and value their team members. Not only does localization of eLearning material cost less than traditional forms of training, it becomes a necessity when expanding into international markets where creating the best possible experience for your employees and customers is paramount to your success.
What is eLearning Localization?
eLearning localization is the process of translating and adapting training content to a specific culture and language. Localization is not just straightforward translation; it involves additional efforts beyond the conversion of text from one language into another. It includes transforming imagery, tone, colors, currencies and more to account for cultural and regional differences. The value in localizing eLearning content is that it ensures that your training is comprehendible by the target audience and is also culturally appropriate.
What Gets Localized With eLearning?
eLearning comes in a variety of forms, from product and compliance training to onboarding information, and it has many uses. When localizing eLearning content, the most common features that need to be localized are:
- Written content
- Audio and video (subtitling and voiceover)
- Formatting (for example, dates, units of measurement, etc.)
- User Experience elements (for example, buttons and menu items)
Here Are the Top Four Reasons You Should Localize your Corporate eLearning Content:
1. eLearning Localization Helps with Market Expansion Efforts
With many companies focused on international expansion, localizing eLearning training content into the languages that your employees speak becomes essential. Whether it is training sales and marketing reps at international office locations or assisting overseas distributors with product training or customer service, localizing your eLearning content into other languages and making it culturally relevant is essential. Every culture and region have their own specific nuances, so you’ll need to work with a language services company that understands the target audience’s language, culture and norms. This will prevent everything from minor hiccups to public relations disasters, both of which can inhibit your overseas efforts.
2. eLearning Localization Improves Employee Retention
The costs associated with losing talent, including money, lost productivity, recruitment expenses and training investments, have been well documented. According to LinkedIn’s 2020 Workplace Report, 94% of employees would stay with a company longer if there was an investment in learning.1 When you take the extra step to translate and localize an employee’s training content into their native language, it sends a message to those employees that they are respected and valued. A respectful workplace brings enormous benefits to organizations. Employees who say they feel respected are more satisfied with their jobs and more grateful for, and loyal to, their companies.2 They are more resilient, cooperate more with others, perform better and more creatively, and are more likely to take direction from their leaders.2 All of this leads to happy employees who are likely to stay in their jobs for a long time.
3. eLearning Localization Saves Money
eLearning means that courses can be delivered in shorter sessions, spread out over different days, and delivered anywhere in the world. This means a company won’t lose an employee for several days at a time for training. This is most advantageous when offices and workforces are spread across the globe. Additionally, localization improves productivity as employees no longer need to travel to get to classes. To save additional time and money and streamline content and communication with your eLearning, plan to work with an eLearning localization vendor. They’ll be able to manage all of your eLearning localization efforts so that you rollout effective eLearning courses, in various languages, on time and on budget.
4. eLearning Localization Increases Knowledge Retention
eLearning is proven to increase knowledge retention by 25% to 60%, according to a study by WR Hambrecht.3 When working with international employees, you’ll want to implement culturally relatable content to further increase knowledge retention. eLearning localization provides the opportunity to adapt scenarios and case studies so learning content is relevant and relatable to specific cultures and social structures. For example, a scenario showing a customer service representative greeting a customer in the United States will be significantly different to how a salesperson would greet a customer in Japan. Always take opportunities to work with your localization vendor to adapt content so that it’s meaningful for your employees. This will help them to retain the important information you are sharing with them.
1 LinkedIn Learning. 2020. Workplace Report. https://learning.linkedin.com/resources/workplace-learning-report (accessed May 27, 2020)
2 Rogers, K. Do Your Employees Feel Respected? 2018. https://hbr.org/2018/07/do-your-employees-feel-respected (accessed May 28, 2020)
3 WR Hambrecht. Corporate eLearning: Exploring a New Frontier”. http://papers.cumincad.org/data/works/att/2c7d.content.pdf (accessed May 27, 2020)