If you’re a global learning leader, you know that your learning needs are often much different than that of a non-global organization. When addressing their global employees, many organizations may have eLearning programs with one blanket solution for every employee in every country.
But when designed the right way a global learning program can achieve significant results towards enabling your employees with skills and competencies by providing personalized, in language, culturally relevant learning in an accessible, understandable way that will engage them in a way that they value.
Diverse Learners, Diverse Needs
Employees have told us that the one size fits all learning programs that have voice-over, subtitles, etc. leave them feeling unengaged. They reject these programs and consider them to be boring, long, and disrespectful since it has not been customized or made culturally relevant for them. Instead, global organizations need to create Learning content that is spoken in the native language, delivered with cultural sensitivity and relevance, without voice overs or subtitles.
Here are some ways to create a global learning program that is respectful of your diverse learners and their diverse needs that will engage them in a personalized way:
Global Availability & Cultural Relevance
You want to create a learning program that is available globally to all of your workers, yet is personalized to take into consideration cultural relevance. An effective global learning program will create a message that unifies your global brand, while taking into consideration the cultural and global differences across the organization’s locations.
An exceptional global learning program can often be integrated with a global total recognition program (offering a learn and earn environment). A great global program will have rewards that are delivered in country and are culturally relevant. This also benefits your organization because there are no tariffs and taxes on your employees rewards because when rewards are shipped and points are redeemed, it happens in the country of choice.
Global learning leaders are being told by their employees that not only do they want their learning to be culturally relevant but they also want it delivered in language. An exceptional global learning program will deliver every spoken and written word of the learning in the participant’s native language with no voice overs or subtitles. Our customers have told us that they find learning in their own native language to be more respectful than voice over or subtitled learning.
Another consideration global organizations need to consider for their global workforce is accessibility. Mobile capabilities are so important in this age of global technology, because not every worker always has access to a desktop computer, especially when you look at the statistics globally. For example, with India, 4% of people have a computer, 95% have a tablet or a smartphone is key for global delivery.
In addition, employees and leaders are busy, and it’s costly to take them off the job for traditional training. Mobile learning and employee engagement gives employees easy access to their organizational engagement portal 24/7 so they can engage with the platform when it’s convenient for them! This also allows global organizations to deliver just-in-time training and education that can accelerate results.
Are you a global learning leader? What sort of features are you looking for in your learning program? Share in the comments below!
About GES’s Global Learning Solutions:
Since 2007, GES has served over 400,000 customers, in over 17 languages (Arabic, Chinese, Czech, Dutch, English, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Polish, Portuguese, Romanian, Russian, Spanish, Turkish, and growing!), in 170+ Countries across the world. Find out more about our Global Learning and Global Engagement solutions and set up a complimentary consultation for your organization today.read more
How much will it cost?
The cost of a recognition program will surely range across companies, their offerings and service. Typically, the price will vary depending on how many users of the program. However, one thing to keep in mind when you are evaluating a recognition program is whether the vendor employs Embedded Margin pricing or Software as a Service.
Embedded Margin vs. Software as a Service
From our experience on both sides of these models, typically it is most cost effective as well as most transparent for your employees to go with a Software as a Service vendor. In a software as a service relationship, you will typically pay a subscription fee per user of the program versus marking up the products to pay for the costs of the program.
Benefits of the SaaS Model
In a SaaS model, rewards should be delivered at cost with no mark up. This means your talent not only gets the maximum value, but they also get the maximum selection for what they can redeem, further enhancing engagement for your global recognition efforts. Embedded margin providers don’t do that – they mark up their items. It’s also important to ask about any set up, customization or implementation fees (at GES we do not charge any of these fees).
Other additional costs to consider are what your vendor support and staffing will look like. For example, at GES our SaaS costs include a concierge service team who handle every program detail to ensure hassle-free service for your employees. This includes supporting employees interacting with the system and helping program administrators managing the recognition program.
These are just a few questions and service features to keep in mind when evaluating your recognition service provider.
How will we measure results?
Results of a recognition program can be measured in various ways both qualitatively and quantitatively. Some of the ways you can measure the results of your recognition program include: increased employee engagement levels, productivity, loyalty and ambassadorship to the company, net promoter scores, health and wellness of your employees (including absenteeism and sick days), increased customer experience and customer retention, and last but not least, increased profits!
Your recognition provider should be able to track whatever metrics you want, such as performance, service, sales and behaviours. For example, GES’s recognition portal’s real-time reporting tracks every transaction that occurs in the system and all data can be pulled to determine engagement levels and use.
You may also want to be able to survey your employees internally in the program so you can pull some qualitative data about their experience with the program and their levels of engagement.
Year over year data should be compared to show the overall ROI of the recognition program. You should be able to see positive gains in productivity, efficiency, wellness, etc., that can be translated into a dollar value for your program.
How will it improve our organizational processes, profit, productivity, etc.?
An engaged employee is a more productive employee. An employee recognition program will help increase your internal service cooperation, which translates into better customer service, thus helping improve your top or bottom line. A good recognition program reduces the complexity of your overall employee engagement strategy, by allowing you to drive 6 or 7 programs under one umbrella and one budget (for example, safety, wellness, on the spot recognition, recognition campaigns, service anniversary, etc.).
The Stats to Back it Up
According to a recent report by OfficeVibe, “disengaged employees cost organizations between $450 and $550 billion annually,” (OfficeVibe, 2017). In their roundup of employee engagement stats, they make a very compelling case for the profitability of engaging your employees:
- Highly engaged business units result in 21% greater profitability.
- Highly engaged business units realize a 41% reduction in absenteeism and a 17% increase in productivity.
- Highly engaged business units achieve a 10% increase in customer ratings and a 20% increase in sales.
- Companies with engaged employees, outperform those without by 202%.
- Customer retention rates are 18% higher on average when employees are highly engaged.
Engage All Your Stakeholders
An effective recognition program will engage all stakeholders in your organization including leaders, employees, sales partners, and your customers.
Leaders – It will allow your leaders to build an emotional connection with your employees, increase their own engagement levels (as well as others), attract and retain the best employees for your company, and provide skills that will make your employees more valuable.
Employees – An effective recognition program should put your employees at the centre of the program – allowing them to have a personalized experience where they can choose how they are rewarded (for example, with GES’s program employees can choose the rewards they want from our global online gallery). You want to be able to have comprehensive reporting to track awarded points and redemption rates, which will help you understand what motivates your team so you can continue to encourage and reward those positive behaviours. A good recognition program will also take advantage of non-monetary forms of recognition, such as peer-to-peer nominations, social news feeds and fun gamification elements.
Sales Partners – You can use an effective recognition program to motivate your sales people to achieve their goals, including maximizing cross-selling opportunities and increase lead referrals. You can use a recognition program to create friendly competition with built-in leaderboards, which also give high-performing sales teams’ recognition with their peers. These types of recognition programs help to reinforce positive desired behaviors among your sales staff and encourage higher achievement levels.
Customers – You can even integrate a great employee recognition program with your customer recognition program. A customer recognition program should provide tools to influence, motivate and engage your customers to create sustained loyalty. Like your employee program, a points-based system should allow customers to choose their own rewards. You can also use it as a tool to conduct surveys to gather new information and influence change in your customer’s behaviors and buying habits.
Why should we buy from this vendor?
Selecting the right recognition provider can be overwhelming and tricky. On top of evaluating all the features, capabilities, etc. one thing that is critical to pay attention to is that they do what they say they will do. Trust your gut when you’re connecting with them. Do they follow up on time? Do they provide you with the materials or information you asked for in a timely manner?
It’s also important to be able to get recommendations from their current and/or past customers. They should be able to provide you with several contacts that you can connect with directly to ask about their experience.
Ask organizations if they have any customer case studies or results that you are able to review to see their proven track record.
What are the capabilities of the program?
You want to find a recognition program that is completely customizable for your business goals and objectives. It should reflect the distinct voice for your brand and unite everyone in your organization when it comes to the company’s culture, mission, vision and values.
When evaluating a recognition provider, some of the program features you might be interested and should ask about include:
- Peer to Peer Recognition
- Manager to Employee Recognition
- Spot Cards
- Social Recognition
- Budget Manager
- Birthday Awards
- Service Anniversary
Depending on the needs of your organization and whether you are a global company, you might also want/need global functionality. Some things to consider include:
Are the rewards culturally relevant?
Can the program be offered in multiple languages? (For example, GES’s global recognition programs are available in 16+ languages including Arabic, Chinese, Czech, Dutch, English, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Polish, Portuguese, Romanian, Russian, Spanish, Turkish, and growing!)
Are the rewards sourced and fulfilled in country or will you have to pay shipping, taxes and tariffs on the rewards? Keep in mind this might eat into your recognition budget. (GES’s global rewards are fulfilled in country in 170 countries across the world).
In this age of technology, mobile capability is critical to have for your recognition program. Not only does it allow for leaders and peers to recognize in the moment, but it also assures that the participants have the same user experience no matter where or how they login to the site. Our research has shown that companies who recognize their talent day-to-day and in-the-moment have much higher levels versus those who only recognize at certain milestones or tenure events.
We talk about Employee Engagement so often in the workplace, but many manager and leaders are unsure of how they can really know if their employees are engaged. Our friends at OfficeVibe have derived 10 metrics that are great indicators to whether your employees are really engaged. Luckily with this data Global Engagement Solutions has many opportunities to help you achieve better engagement in your organization.
- Growth – Every employee wants to feel like they have an opportunity to learn and grow in your organization. If you invest in their growth through learning and development you will get their discretionary energy, engagement and loyalty. Find out more about How to Enable Your Employees with Learning.
- Happiness – Happiness can sometimes be a tough measure to gauge. General indicators for happiness at work are if an employee feels like they have autonomy over their work, if they feel supported and not overwhelmed with their workload and if they feel like they have a good work-like balance.
- Ambassadorship – Do you know what stories are being told inside by your employees? The level of ambassadorship is really a measure of your employee’s loyalty and what they say about your company. It’s important for your employees to be engaged because the stories being told on the inside, can be felt on the outside by your customers. Read more about how to create better loyalty in your organization in Are You Loyal About Creating Loyalty?
- Relationship to Peers – Do your employees have good relationships with one another? It is important to focus on peer to peer relationships in order to keep your internal service cooperation in peak performance. You can also foster great peer to peer relationships with opportunities for peer to peer recognition. For example GES’s Total Recognition platform has an internal social media function so colleagues can create a community of acknowledgement and engagement. Find out how you can improve your internal service cooperation in If Your Internal Service Sucks, Your External Service is Doomed.
- Relationship to Manager – Leadership is paramount in any organizations. It’s been said that many employees stay (and thrive) not for the organization but for their manager. Are your leaders creating great relationships with their direct reports? Are they providing them with one on one coaching and clear and open communication. If you are a leader, you might want to check out Egoless Leadership: Serve Your Way to Success.
- Recognition – Recognition in the workplace can take on many forms. It can be as simple as a non-monetary Thank You or acknowledgement in front of their peers. It can also include monetary recognition such as bonuses, a salary increase or a Total Recognition program where you can reward employees at every touch point with rewards. These points can be redeemed for things such as merchandise, gift cards, travel and much more. Giving your employees personalized rewards that are unique to what they want is crucial. Read more about how to Take Your Employee Engagement Program from Meh to Hell Yah here.
- Feedback – Feedback is an important element to your employees growth and happiness. Do your leaders have frequent and open communication with their direct reports? Are they transparent in their expectations and work with employees to help them get there? Feedback and coaching is an important element for engagement because your employees will feel like they are valued in the organization, they will know what they need to do to improve, and they will see that you are dedicated to their growth.
- Wellness – It is easy to tell if you have a culture focused on wellness. You can measure this with many indicators such as overall absenteeism, productivity and employee health. In addition to employee engagement, when you have a culture of wellness you will see many benefits, including lower turnover, increased attraction of new employees, decreased absenteeism, greater productivity, and a decrease in health disorders including lack of sleep, anxiety and obesity. Find out more about how to Improve Employee Wellness Metrics with Recognition and Engagement.
- Alignment – Whether or not a person is aligned with your organization starts from the very minute they are hired. That’s why it is important to hire employees who are a cultural fit. For example, personalization traits such as friendliness and fun can rarely be trained, so it’s crucial to make sure your new hires are a good fit, or it’s unlikely they will thrive in your environment.
- Job Fit & Compensation – Satisfaction is really an overall indicator of employee engagement. This can include elements such as compensation, work environment, and fit of role for the employee. Some ways you can improve the overall satisfaction of your employees include providing them with fair and competitive salary, offering them flexibility to work remotely or flexible hours, providing them with autonomy and authority to do their role to the best of their ability (i.e. not micromanaging).
When you focus on the indicators of employee engagement that were discussed above such as learning and development, coaching, wellness, cultural alignment and rewards and recognition, plus factor in each individual employees needs and desires, you will have great satisfaction in your organization, which will be felt on the outside by your customers.
Find out more about how you can measure these indicators with a free 30 day trial of OfficeVibe.read more