Let’s kick off with some stats. According to the British Chamber of Commerce, 60-90% of everything learnt during a corporate training session is either forgotten, never understood, or never applied on the job. In a Papercup survey, we found that people’s retention for training content is almost 70% higher when they consume dubbed video over video that isn’t localized at all and 40% higher than training video content that is subtitled. Better retention rates increase the efficacy of corporate training and this has a direct impact on engagement: and we know that companies with engaged workforces are 21% more profitable than those with low engagement rates.
We’ll delve into some of the reasons corporate training fails generally, but more importantly explain how localized video content can solve many of the challenges associated with modern corporate training to ultimately have a positive impact on business performance.
Reasons corporate training fails:
1. Outdated training practices
2. Rolling out pointless training
3. Lack of compelling purpose
4. Failure to adapt to shifting workplace culture
5. No way to measure success or failure
Outdated training practices
It’s not just as a result of the pandemic that half days spent in stuffy meeting rooms learning about cyber security or compliance are goners, it’s that they were outmoded long ago, but still widely practiced. Social media is now so firmly embedded in people’s lives that it has changed attention spans (they’re getting shorter) and is one of the predominant ways people consume informative content. In 2020 (pandemic year in case you needed reminding) streaming, albeit for entertainment, increased by almost 75%, according to a report by PWC. During the same period, one third of students that ever registered on a massive open online course, did so in 2020. The takeaway – that digital media is the main way in which people are consuming content. Not only is it on demand, informative video content tends to be short, concise and designed to engage.
This being the case – companies have to adapt their training practices and match their methods of delivery with the types of content that people organically like to engage with; content types that make it easy for people to fit training into their often packed schedules and less easy for them to ignore. The schoolroom teacher/student set-up of corporate training is naturally being replaced by video – pre-recorded, edited to be engaging and consumable when, where and on a device that suits the audience. Localizing that video content means that the intent, message and tone of that content can be replicated across markets.
Rolling out pointless training
People want to consume informative content that adds value, is relevant and can either be applied to their lives or give them a better understanding of the world around them. These factors also define training uptake. Enduring training that is delivered in an outdated format and bears no relevance to a person’s job role or has the potential to upskill them is a surefire way to fail. For corporate training to be a success and to keep engagement levels high – a company has to create relevant content for the relevant audience types in, as mentioned, a relevant format.
Going through the process of creating video content and localizing it into multiple different languages is an excellent way of self-vetting the process. When creating tangible video assets, as opposed to in-person presentations where a portion of the content is delivered verbally, there tends to be multiple stakeholders. Creating bespoke content, geared towards specific audiences within a company will undoubtedly improve success rates, but requesting the time of designers and possibly even product teams is not a process a company is likely to go through for subjects and topics that won’t have an impact.
Lack of a compelling purpose
People are busy. People need more time. People don’t care about things they don’t think are relevant. A damning appraisal of people’s attitude towards corporate training or a realistic look at the context into which corporate training has to be delivered?
The pandemic didn’t change the volume of meetings office workers have. In fact, according to the Harvard Business Review, they increased by 13%, though they were shorter. Diaries continued to bulge, whether we meet in-person or not. And the fatigue that comes with that, particularly digital meetings, is real.
This means that in order for people to show up for training, there has a compelling reason for them to do so, clearly communicated. And in order to communicate a compelling reason for people to show up, a company has to be clear about what the training is trying to achieve and moreover the challenges or failings it’s trying to solve.
Once the purpose is clearly defined – by way of surveys and statistics, profitability increases or decreases, compliance and employee engagement levels – the message can be carefully honed. More pertinent to this blog though – the way in which this message is deployed should then be carefully considered and then updates to training material conveyed to employees as a means of demonstrating leadership’s commitment to the importance of corporate training. That is – snackable video format, most likely with interactive comprehension testing at the end of each section, set to an overarching deadline, so people can complete the training in their own time, between other work that they probably deem to be more important. Localizing this content is the only way to ensure that all markets feel actively considered and to ensure success rates aren't limited to a single market.
Failure to adapt to shifting workplace culture
We can’t talk about corporate training without talking about the impact of the pandemic on the modern office workplace. With hybrid working looking like a long term shift, as opposed to a temporary necessity, it’s more important than ever to harness the ways in which people enjoy consuming content to meet the changing needs and requirements of the workplace.
Take for instance – communication skills workshops. This becomes a very different thing when considered in light of hybrid working. Not only does the format have to reflect the lived – partly remote – experience of those taking the course, but the content has to adapt to the fact that there are and will continue to be innovations in the way people communicate as remote working becomes more firmly embedded in working culture. With a new reality of less face time between employees but also between employees and leadership teams, there’s less chance of organic knowledge sharing, meaning that corporate training must fill that void.
In this environment, employee engagement by way of corporate training, becomes less of a box ticking exercise and more of a crucial tool for making sure that people feel connected to the company, actively engaged with its mission and adequately trained to deliver on achieving it.
To quantify the importance of that and harp back to one of the opening statistics – according to a study conducted by global analytics firm Gallup, companies with a more engaged workforce are 21% more profitable than those with low engagement rates.
Here we arrive back at localized video content as the solution to many corporate training fails. Engagement becomes arguably even more critical the pandemic (we can't yet call it post-pandemic) world. Any and all tactics that can be used to ensure people retain and apply information from training that will keep them committed to their work should be employed. For markets outside of home, increasing relevance by localizing should be high on the agenda.
No way to measure success or failure
When things go digital or rather when corporate training is delivered digitally, the metrics available to measure success become infinitely easier to gather and derive useful insights from. It’s ludicrous to think that in 2021, analogue ways of measuring the success of training – like attendance rates, post-training surveys and end of quarter objective completion levels – should be the measure of training’s success. However they remain. As with any form of on-demand video – click-through rates, completion rates, drop-offs points and watch time and can be measured (all with, of course, the relevant data consent from employees).
Understanding how people interact with training content enables leadership teams responsible for the training to get an accurate picture of how effective and useful it actually is. Optimized content is the byword for training success.
When it comes to measuring the success of localized training video content versus subtitled training content or content that isn't localized at all, well, we've already done that for you – and the results say that not dubbing with reduce engagement and therefore have a negative impact on a company's bottom line.