Product Training In A Multi-Language Platform

Annika Willers · E-Learning Trends · 2 years ago

Product training ensures that employees and partners have up-to-date knowledge and the certainty of doing “the right thing”. Increasingly, product managers and team leaders create these trainings themselves, supported by flexible e-learning software. However, the remoteness between production sites remains a challenge: the success and results of a training course are difficult to track across the distance. In addition, language differences sometimes cause uncertainty. 5 tips on how to make the product training created by the manager a success.

Multi-language platform The complete picture in product training. Copyright: Nicolas Raymond

1. Create flexiblity with online training

Effective product training is crucial for any organization’s success and brand value, and this holds true especially for international product manufacturing firms with multiple sites. Employees and partners need regular updates and trainingto keep up to date with what is happening throughout the organization. This puts pressure on managers to disseminate information quickly and regularly. In addition, it is expected that the content is provided in a user-friendly and flexible manner; and that it is available in the company’s own language.

Many product managers have recognized the need for regular product training, but find it difficult to implement it effectively with little effort. It is therefore important to first identify the basic requirements:

  1. New products and product updates have to be brought to the employees quickly and regularly. Especially when there are many product innovations and many employee changes, so that the knowledge level in the company is difficult to keep track of.
  2. Documents are sent repeatedly and are not always read completely. Nevertheless, managers must make sure that employees have an up-to-date version and that they have understood the content.
  3. Partners and employees often work at widely scattered locations. Different times, procedures, and deadlines make regular meetings difficult. In addition, travel costs and interruptions to work are always linked to these. This can be structured more efficiently.
  4. Partners and colleagues at foreign locations often speak different languages. With English as the universal language, not everyone can cope equally well, so they need more time to process the information. It is therefore necessary to provide product training in the native language and also to let the employees themselves determine the time and pace.

2. Reduce restraining thresholds through multilingualism

Many manufacturers – especially in Europe – have sales teams, partners and production facilities at domestic and international sites. It is crucial to deliver content adequately, without any language barrier, which might lower confidence (ELT Journal), and as a result, acceptance to the training. In order to ensure flexible accessibility, companies are increasingly using cloud-based learning platforms that allow content to be accessed from anywhere without software installation. The product training is set in the respective languages requested by employees involved in the product. Prerequisite: The learning platform offers the language for navigation, feedback, and reports.

Multi-language platformProduct training in multi-language training platform Coursepath

3. Transmit information as required

Avoid losing valuable input due to participants breaking off the training before it is finished and not continuing it. It has been found, however, that employees are definitely interested in regular training. Here are the most important prerequisites for transmitting information as needed.

  • Learning wherever one is – via laptop, mobile phone or tablet – adapted to one’s own schedule and speed, with the possibility of picking up training sessions later right where left off.
  • Real-time access to current and relevant product knowledge, usable as performance support in case of problems or uncertainty how to deal with a situation.
  • Complex product specifications, drawings, installation, and user information are made more attractive and accessible through multimedia processing and microlearning.
  • Modern and appealing interface that guides through learning content intuitively.
  • Opportunity for collaboration, e.g. by providing feedback and discussion to address open questions, to share own experiences, and to provide mutual support.
  • Individual adjustments to personal preferences and language.

4. Save time through automatic conversion

Product managers often perceive providing training as a time consuming endeavor. However, they create courses very quickly if they re-use existing material such as PowerPoint presentations or PDF documents and convert them into a course. With the ability to track training attendance, completion, and performance, managers have the possibility to certify training results or give additional training where it is needed. This way, they achieve a better trained, successful and motivated team which can lead to better production rate and quality.

For convenient online training, product managers or their assistants create a model training that can later be translated for each target group. The next challenge is to ensure that participants navigate intuitively through the course. In a multi-language training platform, navigation elements, reminders and notifications are provided in the participant’s language. This helps reducing anxieties and increases the acceptance of the training.

If employees are at ease with the online training experience, and engage with the content happily, then they are more likely to remember the information, or get back to it in the moment of need. This, in turn, boosts their on-the-job performance. Another side effect is an improved team spirit: those involved with the product – no matter how far away from each other – are engaged in one learning experience together. In knowing that the other teams are trained in just the same way, they are less likely to feel left out from important updates or knowledge exchange.

5. Use the time gained for feedback discussions

If e-learning is successfully set up so that processes become more efficient for product managers and training participants, the time saved can be used for other processes such as feedback meetings. Feedback sessions are always necessary, whether training is delivered on-site or via e-learning. Unfortunately, they are the first to be cancelled when time pressure and lack of time are prevalent.

Take the opportunity to review learning results in the learning platform and discuss them directly with the respective employee. Uncertainties and mistakes can be cleared up the quickest in this way. And for the employee it is an invaluable expression of appreciation.

An earlier version of this article was first published at eLearning Industry, one of the world’s leading eLearning networks.

Suggested reading:
Actega Terra implements international product and sales training with Coursepath. Read the customer case.

World map by Nicolas Raymond