Globalisation has created opportunities for many businesses to enter distant markets, and reimagine supply chains and offshore operations. With these new opportunities come fresh challenges, especially for corporate L&D teams that need to train a global audience of learners; individuals with a diversity in cultural backgrounds, frames of reference, and preferred language.
The key is to effectively and consistently engage learners from very different culture while ensuring they have a quality experience that reinforces the brand values. A solution to this is to create and deliver e-learning content that’s been expertly localised to meet the specific needs of your audiences.
While translation aims to convey meaning in another language, localisation goes further, making it culturally and regionally relevant and relatable to its audience. For this reason, while translation typically restricts itself to words, localisation expands to symbols, images, graphics, currencies, user interfaces, and more, and places all this into a cultural context. It also takes account of the differences in the way that learners behave, how they consume content, and how they prefer to learn.
When global organisations create localised online training content, individual learners benefit, and the business as a whole.
Better Learner Outcomes
Learners feel like content has been designed for them. They find it easy to understand and navigate, perceive greater clarity in the content, develop a better understanding, and engage with it more deeply. And they enjoy better outcomes.
Better Business Outcomes
When e-learning works for every learner, everywhere, organisations can build a better-trained and more knowledgeable workforce. At the same time, they can build their reputation as a future-ready global enterprise – helping them attract and retain top talent – and support their diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) endeavours with more accessible training and development.
When e-learning content fails to communicate effectively and is open to being misunderstood, or if it fails to resonate with a percentage of its audience, then it will not fully deliver on the time and money invested in its creation and delivery. Worse, it can create additional costs as organisations are forced to invest further in retraining.
Increased Disengagement And Turnover
Trying to engage with training content intended for learners with a different first language and cultural background is a frustrating experience. There can be a knock-on effect on productivity, employee morale, and talent retention, as staff feel they haven’t been properly equipped to succeed in their roles.
Compliance And Safety Risks
Corporate e-learning content often helps employees understand how to perform their roles in a safe and compliant way. Without adequate localisation, content can fail to reflect local laws and industry standards, leaving individuals in unsafe working situations and employers at risk of legal action.
Signs That You Should Seek A Localisation Partner
If you are experiencing any of the following issues, it is time to speak to an expert partner about how they can support your e-learning localisation projects.
Low Engagement Rates
If your lowest levels of eLearning engagement and satisfaction are coming from your overseas learners – or those whose first language is different from the language used in the course – then that’s a strong sign your localisation efforts are insufficient and your content is not resonating as it should.
Poor Learning Outcomes
Does it look like your learners are successfully completing your courses but are not putting what they have learned into practice? This could signal a disconnect between your course content and the reality of their working lives.
An Inconsistent Brand Image
It’s easy for localised content to become inconsistent and potentially confuse learners with its mixed messages and design styles. An expert localisation partner will ensure your e-learning content accurately reflects your brand’s visual aesthetic, messaging, and values without undermining its effectiveness across different audiences.
Overstretched Teams And Budgets
Many businesses initially attempt to manage localisation in-house, only to find their staff and budgets increasingly stretched. If you notice that your learning and development team is getting overwhelmed, bringing in a localisation expert could allow your staff to focus on e-learning creation and curation and, ultimately, reduce costs.
Effective Localisation Is Essential For Global Brands
It is hard to overstate the importance of localisation when addressing a global audience of learners. Effective localisation lets you create engaging experiences for every learner, wherever they are – and, in turn, builds a more successful global business.