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Effective Global Training: A Q&A with Wendy Farrell

Training is hard. Effective training is harder.

Training is hard. Effective training is harder, especially when your audience is global.

Lionbridge creates technical and business training that is engaging, effective, and easy to localize. We’ve recently been recognized for our training excellence on Training Industry’s list of Top 20 Training Outsourcing Companies.

In this Q&A, Wendy Farrell, Lionbridge Manager of Content Solutions, chats with us about how Lionbridge creates effective training programs for organizations all around the world. 

Q: What training services does Lionbridge offer?

Lionbridge develops custom training solutions that help organizations improve sales effectiveness, enhance performance, reduce support costs, manage compliance, and improve the customer experience. Our training services include:

  • Custom training manuals
  • Class materials
  • Videos
  • Mobile and eLearning solutions
  • Augmented/virtual reality programs

We help clients create training content and deliver it effectively. Clients can count on us to create comprehensive training programs for multiple stakeholders in multiple languages. 

Q: What types of companies do we serve?

We work with a wide range of companies across industries. Most clients hail from the manufacturing, technology, and telecommunications fields. We also work with customers in the aerospace, automotive, banking and finance, and consulting industries, among others. Our processes are efficient and flexible enough to serve any business that needs a top-tier training program. 

Q: What makes Lionbridge training services unique?

Lionbridge has a unique blend of content development capabilities that span technical, training, and marketing content. Each capability focuses on global audiences. We combine those capabilities with our translation expertise to deliver culturally-appropriate content faster and more efficiently to meet client training needs.

Our use of video, gamification, and mixed reality provides new delivery formats to engage learners. We continue to focus on machine learning and artificial intelligence, which we believe will provide key tools as customized learning technologies continue to evolve. Our familiarity and expertise with these technologies make us uniquely situated to help customers explore and implement new solutions leveraging these approaches. 

Q: What trends are we excited about in the training industry?

There are a few industry trends we find particularly exciting:

Using new technologies to create and deliver training programs

Right now, the training industry benefits from a wide range of technologies—including augmented, virtual, and mixed reality, among others. These technologies provide innovative approaches to driving training fidelity and effectiveness. At Lionbridge, we’re experimenting with introducing wearables and voice assistants for training purposes, and we’re continuing to increase our use of gamification for both concept recognition and application tasks.

For example, we’ve capitalized on the popularity of escape rooms to design “escape room sales trainings” as both in-person and virtual training events. With this approach, we can generate higher engagement while emphasizing relevant sales information and driving customer interactions.

Blurring the line between training and performance support

We’re excited to see increased overlap between formal training programs and ongoing performance support. That allows for more just-in-time learning that is contextually relevant and sticky for learners, regardless of their job title.

Many of the solutions we offer feature blended elements. Our programs can include formal trainings, such as escape rooms, mobile learning apps, etc. We can also provide ongoing informal training materials including videos, interactive PDFs, and job aids. We are focused on introducing more multi-component training solutions. These app-driven solutions give training audiences the most convenient access to information possible.

Presenting training content in more visual formats

As a company rooted in linguistics, Lionbridge is always seeking ways to break down language and cultural barriers and build bridges for a global audience. We’ve been advocates for presenting training content in more visual formats. This makes content easier to understand for global audiences—especially those who speak English as a second language. With flexibility, creativity, and innovation, we can help companies build stronger bridges and reach more employees in more places more quickly.

What are your top tips for companies considering outsourcing their training programs?

Here are three tips companies should keep in mind:

Find a partner, not a vendor

As with many services, you’ll get the best results when you and your training vendor collaborate, share, and form a true partnership. The more a partner such as Lionbridge understands about your organization, audiences, constraints, and challenges, the better able we are to create effective learning solutions that drive results. If you’re considering outsourcing your training programs, look for a vendor that wants to know more about your company, your employees, and customers. The right vendor will approach the relationship as a partnership rather than a transaction.

Be realistic

Creating effective and engaging training programs is hard—and it takes collaboration between your organization and your selected vendor. Be realistic about the tasks only you can do. Keep your internal team focused on your company’s core value proposition, and let your vendor tackle the rest of the work. Let us help you!

Set goals

What are your goals for your training program? Have you communicated them with your potential partner? Before you move forward with a new program, spend some time thinking about what you want to achieve by outsourcing. Start with small, achievable goals—even the best partner needs time to get to know your individual needs, communication style, and expectations. When you set measurable metrics, make sure you communicate them to your potential outsource partner, so you can work together as effectively as possible.

Ready to chat with a Lionbridge expert about developing a bespoke training program for your organization? Reach out to us today to learn more.

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