Here in Spain, many medium and large sized companies have undergone re-structuring in the last 18 months. As we all know ‘re-structuring’ is a euphemism for cutting jobs and cutting salaries. The employees who remain have lived through the stress and convulsions of seeing many of their colleagues and friends leave, and have possibly had to accept a new role or new terms and conditions less favourable than they were used to.
The impact this process can have on morale is predictable. So, once the re-structuring is over, it is time to compete in the ‘new reality’. In order to do this, many Spanish companies have to look for growth in international markets and optimise exports.
Training budgets are limited, but this does not mean that cost-effective programmes cannot be designed to re-engage with the workforce.
For me there are 4 keys to this:
- Identify those who are going to be essential to internationalisation (in our sector – those who need to communicate in English or other non-native languages).
- Establish current competence and the desired competence. Measure that gap and design training programmes to meet targets on specific schedules, be that 1, 2 or 3 years.
- Source the best quality training available with the most up to date methodology. It’s an ideal moment to adopt Blended Learning methodology – teaching English in line with the communications realities we now face; time-efficient programmes with low impact on infrastructure (50% less classroom time); Learners take responsibility for their own learning path and progress.
- Use an objective and internationally recognised testing instrument at the end of the programme to measure results and ROI. I recommend BULATS, Business Language Testing Service, from Cambridge Language Assessment.
Now is the time to engage with your employees and invest in their skills development to equip them to perform at their best in the new reality. Training can still be financed with a neutral impact on budgets by making use of Fundación Tripartita in Spain. It is worth seeking out what subsidies are available wherever you are doing business.