For years, companies have been looking to reduce the cost/inconvenience/time/logistics involved in facilitating in-person language training. COVID19 has accelerated this trend significantly as many businesses mitigate the risk to their employees by encouraging or enforcing remote work.

We've seen our B2B customers including Babbel B2B and Kern Training capitalise on this opportunity and want you to succeed also.

Discover best-practice for corporate language training below.

1. CHECK WITH THE COMPANY IT DEPARTMENT

Most companies, especially the largest, will have a company firewall in order to protect their employees and data. This may limit or block features, browsers or applications that are not "whitelisted".

We do not recommend offering any live classes until you have checked with the company IT department if they have a "firewall".

Send them something like this:

"Hi there,

We're excited about training your company's employees. We use a state-of-the-art online virtual classroom called LearnCube.

Can I ask you to please check these Firewall Settings in order to ensure we can deliver the best learning experience to your colleagues?"

2. CONFIRM & VALIDATE LEARNCUBE WILL WORK WITH THE IT DEPARTMENT

It is so much easier to prevent issues and avoid misunderstandings. Once you have received confirmation from the IT department, please validate with 2 - 3 other employees before scheduling any further classes.

This will help you identify any potential problems before you rollout your online solution.

Send them something like this:

"Hi there,

Thank you for confirming that our expert system, LearnCube, has been allowed by your Firewall.

In order to avoid any potential misunderstandings, could we please do a quick check before we start scheduling classes with your peers?

Could you please spend 30 seconds to complete these two quick automated tests?

3. TEST WITH AT LEAST 3 EMPLOYEES

It's possible that even if you receive confirmation from the IT team that LearnCube has been allowed, they have gotten busy or made a small mistake and only allowed LearnCube for a section of their employees.

We highly recommend you complete a 10 - 30 minute test class with 2 - 3 employees, ideally from a few departments & represent the "average" employee, before rolling out further.

Corporate customers will appreciate you being professional and ensuring a great first impression.

While some learners will think it more convenient to learn on their smartphone, we would discourage this particularly in the beginning. Think... there are so many additional variables with a smartphone vs computer. The capabilities of mobile devices vary much more so than a computer.

For the best experience, we highly recommend learners join your teacher on a computer, using the latest version of Chrome.

4. SOFT-LAUNCH

Every company is different. Some have great internal communication, some have very poor systems. Rather than launching across an entire organisation (high-risk), launch with 5 - 20 sessions over a week, get feedback & optimise the experience.


Mention these steps with your client from the very beginning and they will be happy to help. In fact, they will think you professional, risk-conscious and thorough.

Try this welcome message for employees.

"Hi there,

We are very excited to be helping your advance your skills in {English}.


In order to help you learn faster and enjoy the experience, we use the best (only) virtual classroom made specifically for language learning. It is called LearnCube.

In order to ensure the best experience, we highly recommend the following steps:

  1. Use a computer (vs a smartphone) where possible because it makes it easier for you to interact with our materials & reduces the risk of a poor internet connection.
  2. Run this equipment check - troubleshooter link
  3. Run this firewall & network test link.
  4. Join your first class 5 minutes before it begins so you feel comfortable in the online class & our teachers can help you with any initial questions.

Thank you and see you soon,

XXXX"

Other recommendations

Disarm would-be blockers

It is not uncommon for there to be "blockers" in a company when offering online corporate language training.

You might like to offer a few free private lessons for an HR manager to distribute (if they're the purchaser/champion) so that "blockers" can feel comfortable.

Even still, there may be some "influencers" that are particularly sensitive to any kind of issue, even if it was caused by poor connectivity on their side. Jumping on a quick 5-minute phone call to talk them through it can really pay off and makes your service stand out.

Start with 1:1 or small groups of 4 before expanding group sizes

The more people/variables/video streams, the higher chance that something could go wrong and ruin the first impression.

People (teachers & learners) often feel 1-1 training and small groups of less than 5 students is much easier to start with.

Offer times to troubleshoot before their first "official class"

Reduce the "stakes" involved in the first class. You might like to offer 1 - 2 hours during the first few weeks where new online learners can test entering a classroom with one of your team before their first class.

A lot of the panic & challenges come from that first class. Once learners have successfully completed their first experience, it's so much easier to get them hooked and loving learning online.

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