HR & Communication Tech, Interviews

Interview with Speexx: Let’s get digital – The True Story of Moving From F2F to Digital Learning

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Speexx_2x

In the run up to ScaleUp 360° HR Tech Europe we are excited to announce our Speaker Achim Brückner, Head of Customer Solutions at Speexx Germany.

Find out more about Speexx and get a sneak peek into his session scheduled for the digital event on April 13-14.

Your solution is announced at the ScaleUp 360° HR Tech Europe with the title “Let’s get digital – The True Story of Moving From F2F to Digital Learning”. What is the most important message to the participants and your clients in this context?

Achim Brückner: Good question! Most important message is probably that digital learning requires a completely different approach. It has the potential to be not only more flexible in terms of where and when someone learns, it should also be more personalized or adopted to the needs and interests of the individual. Digital learning offers a lot more flexibility and different learning opportunities, but there are also new challenges like involved technologies, access management or for instance data protection questions that need to be addressed.
We intend to demonstrate with our Smart Learning approach how digital learning can be beneficial to both the learner and learning management. It is key to understand that in digital learning user journeys start way before the actual learning happens.

What would you highlight as the unique selling point approach?

Achim Brückner: We offer an intelligent language learning platform for the digital workplace. For our international customers and their diversified global workforce, we provide a smart language platform that combines assessment, learning and continuous performance support. Unlike traditional training providers Speexx helps to assess, build, grow and maintain the language and communication skills that matter.
When we at Speexx talk about our Smart Learning solutions we mean that our customers receive a first-in-class digital blended learning experience based on smart learning technology with AI-powered microlearning, adoptive learning paths based on the actual needs and individual interests, personal communication skill coaching in writing, video exercises and online communications skills training in the virtual classroom. On top, our customers get training administration services and business analytics that can be integrated smoothly in almost any L&D customer ecosystem.
What our customers value the most is that they get one training standard to reach their diversified workforce. They appreciate a lot our flexible service offers that can be managed based on changing needs and demands. And they appreciate the fact that Speexx solutions can be easily integrated into their corporate LMS/LXP. Even for highly regulated corporate learning cultures (i.e., by data protection regulations) we offer sufficient quality reporting via surveys and progress status reports. This reduces complexity and cost, helps measure quality and thus improves results.
Digital language training offers your users a more convenient way to learn with the standardized training that they need to develop their skills. With digital language training, you are getting the most for your money because you can measure the impact of the training on your workforce, while decreasing complexity and costs.

If you think of your clients’ requirements: Which problem areas in the context of digital learning do you regard as particularly critical?

Achim Brückner:In our experience a strategic mandate for partnership with Speexx accompanied by clear objectives and result expectations help a lot. This is because it makes everything easier: L&D can communicate, consult and assess with more clarity, managers can take easier decisions and the actual user can easily see the access criteria and the expectations for a training. And of course, we all know how important it is to corporate talent to see that the company is invested in their development. So, good communication and executive sponsorship are key for a healthy corporate learning culture.
Speaking of corporate learning culture, the culture of learning in an organization is also a crucial factor. Is it more user centric? Meaning that employees are expected to organize their learning themselves and is the company and their HR/L&D mainly in a supportive role. Or is the learning culture rather top-down and manager centric?
Whatever the culture of learning is, it needs to be considered when implementing trainings because the processes, systems and people involved are usually not the same. A critical success factor in this sense is that the learning solution you want to implement is accepted across the entire organization. Acceptance is best achieved through transparency, which brings us back to clear communication. Make learning opportunities easy to discover, communicate requirements and expectations clearly, address data protection and involve all relevant stakeholders (i.e., the workers‘ council).
The last aspect is digital readiness, meaning how professionalized is digital learning already within the organization. Are people used to learning online, using digital platforms and tools, what is the device policy for learning and how are IT services set up around learning? Whatever your answer is to this aspect, at Speexx you will get specialists like a Customer Success Manager or a Solution Architect that will help you find the best implementation design.

What do you think are the best approaches & technologies to meet these challenges?

Achim Brückner: Having a strategic learning approach and the availability of an accessible learning environment is something you should always aim for. These should be embedded in a corporate infrastructure that meets the requirements of the organization and its employees.
From a strategic point of view digital language training provides for a better ROI on training budget. Measurable results, a single source provider and standardized training allows for a deeper focus on prioritizing true learning needs based on data.
Digitizing language training is a strategic business decision that ensures compliance and provides skills assessment and skills training for future employee development. Avoid delivery of fragmented training content. Growing your business means developing your corporate training approach. What we have learned from data is that if you want to increase productivity, standardize training, and break down internal communication silos, digital language training is the way.
Regarding technologies, use what suits our purpose best. If delivery and management of trainings has reached a level where a Learning Management System or a Learning Experience Platform makes sense for your organization, make sure your training provider can be integrated. Ask them directly. Ask what integration support you can get, what standards they support and if they can help you with good practice examples. Speexx is happy to consult, support and share experience in this respect. At the end of the day learning technologies always have a couple of simple tasks to solve:
User access (authentication), training access (resource authorization), discoverability (resource localization), reporting (data transfer) and possibly progress and satisfaction monitoring. In case your company has taken the decision that all learning including monitoring and reporting should happen at the source that is also great, Speexx will provide you with the right tools and appropriate onboarding.
Digital language training provides for a better ROI on training budget. Measurable results, a single source provider and standardized training allows for a deeper focus on prioritizing true learning needs based on the data. As we have learned over time, a one-size-fits-all solution won’t work long term.

Digitizing language training is a strategic business decision that ensures compliance and provides skills assessment and skills training for future employee development. By not shifting communication training to digital, training adoption rate will decline, and delivery of training content will become more fragmented. Growing your business means developing your corporate training approach.

What we’ve learned from the data is that if you want to increase productivity, standardize training and break down internal communication silos, digital language training is the way.

How do you assess – also regarding the participants and speakers of ScaleUp 360° HR Tech Europe – the developments on the market for solutions for HR Technologies in the next 1-2 years?

Achim Brückner: Learning preferences have changed in the past few years. If we want to reach our learners, we need to offer them learning opportunities at the time and place of their choosing. Personalization, collaborative learning and microlearning are all indicated as learning trends right now.

Continuous learning is needed now to maintain, up or reskill our workforce. Digital learning provides for all of these learning demands from the modern workforce, and also incorporates the future needs of our learners.

A big topic in HR Tech is currently AI-driven personalization of learning, or intelligent learning. This means that systems use intelligent algorithms that help the individual to build the right learning path. To do so these systems look at learner profiles, their needs and interests, their preferences, their availability, the trainings they rated, etc. and give recommendations. This smart learning experience design is also an integrated part of the Speexx Smart Learning solution.

The pop in your job – you work as Head of Customer Solutions at Speexx – which tasks would you highlight as particularly interesting? What is most exciting about your role, and why are you passionate about your job?

Achim Brückner: Translating customer requirements into great learning solutions! Each customer is unique, and I really enjoy the possibility to get to collaborate with so many smart people from all kinds of backgrounds and cultures around the globe.

In the Customer Solutions Team at Speexx we do have fantastic expert colleagues around the globe. In this team we discuss system integration options and best-practice customer implementations to learn (there is a zoo of systems out there!) and improve our approach.

I would therefore say that the “collaborative task” of finding a great implementation designs together with my team and our customers is what I enjoy the most. There is always something to learn. I have dedicated most parts of my professional career to learning and technology and there is so much momentum and development now. At Speexx as well, the pace of innovation is exciting. It is great to be a part of that.

Which topics are particularly important for you in the context of the conference and why?

Achim Brückner: We have seen a lot of development in digitizing learning in the last 12 months. The change from F2F to digital has accelerated under special conditions. Everybody talks about up and reskilling now, a huge transformation process is taking place in the work culture. The open-plan office is dead and will be replaced by new forms of flexible collaboration.
Networked collaboration in changing team compositions requires new skills and a key aspect for the success of collaboration in changing team settings is communication. I am eager to hear what concepts exist, how current challenges are being addressed and what developments are seen around this new work culture.

Thanks Achim! Be sure to check out Speexx Solution Study at 10:00 AM on Wednesday, April 13th – the registration is free and all presentations will be made available on-demand after the event through our hubs101 platform.

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About Speexx

Speexx is the new normal. We use ground breaking AI technology to provide language skills testing, training and continuous performance support to global top 1,000 companies driving better ROI on training budgets and workforce productivity. Unlike traditional training providers, Speexx helps organizations build, grow and maintain the language skills that matter – all within a safe online environment.

More than 8 million users in 1,500 organizations around the world – including UNHCR, UBS, Adecco, and Renault-Nissan – use Speexx to learn a language smarter and deliver results on time, no matter whether they’re working in an office or from home. Speexx is headquartered in Munich/Germany with offices in London, Madrid, Milan, Paris, Sao Paulo, New York and Shanghai.

For more information, visit speexx.com