Prevailing Standards of Business English have given a Hard Time to Graduates
There are about 4,000 engineering colleges in India. Around 800,000 engineers graduate from these colleges every year. These are impressive and slightly mind boggling statistics. But, here’s the stunner: only 20% are considered employable by the various industries.
The Lack of Communications Skills
Over the past few years, the reason leading to the decline in the percentage of the graduates being hired out of college has been identified. A common deprivation factor has been the lack of communication skills.
Almost every employer bemoans the fallibility of business English skills, which manifests itself in the way oral and written interaction takes place. Proficiency in Business English enables to comprehend and use English for common business purposes, which includes many aspects of general English language in the spoken and written form.
Packaged Training Programs
As acquiring business English skills becomes vital to sustain in today’s business environment, many companies are increasingly turning to training programs. These training programs are packaged and used in various ways and through different mediums.
In 2012, the client decided to include a business communications program for their newly inducted engineers. They wanted to ensure that by the time the engineers were deployed to work on various projects, they were job ready, both technically and in terms of their ability to communicate effectively with clients. The latter was crucial for a company competing in a global business environment.
Process – Training Program
1. The training was introduced in the initial phases of induction, one of the many tools used to transform a fresher into a finished one.
2. The training program had to be comprehensive enough to cover all the major aspects of business English.
3. It had to be adaptable enough to incorporate suggestions and feedback along the way.
4. It had to be delivered in a way that it could reach people across different locations, withstand huge numbers; yet, only take up a short period of time and not extend so long as to leave no time for anything else.
Keeping in mind the dynamic nature of the training program, the client decided to use a blended learning approach. They partnered with TaraSpan to provide end to end training program services that include Development of Training Plan, Creating Plotter, Curriculum and Content design and deploy technology enabled learning platform provided by Ascentify, in conjunction with traditional classroom training having its own Trainers across Pan India. The program was branded as the ‘Fluency Program’ and launched in July 2012, with 698 participants, across five major cities in India : Bangalore, Chennai, Pune, Hyderabad and Noida. The CHRD team at the client along with the training experts at TaraSpan identified the key objectives of the program.
1. Language Enhancement
2. Oral Fluency
3. Comprehension Skills
4. Business Writing
5. Retention Skills
6. Typing Skills
Traditional classroom training is embellished with ascentify learning tool that guarantees optimal use of learning time. Each training day is divided into mini sessions and TaraSpan learning team has ensured the curriculum is designed to pack in as much learning as possible in 8 days.
Ascentify learning tool ensures that participants get individual time to practice various topics. Lessons are designed to reiterate the learning imbibed during classroom sessions. They are short and compact with enough explanations to provide the participant with the autonomy to learn on his own and at his own pace. The interface of the tool is easy to use.
Pre and Post assessment at the beginning and end of the program, and a daily assessment on the rest of the days has been designed to gauge and track a participant’s improvement over the course of the program. This will also help the participants to measure their own progress and serve as motivation to accelerate improvement.
Reporting and Analysis
While Ascentify Enterprise reporting offers, accessible at the click of a button, that provide information to trainers, managers and/or the top management about the participants, TaraSpan also provides customized reports that show the needle movement of trainees as well as batches and location wise trend.
A program like this needs relevant and customized content to support it. The client looked after the program management and TaraSpan provided the trainers, training operations and logistics support. The client and TaraSpan also collaborated to design a strong governance model to streamline logistical, operational and quality measures so that the program is robust enough to remove any impediments, now and in the future.
A total of 18,265 candidates in 624 batches were trained in business communication skills. Amazingly there was an increase in positive skill movement. During the training program 19.05% of overall skills were improved, whereas there was a rise of 19.27% in spoken skills and 23.65% in written skills.