News | 25.05.2021

Using Document Translation, e-learning Translation and Remote Interpreting to keep overseas teams engaged

Document translation, e-learning translation and remote interpreting have become key services for businesses during the Coronavirus pandemic, as the global lockdown has forced companies from many different industries to transform their processes in a very short period of time. For international organisations particularly, with employees speaking languages other than English, document translation – and related services such as remote interpreting, multilingual subtitling and voiceovers and e-learning translation – have become crucial assets in being able to communicate effectively at this time. It goes without saying that translating content into an employee’s native language will increase engagement with that content, so translation in its different guises has become invaluable during the pandemic.

For the majority of businesses, the move from office to home has presented a new challenge in particularly difficult circumstances. For companies that have teams overseas and are used to remote communication, this may not be as new an obstacle, but there are still challenges to face. Remote working, teamed with the uncertainties and worries that many of us are experiencing due to the pandemic, can affect a worker’s wellbeing no matter where they are in the world.

Companies and HR professionals understand they have a duty of care to this global workforce, and are looking for ways that they can engage with their teams, supporting their mental health and morale, while still being able to effectively communicate to establish a sense of business normality and achieve the best results. This is where document translation, e-learning translation and remote interpreting can be extremely helpful for a business.

The complexities surrounding employees working across diverse locations are tough to manage, and businesses should have strategies in place to ensure remote working is successful. Failure to do so can lead to employees feeling ignored and disconnected. To avoid this situation, businesses are turning to translation, in particular, e-learning translation and remote interpreting, to ensure their communications are tailored, relevant and personal to workforces across the world.

From online training and virtual meetings, to more quirky ways of keeping in touch, such as online socials, technology exists which enables this sort of engagement. But international organisations with global workforces need additional support with quick, accurate and effective translation to make sure that all employees can access initiatives.

This support can take the form of remote interpreting platforms, which enable interpreters to translate online meetings and events in real time, as well as translation of e-learning modules and instructional videos (including subtitles and voiceovers). In addition, companies may also decide to translate ‘how to’ guides, health and safety information, or infographics in local languages to increase engagement. In this way, there are a number of different ways translation providers can support global businesses and HR teams to engage with their staff in a personal and invaluable way during these challenging times.


Translations to help with wellbeing


Businesses have realised the importance of wellbeing programmes during the pandemic, with its global impact posing a real threat to millions of people’s mental health. Many have launched virtual wellbeing programmes, issued motivational internal communications and employee forums to ensure employees are happy, healthy and motivated.

Our client, UDG Healthcare recently created WellSpace, a place for employees to virtually visit at any time, when they need some downtime or a little pick-me-up. It features yoga classes, garden craft ideas and cooking recipes as well as working from home advice and step-by-step mental health support. UDG Healthcare has also recently produced ‘top tips’ posters for employees on subjects including working from home with children, managing a remote team, effective remote meetings, managing stress and taking annual leave during Covid-19.

As a longstanding client, UDG requested the translation of its content into seven different languages, to make the support available for employees all across the world. Feedback was incredibly positive; the WellSpace website had over 5,000 visits in the first week alone, while employees reported enjoying mastering new skills. The dedicated employee forum has also achieved high levels of employee engagement and interaction from colleagues across the world and is proving to be another successful piece in the company’s ‘engaging employees’ jigsaw.


Continued learning through e-learning translation


The global online education market was experiencing huge growth before the pandemic, with statistics suggesting it could be worth $132.98 billion by 2023[1]. With social distancing putting a stop to trade events, conferences and group workshops – all vital to continued professional learning – businesses have had to find an alternative to face-to-face training.

As employee development couldn’t be put on hold, companies have turned to e-learning translation in their swathes, bringing teams together online even when they feel very much apart.

Offering training and tutorials to encourage knowledge sharing in an interactive way shows the value of human interaction – even if it’s done digitally – while translating these materials makes them accessible to international audiences and global workforces. For maximum impact, e-learning courses can also be ‘localised’, which involves adapting the content to suit local culture. For example, if the English language course references Paul paying for something in Pound Sterling or Dollars, the Spanish equivalent could have Pablo paying in Euro.

Applying foreign language voiceovers and subtitles will help overseas audiences feel more engaged with the content and is proven to improve performance. For example, research shows that users retain between 25 and 60 per cent[2] more material when learning online compared to offline, because it requires 40-60 per cent less time to learn[3].


Take offline, online through remote interpreting


Tools like Skype, Teams and Zoom are great ways to keep in touch with people all over the world, and have proven themselves to be vital for long distance communication during the pandemic. For example, Zoom reported its users increased by 2000 per cent during the lockdown[4]. For businesses with international workforces and networks though, additional support is needed in order to create a multilingual environment.

Pre-COVID-19, our team of interpreters would travel across the world to support international corporate conferences and events requiring translation, so discussions could take place at their true pace. Businesses looking to reduce their environmental impact and cut back on overseas travel time and costs began seeking an alternative, so we invested in a multilingual, remote interpreting platform.

It facilitates an unlimited number of virtual interpreting booths that are accessed remotely by organisers and participants around the world; each is allocated one of our qualified linguists who translates live, in real time, in a user’s preferred language choice. It delivers a seamless, multi-way conference, conducted entirely online, with interpreters able to work from anywhere in the world. It has proven to be a valuable piece of technology for global businesses needing to facilitate conference type events while travel restrictions are in force.

Though the platform is helping business leaders achieve some level of continuity in the wake of coronavirus, we are encouraging them to think about how it can support them and their teams in the long-term. Removing the need for travel, it can help reach sustainability targets, but also allow staff members to spend less time travelling and more time at home with their families, thus improving their wellbeing. In addition, companies can save potentially hundreds of thousands of pounds which can be reinvested in other areas of the business to continue improving engagement.

Global businesses face a unique set of challenges at the best of times, but the pandemic has brought these sharply into perspective and forced organisations to think differently. Those who have adapted quickly are likely to make such significant efficiencies, and increase team morale to such an extent, that they will never look back to the way things used to be. Those who sit still risk disengaging international employees entirely, at a time when they need the support of their team more than ever.


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