For ages, technology companies across the globe focused their attention on making sure their people wrote in the right languages and knew specific technical skills to get in the door.
In today’s investment-fueled ecosystem, companies have shifted their focus towards a different set of criteria to make sure their people are the most competitive in the marketplace.
As a Customer Success Manager at Lingo Live, I partner with the largest and most competitive technology businesses in the world – several of them are ranked year after year in the top 5% of Best Places to Work! Our partners include massive organizations, global leaders of Learning & Development (L&D), global Heads of Human Resources (HR), and leaders in Engineering. As you can see, we have the attention of some of the most influential people within these organizations.
Every client approaches how they empower their people differently; some build in-house training programs. Others purchase access to executive coaching from outside for their leaders to use. Through our work with so many of these clients, we’ve come to the conclusion (and I think learning leaders can agree…)
One size does NOT fit all!
Companies often take the cheaper option and build in-house Learning Management Systems (known as an LMS) that are designed to capture the needs of ‘most’ people within their organization. What these LMS’s don’t do is give people access to the proper coaching and guidance they need. Think about it this way, you and I have different styles of communication, and our levels of confidence vary when it comes to our ability to speak up in meetings or share ideas in brainstorming sessions. We need different levels of coaching, right?
Here are the top 3 skills employees at these large technology companies are currently developing*:
1) Interpersonal skills: In this category, employees are learning how to network, collaborate and socialize with colleagues. They are adding to their tool belts the art of explanation and persuasion, how to debate and negotiate in business environments, and how to hold the floor in team meetings.
2) Presentation Skills: Employees focused on developing in this particular category are learning the essentials of public speaking. They focus on using the right body language and sentence structures to tell more compelling stories. They build confidence through strengthening how they frame a story and deliver it concisely while doing so in impromptu situations.
3) Leadership Skills: How to be more assertive, how to give and take feedback, communicating value and assets – these are all components of developing leadership skills. In this category, employees are also learning critical management skills like active listening and conflict resolution/mediation.
It’s clear that personalization is key to the learning experience. An LMS lays the groundwork, but coaching accelerates growth and behavioral change. People absorb information and don’t have a way to put it into practice, but practice is what helps people get better at these skills. The best way for people to practice while they learn is to bring material they’re working on in their jobs to their coaching sessions. Having these tailored sessions creates a more meaningful learning experience, and the employees will walk away ready to implement what they just learned.
Traditionally, these skills were called ‘soft’ and regarded as secondary to the technical work in almost every industry. Today, our Fortune 100 clients are prioritizing these skills more than ever. They’re empowering their people by allowing them to increase their ability to communicate effectively and equipping them with the tools they need. As a result, they can move up in their careers, lead others, and make their voices heard.
Do these skills resonate with you and how your company is structuring your internal resources?
-Amjed Osman, Lingo Live Customer Success Manager
Interested in reading more? Check out Are you asking the right questions to advance your career?
*Data courtesy of Lingo Live communications and language training programs.