Endesa and Learnlight: Working Together to Empower Talent
Endesa and Learnlight’s relationship dates back to 2004, when Learnlight, an international leader in language and skills training, began to provide online training to the energy company’s employees. Since then, the relationship has grown from strength to strength with Learnlight now Endesa’s global language training provider, offering the most innovative language and skills courses available on the market.
Endesa and Learnlight started working together in 2004. How has your relationship evolved since then?
Virginia Navarro (V.N.): In 2004, Endesa’s language training requirement was distributed among many different providers with a clear distinction between face-to-face and e-learning providers. At that time, it was very clear to us that we wanted to move towards an eLearning language program but faced the challenge of how to combine it with face-to-face training. We worked closely with the providers at the time to ensure that the face-to-face and virtual classes complemented each other.
Benjamin Joseph (B.J.): What started as a one-off project led us to work together with Global English on a pedagogical level and create programs and learning content that were fully aligned, to the point where it turned into a global partnership through which we have provided training in more than 150 countries.
And now Endesa is working with Learnlight in this training area…
V.N.: Indeed, we have gone from working with different providers to selecting Learnlight as our sole language provider after a competitive tender process. Before, we believed that having a single provider would be a risk, but our relationship (with Learnlight) has grown over time to such a point that they have proved that they are able to meet all our needs.
We designed our platform to empower the trainer and the learner, and put people at the heart of the digital learning process.
What training needs does Endesa currently have?
V.N.: Our needs have changed over the years. A significant milestone in the area of language training was the acquisition of Endesa by Enel.
Language training has always been important and has been a big priority for the company. Much more now, as Endesa forms part of a multinational group where English is the official language. In addition, being part of Enel has also increased contact with our Italian colleagues, so knowledge of Italian is clearly an advantage. It is also important to remember that we have commercial offices throughout Europe and our expansion into renewable energies sees us now present in more than 70 countries.
Who are the main beneficiaries of language training?
V.N.: Currently, twenty percent of Endesa employees receive language training – mainly in English or Italian, but we also offer Spanish programs for international assignees as well as French, Portuguese and German.
And does this 20% of staff belong to any specific group?
V.N.: When it comes to designing a language course we do not take into account the professional category but rather the concrete learning needs of each person, and therefore we have programs focused on very different groups. For example, programs range from providing training in English to port operators who need very specialized English, to finance professionals responsible for investor relations who, while having a very high level of English, need to improve their confidence in the language.
What type of programs have you launched in partnership with Learnlight to meet these needs?
B.J.: Endesa very much leads the way in terms of corporate training and offers a wide variety of training options to employees. In the case of language training, we offer blended programs that combine face-to-face and telephone with the virtual platform, as well as telephone training coupled with intensive classes. Additionally, we have also designed 72-hour long face-to-face courses and virtual group classes.
V.N.: It has been proven that not all adults learn in the same way. This mix of formats, in addition to giving a greater dynamism to the offering, also provides learning opportunities for all publics. Furthermore, we are applying this approach to not only language training but also to other learning initiatives. With Learnlight we have all the possible combinations we could need: from online training combined with Learnlight Magazine, which serves as a support to the training.
You have mentioned there are also group virtual classes. What do they consist of?
V.N.: Virtual classes are very interesting because they have allowed us to solve the problem of people that need training but who are geographically dispersed. These programs allow employees to interact with a virtual trainer and colleagues in different locations.
B.J.: These virtual classes also expose participants to different cultures as they engage with colleagues that they would not normally have working relationships with. We’ve also found that many companies use this type of virtual service to bring together geographically disperse teams such as marketing or finance.
“Café” is another innovative Learnlight program. Can you tell us more about this?
B.J.: The majority of our learning solutions have a structured training path, where the participant follows set guidelines with very clear learning objectives. We have found, however, that many of our learners would also like the opportunity to talk and practice their fluency by simply having more informal conversations as often these are the most difficult ones to have. To meet this need, we created Learnlight Café, a cloud-based café where people can turn up and talk about current affairs for half an hour – all under the supervision of a trainer. Learnlight Café has been very well received for its flexibility and the interesting mix of learners who pop into the virtual Café to practice their English.
Currently, Endesa is analysing the possibility of offering “Soft Skill Pills” for employees with a high level of English. What are “Soft Skills Pills”?
B.J.: They are small learning pills that focus on how to work in virtual environments, communication styles, intercultural topics, etc. These skills courses (primarily delivered in English) are flexible and short modules that follow a flipped classroom blended methodology where learners first review the learning content, then connect and finally do a post-session task. Soft Skills are a great way to empower employees to choose the learning they need and consume it easily during their working day.
Enel´s strategy is to put the learner at the heart of the learning process, to take responsibility for their own training and to take advantage of all the opportunities available to them.
These courses are complemented with the Learnlight platform. What features does it have?
B.J.: The Learnlight platform brings together those who want to learn with those who want to teach and provides them with all the tools they need do this successfully in the cloud. The platform offers many types of interactive learning material and all the back-office technology required to run a successful language or skills program, e.g. tools to measure learner progress, feedback measurement, scheduling tools, and, obviously, measure the time that learners devote to studying, etc.
The platform is designed to help organisations seamlessly run global learning programs. While the platform covers many areas, the main difference lies in the fact that, while most learning platforms are developed to replace trainers, we designed our platform to empower the trainer and place them at the heart of a digital learning process right from the very beginning.
V.N.: Enel´s strategy is to put the learner at the heart of the learning process, to take responsibility for their own training and to take advantage of all the opportunities available to them that this learning platform presents. All this is based on the “Open Power” values that we are rolling out in the company that ask employees to assume responsibility, be proactive and innovative in order to perform at the highest level.
What added value does Learnlight bring to Endesa’s training?
V.N.: Learnlight offers us a unique learning and delivery mix that we value very highly. Other important factors include their flexibility and speed of response to our requests. We perceive them to be at the cutting-edge of innovation in their field, and they are always very proactive in providing attractive and innovative solutions that are aligned to our learning needs.
B.J.: Our aim is to be a partner and not a provider. This philosophy has been very important as we have grown to now provide services globally to many leading companies. While we now have the scale to be the global learning partner for any company we are still small enough to offer the personalized services that our clients value so much.
Original article in Spanish can be found here: Equipos y Talento