The role of project leader in corporate language training programs is crucial for supporting and guiding participants through the given project.
This article helps explore what strategic and practical tools are at the disposal of leaders to make sure that all participants can benefit from corporate language training.
Dealing with underachievers in a corporate language training program works the same way as in any workplace situation. As we have made clear in our previous articles, we believe that the language training and development program ought to be considered a project apart.
Any corporate language training program should meet the company’s goals and necessities. As the basis for the project’s implementation, a strategic need has been identified, so the project’s participants should be selected based on objective strategic criteria.
Roles of the Participant in Corporate Language Training
Of each participant, you must ask the question: How will this language course help to optimize your performance at this company.
Once selected, each participant should be informed clearly about:
i) Their goals
ii) How much time they will have at their disposal to achieve these goals
iii) The tools and means available for the execution of the project.
It is also essential that a Project Leader be appointed, usually the Area Manager or someone from the company’s HR or T & D department.
Role of the Project Leader in Corporate Language Training
Still, even having taken all these measures, we end up with underachievers in corporate language training projects. How, then, do we deal with these people? How can we ensure that the whole project remains uncompromised?
In these moments, the role of the project comes to the fore, as it is his/her responsibility to ensure the project’s success. It is vital that the Project Leader accepts that it is their task to take care of the problem, and to take the initiative in finding a solution.
The Project Leader is best placed to handle the case, because they have the knowledge and tools to do so. They are also directly in touch with the people and know all about the problem itself.
Be proactive about identifying the problem
Addressing the problem head on is key. The Project Leader needs to inform the underachiever that his performance is below expectations and find out what is wrong, whether there is a personal problem, or if workplace issues are provoking their decline in performance. Whatever the cause, the Project Leader needs to know about it.
Stick to the project’s objective
The objectives of the project and the role of each member should be clearly laid out from the start, thus ensuring that there is no confusion. It is very common for people to work hard on their tasks, but after a few minutes of conversation with the leader, it can become clear that they had no real knowledge of their goals or the company’s expectations.
It is vital that a Project Leader recognizes that there are differences between the stakeholders in the project. For this reason, imposing a one-size-fits-all solution that worked elsewhere may not be appropriate for the present situation.
Companies employ people from a variety of backgrounds, with different motivations and disparities in age. A Project Leader who treats everyone in the same way, will soon run aground. Groups are not homogenous, and neither are solutions
For the Project’s participants to play their roles successfully, the Leader provides them with the right tools to carry on the Project. In the case of language programs, it is crucial that the selected course contains all the activities, contents and resources, that the student requires of language project.
Achieving one’s stated objectives should be done in a pleasant, fast and efficient way. It is no use wanting these people to acquire a high level of fluency in a foreign language if a course does not have the essential characteristics for that to happen. This will lead to frustration among the participants and will compromise results.
Implement project initiatives and solutions
Leaders should consider implementing peer-coaching with underachievers. It is an alternative that is less expensive, and can greatly increase a person’s motivation. Worthy courses offer a human figure who provides motivational feedback to students, highlighting their strengths and needs, and leading them to optimal outcomes.
Incidentally, the question of coaching and feedback is very important. It is very common for people who are part of a project to point out their leaders as the main reason for their success. When people receive ongoing feedback and performance reviews, they are more aware of their productivity and often perform much better.
Finally, the Leader should be aware that it is fine for them to have their own style of leadership. Being firm and assertive is not the same as being rude and aggressive. Skirting around a potentially problematic situation demonstrates poor leadership which will jeopardize the outcomes of the Project.
Want to know more about how to optimise corporate workplace English training solutions for your business? Feel free to get in touch!
Ricardo Hilgenberg – National Director, E2Language Brazil
Colin David – Director of Business Development, E2Language