Precision Learning, Virtually
Business View Magazine profiles Learnship for our focus on Digital Education Solutions and Technology
From pioneering online, face-to-face training to becoming the leading single-source provider of online language learning solutions
Learnship was created in 2008 in Cologne, Germany, with a simple vision: Access to good quality education is one of the world’s main challenges in fostering prosperity – and the education technology sector is instrumental in tackling these challenges. When the company was launched, edtech was mostly another word for e-learning – and e-learning, applied to language skills, suffered from a poor track record. People could not imagine that virtual classroom learning could ever be as productive as traditional classroom training.
In pioneering online face-to-face business language training, Learnship developed a cutting-edge product that was as engaging as traditional classroom-based training, while offering the flexibility and convenience of online learning. Combining a unique pedagogical approach, business-focused content, and worldwide expert trainers within a purpose-built virtual classroom, Learnship proved to provide better learning outcomes and learning satisfaction.
After expanding in Europe, Learnship started operating in the United States in 2015. Based on its groundbreaking product, Learnship grew to become the world’s leading provider of premium online face-to-face training for foreign languages, serving over 2,000 corporate clients globally. In 2018, German firm THI Investments invested €10 million in the company. The investment helped accelerate Learnship’s expansion plans to grow its full-service language training solutions around the globe.
As part of these expansion plans, Learnship acquired GlobalEnglish in 2019, a global self-paced e-learning leader with 20 years of worldwide business education experience. Building on the two entities’ business knowledge, education expertise, and cutting-edge technology, Learnship now offers a unique, data-driven approach to language and cultural training, focused on faster proficiency improvement and measurable outcomes.
In 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic created a surge in remote working, creating an opportunity for L&D leaders like Learnship to prove how remote working can be a strategic value-driver. Learnship helped organizations navigate through challenges by helping their teams improve communication skills, time management, adaptability, resilience, and empathy across cultures. The pandemic was a major driving force in the transition from classroom learning to virtual learning, in all areas of business training, including language learning. Learnship now helps organizations accelerate this transition with award-winning solutions ranging from scalable self-paced business language learning platform to one-on-one premium executive coaching.
Helping enterprises succeed in global markets with language and cross-cultural communications skills
Learnship’s range of products covers all the skills international organizations need to break down intercultural and language barriers.
Solo, a self-paced digital language learning platform, was designed for efficient, scalable language learning. It offers personalized, bite-sized modules, easy to fit in busy schedules, to learn business language at your own-pace (or just-in-time), and additional business resources such as news articles, email templates, and industry word lists to use right away.
Learnship’s long-standing Elevate courses allow learners to regularly meet with a trainer in a virtual classroom to improve their proficiency in one of 12 languages, based on a personal, customized program. Learnship also offers individual coaching sessions for execs, focusing on their own documents, challenges, and timeline.
Designed for fast upskilling, Sprint blends digital prework and trainer-led sessions over a short period of time – focusing on specific areas, such as negotiations, presentations, remote project management, or simply improving your overall business language proficiency, fast.
With Evolve, companies can look further than languages, and prepare your people to live and work in a different culture – focusing on cross-cultural communications, intercultural awareness, and country-specific insights.
All Learnship courses come with initial assessments to better understand learners’ proficiency, profile, mission, and goals.
Learnship goes to great lengths to maximize their customers’ return on investment. A wide range of training curricula and formats – mobile learning, e-learning, blended learning, face-to-face online learning, onsite training – allow them not only to offer the best courses, matching each employee’s learning preferences and needs, but also to make sure their clients optimize their budget and maximize ROI on a global scale. Additionally, they are also adapting to local specificities and legislations thanks to a truly global footprint and knowledgeable local teams.
Confidently looking at the future of L&D
Today more than ever, the well-being and personal development of employees are prime concerns, as evidenced by the Great Resignation. Learning and Development is one of the main levers to help people thrive in the workplace and advance their careers. As a company strongly established in the business education industry, Learnship has not only helped individuals learn new languages and seize new opportunities. It has supported diversity and inclusion by giving a voice to everyone and shattering cultural barriers – to the benefit of both employees and organizations.
All major trends are heading in favor of Learnship: globalization, education, digitization, diversity & inclusion. Given these topics on CEO and company agendas, Learnship seems to be in the right place, at the right time, with the right products. With lockdowns and COVID, the world realized remote working is the future. Everybody can collaborate, as long as they have a connection and the ability to talk to each other. Thus, digital education is one of the key essentials. And Learnship offers a mature technology to support digital transformation within organizations – and companies’ need for innovation, efficiency, diversity and inclusion.
Defining three key areas of focus for the future
Learnship is already serving more than 25% of the Fortune 500 globally. The objective is now to increase the reach and train ever more people within the next three years, with a focus on three main regions: APAC, the Americas, and EMEA.
To do so, the company defined three areas of focus:
- Intensify talent recruitment and development: Learnship needs all the creative talent and energy to democratize education and bring it to the next level. With a rapid growth resulting from the strong interest in digital business education solutions over the past two years, Learnship is in an intensive recruitment phase. Recruiting new, diverse talent in IT development, content development, Sales, and advance their existing workforce is the first challenge.
- New learning options in line with changing needs: as society has evolved over the past years giving employees new challenges, the company is creating brand new products and content in line with learners’ changing work settings and fragmented schedules. One of their main undertakings is Precision Learning, a bite-sized learning option focusing on new business needs such as remote networking skills or remote project management. Their content development roadmap currently covers over 25 new programs by the end of 2023.
- Technologies for the sake of clients’ ROI: The main pain point with soft skills such as language or cross-cultural training is the difficulty for learners and companies to assess competencies. Learnship has reached a point where satisfaction on a declarative basis is no longer enough. Working closely with IT and product development departments, the company is developing a new platform – Halo – through which learners will be constantly tested, and performance precisely tracked, so Learnship can deliver proof of language level, with detailed can-do statements.
About Learnship’s CEO
Thomas Engelbertz is the CEO of Learnship. Thomas is an accomplished executive with over 10 years of P&L management experience in the Telecom, Internet, and Software-as-a- Service industries, primarily serving B2B and B2C markets.
As CEO of a leading global e-commerce company and member of Vodafone’s senior leadership team, he was responsible for several international market subsidiaries. Thomas successfully led digital, B2C, and B2B businesses. Throughout his career, he has held high growth, transformation, and restructuring management roles that required strong leadership skills, business acumen, customer-centricity, perseverance, and agility.
AT A GLANCE
What: World’s largest digital business language and cultural skills provider
Where: Global presence with U.S. offices in Chicago and San Francisco