Implementing unique solutions toward globalization: strategic steps that promise results
Engineers accelerating their English development
(General Manager Human Resource Development Center)
Due to Nissan's rapid globalization in the last few years, our situation as part of the Nissan Group has also started to change dramatically. For instance, all meetings and reports have to be in English since the development project leader is British, and daily communication with our overseas locations is also in English because the amount of orders we are receiving from overseas is rapidly increasing. This means that our competitiveness is dependent on our engineers' command of English. In view of this, as a first step, we developed a plan to improve our engineers' English skills by having them attend a short-term, intensive course. To objectively measure English ability, we chose the TOEIC test and aimed for a TOEIC score of over 450 for middle-level engineers and up, and over 600 for managers. We selected members who were likely to be in charge of overseas projects, and enrolled them in English classes twice a week for six months.
The combination of the training contents, our engineers' motivation, and our in-house support system allowed us to achieve good results. Within only three months, the average score went up by more than 100 points. Within six months, 60% of the attendees scored higher than 600, exceeding our expectations. This has led to positive developments in our actual business, such as an increase in overseas development projects and improved efficiency because design plans change less frequently. It has also raised our engineers' awareness of the importance of English as a communication tool. Each department now holds a study meeting and a healthy rivalry is emerging.
Going forward, we would like to include people from managerial departments in this program and improve the English skills of even more employees.
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