Home » Blog » Case Studies » Adapting to change: Alpha Serve’s online approach to language learning
“At eTalk, we find great joy in discussing our clients and celebrating their stories and accomplishments. Their dedication and success often serve as inspiration for our team. Today, we’d like to spotlight an incredible client who has truly impressed us with their achievements.”
Alpha Serve has been an active market player for 15 years, and their professional team develops software for companies from all over the world. The portfolio includes more than 30 products – B2B applications. The key vector is BI connectors, which enable easy and reliable data export to Microsoft Power BI from Jira, ServiceNow, Zendesk, Shopify and other reporting and business analytics platforms. Today Alpha Serve is a Platinum Partner of Atlassian, Technology Partner of ServiceNow and Zendesk.
When a company is focused on developing products for customers from different countries, it is natural that English is the main language in the whole cycle of the work process. This applies to absolutely all segments: products (documentation, interface, etc.), work with clients (support and maintenance), marketing communication. It is obvious that every Alpha Server team member needs to be confident in English, both verbally and in writing.
Several years ago, before the Covid-19 epidemic, employees had a positive experience learning English offline. At that time the main office of the company was located in Nikolaev (Ukraine), but the classes were suspended due to quarantine restrictions.
Since then, many changes have taken place. First, the Alpha Serve team significantly increased and expanded geographically: specialists from other cities and even countries joined them. Secondly, because of the war in Ukraine and active military operations, including in the south of the country, the company’s office in Nikolaev had to close, and part of the staff left the country in the long run. Therefore, communication with the full team, as well as learning English became possible exclusively online.
Fortunately, the company management was not confused, as they already had a “covid” experience of building an effective work process in a remote format. In order to strengthen the English level of their employees they turned to the language school eTalk, having received the most positive recommendations about its work from their partner-counterparty PRNEWS.IO.
Just from the beginning of 2022, as an added bonus for employees, English language training with top eTalk teachers was launched. The training costs were fully covered by the company, and an important factor was that the classes were held during working hours, which were also paid for. This allowed the team members to keep the focus on language skills development and avoid the negative experience that many companies have with corporate training.
“Several years ago I worked in another company, and there we had the following situation, thanks to which we had exactly a negative experience. During the preliminary surveys of the employees – about a hundred people – they all demonstrated their willingness to attend English courses. The company went along, hired tutors. Classes started at 8 a.m. in several groups, and the entire process was fully paid for by the company. Soon a problem arose: Two people started coming to the lesson instead of ten or twelve. As it turned out, people do not really want to learn, not ready to get up earlier, get to work earlier, make an extra effort to improve their English.” – shares Chief Strategy Officer Alpha Serve Anna Odrinskaya.”
Given this kind of experience, Alpha Serve initially came up with the idea: to keep employees motivated, they should pay for half of the classes out of their own pockets. The other half of the training cost would be paid by the company. The calculation was not to save money, but to discipline people.
In fact, it turned out that during the first months they did not deduct the cost of training from the employees’ salaries: and yet everyone was learning, everyone joined eTalk lessons in a disciplined manner. So the company’s management decided that they would pay in full for additional English training for those who were ready for it.