Clients' Voice

“Canning is a treasured business partner I can go to for advice on anything.”

Electronic Arts, Inc.

Since 2009

Personnel Department Manager, HR Business Partner

Asako Hongo

The Beauty of Canning

  • 1. Flexible solutions

    Clients feel free to consult Canning about their business challenges and can expect flexible solutions and up-to-date knowledge on the latest trends in the field of personal development.

  • 2. Promotion of intercultural understanding

    Canning offers courses to improve English communication skills as well as courses to promote intercultural understanding.

  • 3. Specialisation in Business

    Unlike teachers at many English language schools, Canning's consultants are thoroughly experienced in business. The classes are educationally compelling and worthwhile.

“A valuable partner who encourages us to start by explaining our issues and challenges.”

When did your relationship with Canning first start?

In 2009, before I started my present job at Electronic Arts. I was serving as an HR Business Partner-HRBP for short-the same job I have now. Then, like now, I was helping to boost business performance by ensuring improvements in the abilities of talented employees assigned to key positions. More specifically, team managers came to me for help in improving their expertise in areas such as leadership ability, English proficiency, and communication skills.

When managers come to me for help with issues they face, the first advisors I turn to have always been the consultants at Canning. I have yet to form a clear picture of the kind of training we need at the beginning. I simply want to explain the kinds of challenges and issues we are coping with. Canning is the kind of valuable partner that allows me to do that. That’s why I’ve continued using their services wherever I work.

What do you think of Canning’s ability to devise proposals?

Most other training providers have a set course and lack flexibility. With Canning, I can tell them about all the problems we face at my company. In return they propose various suggestions on training content they feel will be helpful, including aspects such as the duration of the sessions and how often they should be held. They also tell me about the approaches that have worked for other companies.

“Business English should be learned from professionals with ample business experience.”

What features set Canning apart from other training providers?

Canning’s courses are unique for training participants in how professionals use English in real-life working environments. Rather than simply teaching English, the courses are focused on roles such as meeting facilitator or presenter in English. No matter how fluently a person can speak English, their presentation will lack power and persuasiveness if they fail to present with confidence. Canning shows participants how to skilfully guide and develop their communication with others.

For a start, all of Canning consultants must have business experience; it’s an absolute prerequisite. Instructors at English language school often lack experience with the other types of business scenarios people encounter. No matter how thoroughly they teach their course participants about presenting, their courses only skim over the realities of the business situations, or ignore them altogether. Business English should be learned from professionals with ample business experience.

Are there are any other differences you notice between Canning and other training providers?

Another distinctive feature of Canning is their skill in training on situations where people from different cultures work together on the same teams. Let’s say a team includes a French woman who draws meetings out with lengthy questions and comments, and a Japanese man who stays mute even if invited to ask questions. While their approaches are complete opposites, the aim behind them is the same. Both are trying to be polite: the French woman asks questions because she thinks it would be rude not to; the Japanese man holds his tongue because he thinks it would be rude to interrupt. Canning’ training gives participants a feel for this and many other cultural differences.

“Employees from around the company hear about the quality of the training and come to observe.”

How do the participants rate the training?

Everyone gives excellent ratings to the Canning courses. Only rarely can we find training of this kind offered in English, and all of the content is practical and can be directly applied in business settings. Participants rate it highly as a matter of course.

The interest within our company is also noteworthy. Whenever Canning training sessions are held, people from the personnel department where I work ask me if they can come to observe the sessions. The same thing happened at my last company. I worked with many other HRBPs back then, and a good portion of them contacted me after hearing the feedback about the training provided by Canning.

What do you expect from Canning in the future?

I hope that Canning will continue working with me as a trusted advisor and valuable business partner. Not long ago, a Canning seminar gave me the opportunity to create a network with HRBPs from other companies. Networking opportunities are especially valuable for a personnel supervisor, as the nature of our jobs can isolate us from people outside the company. I would be grateful if Canning offered more opportunities of this type.

If those of us in human resources can form a community, we will also be able to provide Canning with updates on trends in our actual workplaces. We can build a win-win relationship, both for us and for Canning. In short, I hope that we can continue sharing a mutually effective, rewarding relationship for years to come.

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