In every aspect of business, a simple miscommunication or missed language cue can negatively impact employees, leaders, and stakeholders. With many companies doing business with countries overseas, creating a strong, clear communication environment can help prevent damaging missteps and help build a stronger relationship within a business from the breakroom to a conference room. Given these needs, language training ROI is a hot topic among HR managers and Learning & Development teams.
More and more company leaders are looking into investing in language training for their employees. Whether it’s improving English language skills or teaching another language altogether, the justification can be difficult because it’s hard to determine language training ROI. In other words, what is the return on that investment when deciding to develop a language learning curriculum in the workplace?
Incorporating language learning has proven to deliver companies benefits and is becoming an essential part of the corporate strategy, but how do you determine the return on investment or ROI? You have to evaluate the business impacts and benefits it can potentially provide.
#1 Learning a New Language Can Increase Network & Reach
Learning a new language can open the door to more possibilities across the globe. People will be more trusting if they can do business with others who can speak their native language. Speaking their language removes uncertainty and apprehension they may have and they may be more welcoming and open to doing business. In the world of globalization, speaking more than one language is an incredibly valuable skill that reduces language barriers and increases the business opportunities a company has.
#2 Improved Communication & Company Culture
Many companies are culturally diverse and hire employees that are non-native speakers of English. When a company provides language learning for their employees as an opportunity to learn languages other than English or improve upon their English skills, communication between teams is increased. This leads to a more engaging and comfortable workplace. When employees can effectively communicate better, there is an increased feeling of inclusiveness, creating a better workplace culture that allows stronger relationships to grow.
#3 Strengthens Perceptions of Global Cultures & Mindsets
With the world becoming increasingly connected, more companies hire people from other cultures and do business with many diverse countries and cultures. Incorporating language learning goes beyond simply learning a new language. Part of language learning involves learning the country’s culture and origins that help to explain why things are done in specific ways. Understanding a country’s culture and values can provide insights into business dealings and communication efforts that can help a company adjust its business strategy to make a greater impact.
#4 Increased Productivity in the Workforce
When employees feel more confident in communicating with colleagues or stakeholders, they are more likely to be more productive in their work efforts. The improved productivity comes from the boost of confidence they feel after completing a language learning course and the ability to effectively communicate without translating or trying to understand written or spoken communication between teams.
#5 Better Decision Making & Reflection
Those who take on learning a second language develop a more logical and reflective approach to decision making. Taking the heightened emotions out of the decision-making process by thinking more logically about the options can lead to a more thoughtful approach to coming to a meaningful conclusion. Learning another language leads to a deeper self-reflection that involves evaluating how they come across to others in a professional situation to create a positive outcome.
When a company can look at the big picture and evaluate the value that language learning can provide their employee and how that increases the company’s outreach to have the ability to do business with other companies, language training ROI can become clear.
At Workplace Languages we are not limited to just translation services, we also offer our clients a wide range of corporate language solutions so they can thrive in the international business environment. If you would like to learn more about Workplace Languages, and how we can help you with your language and translation needs, please contact us here.