Discussing ESL training ROI or the impact of language on job safety with businesses looking to invest in online learning for their employees has always gone well as the benefits it provides companies are straightforward and clear. However, I’ve recently been thinking more about what online language training means for an employee and how that employee in turn feels about their employer. Online courses may be compensation that goes beyond monetary value for an employee or team that has gone the extra mile and deserves a heartfelt thank you.
Several years ago, I was teaching an online ESL course for a restaurant where I met a student named Miguel. Miguel was the heart and soul of the operation, often working 60 hours a week preparing food, fixing coolers, taking orders, and managing a staff of over 20 workers. Miguel loved his job in every sense of the word and never took it for granted. I will never forget Miguel’s gratitude for the online learning course and how it changed his life. Of course the company benefited from Miguel’s increased communication, but it’s nice to think about what the company’s “gesture” meant to him and how cherished it will always be.
We have all received a card with a check enclosed from a relative when we were young, for some this may have even continued into adulthood, which we were undoubtedly grateful for but felt somewhat empty. Also, I’m sure most people have received something from a loved one which was from the heart; for example, a homemade card from a nephew, a song from your child or a homemade hat from a grandmother that made you feel appreciated. Sure, raises for employees shouldn’t be undervalued or overlooked, and it’s not to say that ESL training or online courses should take their place. However, opening a new path for communication might just be something that lets an employee know that management is taking that extra step for a valued stakeholder that will be with them for the rest of their lives – the gift of language.
Ryan is an onsite and online English instructor for Workplace Languages. Ryan has been in the field of English language instruction since 2006 teaching, developing, creating and leading in a variety of settings including public school systems, universities and private institutions. In addition to language classes, Workplace Languages offers full-service translation, voice-over services, off-the shelf language learning products, and a wide range of customized language programs to help you close the communication gap at your company.