When we talk about language learning in the workplace, we tend to think of those employees who might be going on an overseas assignment and will be required to do business in the local language. While that is a key use of language training, there are many more benefits to bringing language learning to your workforce.
Those benefits are discussed in this report, Driving Global Readiness: A Road Map. It describes not only the challenges and opportunities facing businesses in the international economy, but also how language learning can benefit the employee here at home.
For instance, 70% of the respondents from the 2015 Rosetta Stone Business Language Impact Study, say that language training has made them more productive with their teams, partners, and vendors. More than half estimate their time saved after language training at three hours per week!
And it’s not just productivity. From the example at the beginning of this post, customer retention tends to be the main driver of language learning in an organization. 57 percent of respondents to the Impact Study said their language training has allowed them to reach a broader range of customers.
“Employees say ‘Boy, if I just learned how to say a few words, I could really connect to that customer, engage with them, and pull them in,” said Marriott’s senior manager for global diversity and inclusion Andy Chaves.
Hospitality is an industry in which language skills are critical, both internally and externally. The staff at a hotel may be one of the most multicultural workforces one can encounter. Whereas before, employees might have been using rudimentary notes or hand signals to communicate with each other and hotel guests, after language training they can now truly own their ability to communicate, thereby experiencing more productivity and less frustration.
These are just a few of the benefits that language learning brings to the business table. Employees also feel more valued and that their employer is taking an interest in them furthering their careers, which also translates into improved performance. In short, here in the 21st century, the question really is why don’t more businesses offer language training to their employees. There is no downside.