Last month, HR practice lead for Rosetta Stone’s Enterprise & Education Marketing Group, Sheerin Vesin, contributed an article to Training Magazine, sharing the latest information we have about the skills employees need to compete in the global marketplace.
71 percent of business leaders are looking to capitalize on the $30 trillion expected to be spent in emerging markets by 2025. That sort of investment in resources will require a unique skill set from employees, none more crucial than language capabilities.
Sheerin first discusses the benefits that companies can expect from language learning. There are the obvious, such as being able to connect with potential customers and workers in emerging markets. But there are also some that could prove even more valuable.
For instance, productivity. Sheerin says a recent Rosetta Stone survey indicated that 90 percent of employees believe that language training is crucial to their job duties. Nearly three quarters can already attest to a positive effect on their job performance, making them more efficient. Those employees’ estimate is that language training saves them three hours per week.
Then there is employee engagement. The Millennial workforce wants to feel as though their employer is investing in their future success and helping them reach their professional goals. They also know that the global economy is becoming ever more interconnected and if they are not currently expected to connect with foreign workers, they will be soon.
When they participate in language training, 80 percent of employees felt more positively toward their employer and 66 percent felt more engaged with their work. That can be a big piece of the employee engagement puzzle.
So what are companies doing to harness these benefits? According to Sheerin, not much.
According to another survey conducted for Rosetta Stone by IDG Research Services, 90 percent of business line leaders report that their departments face language challenges, yet only 1 in 3 are actively engaging their HR resources to solve those challenges.
The main culprit is a lack of a formal plan for language training.
Language training is not a “set it and forget it” strategy. It takes a concerted effort between business departments and HR to set goals, prescribe content for employees, and monitor progress. Otherwise, that 90 percent figure will not shrink.