What High Performing Companies Are Doing in Language Learning

Companies embracing online learning with on-the-job training generate 26% more revenue per employee than those companies that do not.Last year, we commissioned a survey of 500 executives of companies with more than 500 employees in offices all over the world. The results have been made available in a handy infographic entitled Business Value in Language. We sought to break down the language needs of organizations as detailed as possible.

Perhaps the best function of the infographic is that it allows organizations to peek over the fence and see how other businesses are leveraging language learning to make big differences in their performance.

First, a sobering fact. Companies that have embraced the combination of online learning with on-the-job training generate 26 percent more revenue per employee than organizations that take other routes in employee development or stand pat, hoping that repetitive churn will make their business more successful.

In an effort to meet the shifting multinational, multilingual nature of the world’s economy, high-performing companies that offer language training or reimbursement for all employees more than doubled from 2011 to 2012. In that year, 23 percent of high performers offered such training.

What about lower-performing companies? What do they do? They are twice as likely to suggest to “high-potential” employees (those identified as having a bright future in the company, which might include international assignments) to obtain skills in other languages without providing the resources for them to pursue that training.

The implications of this data are clear. Those who still hold to the traditional view of the employee being responsible for their own training are experiencing an uphill battle. Not only are they less competitive, but they probably also have more employee turnover—further impacting their bottom line. Yes, you risk making your high-potential employees more marketable. But if you make obtaining opportunities within the company more difficult, they’re going to leave anyway.

Meanwhile, companies that are proactive in acquiring the means to provide language training to their employees—while making it as easy as possible for the workers to participate—are reaping the rewards as they seek to broaden their footprint in the multinational economy.

To see more results of the survey, click here to check out the infographic Business Value in Language.

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