How to Make a Business Case for Mandatory Language Training

Companies who operate internationally have to interact with people in many different countries, who may not speak the same languages as them. Language training is obviously beneficial in these situations, but should it be mandatory?

Essentially every company is international in today’s globalized economy. So when it comes to language training, companies who require training have a competitive advantage over those who don’t. Even if you encourage employees to learn foreign languages, you may still see a tangible drop in revenue next to those who not only encourage but also provide resources for language learning.

Language Training Results in Higher Revenue

As we’ve reported, language training has a good ROI for organizations, and increases earnings for individual employees as well. Industry surveys have indicated that employers who offer language training see an increase in revenue. This is especially important in today’s economy, where business is often conducted in more than one language.

Since a vast majority of companies need to communicate in at least two languages, training employees in those languages is not only beneficial but also a must in order not to fall behind. If every company requires advanced language skills, not providing the means to acquire those skills will keep the company behind its competitors in the marketplace.

Communication Can Make or Break a Company

Communication serves as the face of a business, and first contact employees represent the company as a whole. Therefore, poor communication results in a negative first impression of the company as well as difficulties conducting business.

When it comes to official documents, small mistakes can lead to big consequences, and cultural nuances play a part. It’s obvious that this is relevant to international companies who handle sensitive issues on a daily basis, like law firms, human rights organizations and governments. But what about other types of companies? The challenges may not be as easy to spot, but they can be just as detrimental. A lack of understanding can result in poor business decisions, which will lead to decreased revenue and potentially even the failure of the business.

Poor English is No Longer Acceptable

The main language of business across borders today is still English, and companies whose employees have an insufficient command of the language may suffer as a result. This goes for both internal and external communication.

Creating a company culture around a strong common language is particularly important for European companies, since there tends to be a heavier blend of different nationalities and languages in the mix. This leads to situations where two non-native English speakers must communicate with one another in English. Some organizations are finding that language testing helps them address these needs. It enables them to gauge the language skill levels of their employees potential new hires. It also helps them to understand where an investment in language training will be most beneficial.

There’s no denying that strong language skills have a high ROI for your organization. Whether you make language training mandatory, or simply offer language training to employees who are interested, you’ll see the results in improved international business performance. Improved language skills makes your organization appear more knowledgeable, professional and in control. It will help build trust in international markets and ultimately drive higher profits.

Key Takeaways

  • Improving your employees’ language skills with proper training will result in improved communication and professionality with both internal and external stakeholders. This in turn will bring in higher revenues for your organization.
  • Language skills are no longer mere side benefits, but a fundamental requirement of any business in today’s globalized marketplace.
  • [clickandtweet handle=”” hashtag=”” related=”” layout=”” position=””]Staying ahead of the game requires employee training in critical languages[/clickandtweet], ensuring your company’s success in multiple segments of the global market. Knowledge of these key languages will improve communication skills and related soft skills.

For the best results, partner with a trusted language training provider to educate your employees. Speexx offers flexible blended learning solutions in 13 languages, and has over 20 years of experience in language education for the world’s leading brands.

Photo: artens / Shutterstock.com

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About the Author:

Armin is Founder and President of Speexx, the world’s leading online language learning and business communication skills training service. He writes and occasionally speaks about learning languages online and the secret of the Perfect Blend and global talent management, Speexx, e-learning and generally believes in the power of communication. Follow Armin on Twitter and LinkedIn.