As monolingual speakers become the minority and powerful languages, such as Mandarin, Spanish and Arabic take on economic capital, multilingualism within your workforce is becoming a necessity, rather than an option. Do you know what languages your prospective customers are speaking?
Everyone marvels at the employee who can speak five languages, but just how valuable is the skill exactly? Can you measure the ROI of Spanish, for example? As it turns out, you can. According to MIT economist Albert Saiz, there’s a 1.5% premium on returns for Spanish language skills in the U.S., just behind French at 2.3% and German at 3.8%. That means that employees who can speak these languages in addition to English tend to earn a high income. Why might that be?