Clear communication lies at the heart of any strategy. But while businesses are aware of the link between language and commerce, when it comes to international trade, what often gets overlooked is the impact clear communication has across all areas of business, even where the immediate benefits might not be obvious.
In this blog, we’ll look at some of the key areas where corporate communication can strengthen working relationships, and help you and your team get your messages across.
Language training is a surefire way of improving confidence. A study cited by Entrepreneur has shown, 70% of workers who receive language training are more confident in their work, whether in teams, or with external partners and suppliers. As a result, staff who know they can communicate with others in their own language are far more likely to be confident in their roles. By having the tools to communicate, working relationships - at home and overseas - should be a lot easier.
Where traveling to meet clients or customers overseas, employees are much more likely to be assured of their capacity to communicate their product or service. Similarly, anxiety about miscommunication is reduced: staff won’t have to worry that they are using the wrong words, making inappropriate remarks. They will have the knowledge and experience to meet any such situations head-on.
But corporate language training isn’t just about communication. It covers cultural understanding too. For example, in countries like France or Germany, managers tend to provide direct, blunt feedback. Knowing this ahead of time is likely to make liaising with people abroad much easier. This applies to local etiquette too: i.e. whether to use formal honorifics. A comprehensive language learning programme will almost certainly cover these points along with vocabulary and syntax.
But staff don’t necessarily use languages everyday, the awareness that they can switch to other languages will almost certainly improve their assurance of their abilities. Success in learning is likely to make staff optimistic about their skills in building connections with others overall.
Diversity and inclusion (D&I) is more important than ever before. A recent workplace study by Deloitte found that “83% of millennials are more engaged when reassured that their company promotes and supports an inclusive culture.”
This has a direct impact on corporate training and development. Where an entire team is able to speak a diverse range of languages, prospective overseas candidates are much more likely to join a company. Knowing that other staff members speak your language provides the assurance that your voice will be heard.
But diversity extends beyond the workplace. It applies to your client base too. International clients will be more inclined to connect with a company where they have employees that speak their language. As the saying goes - buy in your own language, sell in your customer’s.
Language learning also assists your commitment to accountability. If you want to promote your credentials as a diverse, inclusive, business, language learning across all areas of your business is a quick yet consistent way of demonstrating your commitment to diversity, while improving your business reputation in turn.
Reducing staff turnover is often as simple as improving job satisfaction. And one of the easiest ways to boost job satisfaction is through a culture that provides an opportunity for staff to connect with each other. This is easily achieved through in-company language training.
In addition to being a useful skills-building benefit to team members, language training also provides ample opportunities to engage directly and respectfully with team member cultures (for example, learning of international music or film) in order to build rapport with each other. Additionally, encouraging team members to learn a language together (e.g. through group lessons), also helps staff to engage with each other more and develop workplace friendships.
The immediate benefits of language learning, can also be demonstrated through a visible increase in performance. Strong language skills translate to reduced miscommunications which, in turn, contribute to communication efficiency between teams, and better business outcomes.
Return on investment (ROI) should also be easy to establish where you are using a blended or hybrid language learning tool. Flexible language programmes of this type are known to improve the speed at which learners absorb and retain information. This means that you won’t waste money on unnecessary downtime as your staff struggles to keep up with their course.
As an award-winning app with over 120 million learners worldwide, we’ve provided high-quality online language learning solutions for businesses across the globe. Our platform boasts 13 languages and over 3,000 lessons created by expert linguists, it is also enhanced with machine learning technology to predict each learner’s individual needs.
We provide optimum convenience and flexibility through our bite-sized study plans, and in a recent study by the University of Maryland, our e-learning platform has been found to be 4 x more efficient than traditional ‘bricks & mortar’ institutions.
See how we can support you in developing internal relationships across your global teams through online language learning