The English language is spoken by nearly 2 billion people worldwide, making it the most widely spoken language in the world. There are many benefits of English language learning for companies. The ubiquity of English makes it a natural choice for global business communications. For multinational companies, ensuring English language proficiency is a must, but other factors such as growth in online operational activities and remote work also make contracting with a Business English language training company a smart choice for any business. The benefits of English language learning for companies are many, both for internal and external relations. Here are eight benefits of English language learning for companies.
1. Reach new markets
Removing a language barrier is the simplest way to gain entry to new markets. Without an employee base that speaks proficient English, a company is essentially shutting itself out of a massive potential client base. New markets can include brick-and-mortar locations in new municipalities, especially those with high tourism traffic. An expansion into English-speaking markets can also include digital forums focused around e-commerce. As of 2019, English was the most common language for Internet users, with nearly 26 percent of online communication happening in English.
Counties that primarily operate in English include:
- The United States
- South Africa
- New Zealand
Even beyond these countries, English is considered lingua franca in international business contexts, used to bridge communication gaps and aid in communications. Ensuring your staff meets required levels of English proficiency will open doors around the world.
2. Improve business relations with existing clients and partners
In a similar vein to gaining entry into new markets, including English language learning in your corporate culture and training practices will expand your company’s client base. A client base, or customer base, is simply the people you wish to reach with your product or service. Your business offers something they need, so how do you most effectively reach them? The answer is to speak their language. What is the demographic of your ideal customer base? Where are they located? If they’re online, in more than one country, or primarily based in Europe or North America then speaking English will be one way to radically improve your customer reach.
3. Better communication across company teams
As your firm enters new markets and is able to reach new customers, it will also become more competitive in the new markets. You’ll have an edge over non-English speaking firms and will be able to compete for more customers in more locations. Native and non-native English speakers will always prefer to interact with a customer service representative that can communicate clearly.
English language training for employees will not only ease communications with customers, but also with potential partners and investors. As your company’s overall communication reputation improves, so will your ability to compete at a higher level with larger and more successful business operations. As they say, there is always a bigger fish! Growth means focusing on overcoming and surpassing your current competition.
4. Motivate employees
Attracting top talent in any industry is a tricky investment to navigate. Perks should benefit both the employees and the business itself. Offering Business English learning opportunities will draw top talent who are looking to improve their career options. Attracting these individuals will boost performance and contribute to creating a culture of continuous growth at your company.
However, recruiting top talent is only the first step. A smart business operation works to retain that talent as well. Effective English training for employees will incorporate routine assessments, provide opportunities for educational growth, and reward employees who meet their language learning goals. Instituting these practices will ensure you have the best and brightest on your team. BridgeEnglish language training is delivered 100 percent online, allowing for flexible learning solutions on the Bridge platform that delivers online learning, class and teacher scheduling, video conferencing, program management, reporting, and billing.
5. Standardize the level of English at your company
A benefit of English language learning for companies through a recognized language training provider is the ability to standardize the levels of English proficiency among employees at your company. From email communications to all-hands-on-deck meetings, English language learning through a recognized training company can streamline daily communications within your firm. Using an effective corporate training company that utilizes assessments to identify language proficiency levels, set learning goals, and track progress ensures all employees are evaluated in the same way and progress toward learning goals is tracked.
BridgeEnglish uses Pearson’s Global Scale of English (GSE), which allows for detailed tracking of learners’ progress. Based on the Common European Framework of Reference for Language (CEFR), the GSE measures learner progress on a local, national, or international level, and provides a tool to guide learners in identifying areas for focus. An effective language training program will utilize assessments throughout the program, first identifying learners’ current proficiency levels and developing appropriate learning goals, and then consistently tracking learners’ progress. The CEFR is the international standard for describing language ability, but the GSE provides more detailed skill levels analysis with a 10-90 scale that breaks down the six CEFR levels and provides detailed learning objectives along each point. This allows learners to advance abilities with a highly personalized pathway.
Through training and assessment, English proficiency levels will become standardized within a company, and internal and external communication improvements will increase employee and client satisfaction. Standardizing English proficiency levels is a great way to ensure your clients are getting the same experience each and every time they interact with your company.
6. Increase productivity
There aren’t many sure investments in business, but investing in your employees always pays dividends in the long term. English language training for employees mitigates that risk even more. How so? Simple. Creating bilingual skills improves cognition, memory, focus, and multitasking skills. By incorporating English language training, you set your employees up for success in each English interaction they engage in.
Research suggests that training a single non-specialized employee costs a company an average of $1200 and three months of performance time. Partnering with an effective English language training company can offset these costs and increase productivity by:
- Decreasing employee turnover
- Increasing employee satisfaction
- Providing data analytics and metrics to accurately measure English fluency in staff members
- Providing cost-effective means of training employees individually or in small groups
- Reducing overhead with online training
7. Enhance cultural understanding
As your company grows and expands into new markets, employees will interact with others speaking global English, with its many accents and dialects. An effective English language training program will recognize the value of global English, which provides insights into the cultures, values, and traditions of people from all over the world. This is useful in business communications, where understanding of cultural differences is essential for building strong relationships. And intercultural communication is an important skill in today’s global economy.
As opportunities for business partnerships and collaborations grow, your company’s reputation of inclusive and respectful will also be a valuable asset that reflects today’s global business environment. And within your diverse organization, the benefits of enhanced cultural understanding will include improved employee satisfaction and well-being, improved internal communication practices, and attraction and retention of new top talent.
Interested in learning more about today’s in-demand employment skills? Read the BridgeUNIVERSE article, Global, Digital Evolution Drives Need for 21st-Century, Transferable Skills in Today’s Employees.
8. Create a culture of learning
A successful business is one that responds to needs and evolves with time to shifting market demands. Creating a workforce that grows with the company’s needs is a powerful tool that will increase the agility and efficiency of your operation. Leadership teams can accomplish this by establishing a culture of learning that encourages and rewards employees for meeting learning metrics.
Recent years have shown a rise in evaluating and tailoring corporate culture to create environments that are empowering. Creating a culture of learning is a great way to demonstrate that you value your employees as well as your clients. The importance of English training lies not only in profit margins, but also in investing in the human element of your operation. In today’s Information Age, consumers are educated and informed; they want to know the companies they purchase from have values that align with their own. Show your customers, investors, and staff that your company believes in the power of learning.
Incorporating English language learning
Now that you’re considering incorporating English language learning in your company, the question remains, how? There are many options for corporate language training. Leadership can opt to incorporate English language learning into existing training programs or create a new program for learning Business English. An effective language trainer will customize course offerings to fit the specific needs of your company. The BridgeEnglish language training program begins by conducting a needs analysis and consultation to identify specific goals and objectives to develop a customized learning path for each employee. These personalized learning paths consider the working context of students, including context-specific topics, business skills, and tasks. An effective program will ensure training courses are personalized and meet the needs of each employee, and they will provide accurate, transparent assessment data of learners’ progress toward identified goals. The benefits of English language learning for companies are numerous. How will your company gain from it?