English is one of the most spoken languages in the world. It’s by default the language of global business too. The influence of English fluency on business credibility worldwide can not be undermined. According to Statista, 1.27 billion people worldwide spoke English in 2019. That’s 20% of the world’s population. Yet not all English speakers are native. In fact, English is the first language for only 360 million people in the world. So, why is everyone else learning the language? That’s because they want to keep up with the world, and English is the best way to do so.
Whether it’s socializing, entertainment, or business ventures, English bridges the gap between countries and continents. Businesses rely heavily on communication. So it’s crucial for employees to speak English fluently. English is not only important so that your employees can talk to each other, it also has a direct link with your organization’s productivity and revenue.
Without proficient English skills, your company might lose 30% of its productivity and 32% of the international business opportunities. Most companies realize this, which is where there’s considerable discrimination in the workplace against immigrants who’re not fluent in English. However, not only is this illegal, but it also reflects negatively on the code of conduct of your business framework. Instead, you should understand the effect of employee fluency on your business credibility and help your team improve their English skills to boost organizational productivity. Let’s dive into this in detail.
Effective communication in the workplace plays an integral role in ensuring revenue generation and higher productivity. Regardless of someone’s nationality or background, their professional experience and skill are what your company needs. You never know who might come up with the idea that could change the fate of your company and bag you a lucrative deal from a new client.
However, if an employee is unable to get the message across in a meeting or day-to-day conversation, you might never be able to benefit from their individual talents. Furthermore, communication is also a key to team-building. If a particular employee or group of workers are unable to communicate with their colleagues, they’ll feel left out. They might not understand the English slang words used in the conversation, ending up being lost about the topic of discussion. Plus, the added burden of making an extra effort to be a part of conversations can take a toll on their performance.
On the contrary, if your employees are fluent in English phrases and common terms, they’ll be able to converse easily with each other, exchange ideas, discuss possible solutions, and strengthen teamwork. English also allows the whole team to be on the same page, brainstorming ideas, giving feedback, and preparing presentations.
Besides communicating with each other, the employees must also know sufficient English to understand what their superiors require of them. If an employee doesn’t understand the instructions thoroughly, it could affect their productivity. Moreover, it can end up harming the company’s credibility if an employee misunderstood your instructions and didn’t finish the job according to the customers’ or the client’s requirements. On the other hand, if they can speak and understand proficiently, you won’t have to worry about such minor mishaps.
If you’re in the process of expanding your business, you’d surely want it to go international. For that, English fluency is a must-have. Leading global companies like Nokia, SAP, Samsung, Airbus, Microsoft, and Renault have English as their mandated corporate language. In the past few years, we’ve also seen the inclination of international companies to incorporate English proficiency in their workplace, ensuring that employees are well-connected to the global market.
For instance, a Japanese company, Rakuten, made it mandatory for over seven thousand of their local employees to learn English for a fluent communication flow. The importance of English can be seen in the fact that many leading learning companies are advocating for investing in employee English fluency. A Pearson study reports that about 30% of the workers in the global markets of South America, Europe, and Asia learn English to find jobs nationally. Likewise, the same amount of the population is learning English to find work overseas.
Furthermore, the research emphasized the importance of spending money on improving the employees’ English skills for business. Besides enhancing productivity, it also results in higher returns, according to the study authors. In today’s time, English is very important in the corporate world. Sure enough, if you’re unable to talk to your international partners, customers, and investors, how do you expect to make money in the global market? That’s why it’s vital for businesses to invest in English training, especially if they want to increase their reach.
Regardless of the country, ethnicity, or religion, one thing that we have in common with every other person is language. If we speak the same language as someone else, it can help bridge many gaps in our relationship. It’s the same with business. The importance of English proficiency in the workplace is undisputed for many reasons, including representation. Employees can only represent themselves if they speak the common language. Otherwise, they’ll be sitting quietly in meetings and discussions, unable to contribute or even understand what’s happening.
But what if that particular employee has an idea that can change the game for your organization? What if you’re missing out on their talent simply because they can’t communicate with you efficiently? To prevent this, companies should be prepared to invest in employee English training as it definitely leads to financial benefits in the long run.
Let’s say you’re meeting with an international investor and a team of your employees have to present the company’s proposal. They need to be proficient in English to represent themselves and the organization as a whole. Even if non-native speakers can speak basic English, it’s easy for them to be troubled while conversing. Since English has many confusing expressions and phrases, knowing business jargon isn’t enough. Instead, your employees must be fluent in conversational and colloquial English too.
Apart from helping employees interact and communicate with potential clients, English is also crucial for their individual progress. Most employee training programs are conducted in English. Therefore, if your workers are not fluent in English, they’ll miss out on all the conferences, events, and workshops. Owing to this, it has become imperative for companies to invest in business language training so that their employees can learn new things and discover innovative ideas.
Here’s how it works. First, you spend money on your employees’ English training. Second, your workforce improves itself by attending workshops, watching tutorials online, and going to business-related events. Third, they develop new skills and enhance their existing ones. As a result, their input becomes more beneficial for your company, increasing your revenue and credibility.
Research clearly indicates the importance of English for credibility-building and money-making in the workplace. Moreover, having bilingual employees in your organization is a plus. Especially if you have international offices or are planning to make them soon. A paper published on Research Gate sheds light on the mechanism using which organizations can help their non-English speaking workers learn the language. For that, companies need to follow a consortium of multiple techniques to facilitate language learning.
The article further emphasizes the importance of companies being proactive and creative in terms of diversity management. It can be done by ensuring the inclusion of employees from different cultures with varying backgrounds. Through networking, employees increase each other’s exposure to new ideas and enhance their understanding of the work principles. Fortunately, nowadays, you can work with helpful services, like ChatterFox, rather than having a one-on-one English teaching session with every employee.
ChatterFox provides access to English video lessons for your employees, making them learn how to speak English like a native in no time. Besides focusing on the correct usage of expressions and idioms, the video lessons also teach the proper pronunciation of words. Often, your employees can speak English to some extent, but they’re hesitant to talk because of their broken accent or improper pronunciation of common words. Improving the accent is important to ensure that the speaker sounds just like a native, removing all barriers in communication.
In the end, English training for employees is not only beneficial for them but also for the company. From increasing productivity to boosting revenues in the long run, English might be the missing element in your organization’s road to success. However, while AI can be useful in providing feedback and learning assistance to your employees, it won’t be much feasible without a human coach. Considering this, ChatterFox has the upper hand over other ways of business language training because it combines the efficiency of a machine-based program with the practicality of a human coach.