5 Essential Reasons for Corporations to Invest in Language Training

Should your company provide language training for your employees? All the evidence shows that it’s an incredibly valuable investment for corporations of all sizes. From expanded business opportunities to a more cohesive workforce, here are just a few statistical reasons to support language training in the workplace. 

Fact 1: 9 out of 10 US employers rely on multilingual employees

According to a survey conducted by ACTFL, the vast majority of workplaces use employees to help with communication across language barriers. Even companies that only serve the immediate community often require the aid of multilingual workers. The USA is home to an incredibly diverse array of languages– over 350, in fact. To effectively communicate with a wide range of customers and colleagues, companies must cultivate language diversity within the workforce. With high demand for multilingual employees, providing language training to existing team members can help companies meet those needs.

Fact 2: A quarter of jobs worldwide require employees to interact with people from other countries

Language diversity isn’t just important for communicating with local communities. In an increasingly global business landscape, communicating effectively across borders is key. In fact, over one fourth of employees say that they regularly speak to international clients, partners, or customers on the job. Without professional language training, however, language and cultural misunderstandings can seriously damage business prospects. For instance, in the USA, a billion equals one thousand millions, but in Spain, a billón equals one million millions. Misusing one little word could lead to catastrophic financial consequences!  Learn even more about the economic impacts of miscommunication here

Fact 3: The majority of North American companies invest in training to enhance their employees’ English skills

We’ve addressed the importance of communicating with your community and people across the world, but what about within your company itself? Chances are, not every employee at your company speaks English as a first language. You may not realize it, but if your company doesn’t provide English language training to these team members, you’re behind the curve.  Over the past decades, English has emerged as the lingua franca of the corporate world, meaning English skills are more crucial than ever. Training employees to speak English more effectively won’t just benefit your company, it will greatly improve how productively they’ll be able to work. 

Fact 4: 64% of employees credit language training for increased productivity

When speaking a language comes naturally to you, you save significant time thinking about how to get your point across. Conversations with teams, partners, and vendors move more smoothly without having to ask for clarification or repetition. While language training may initially seem time-consuming, improved language skills actually save valuable time in the long run. To give just one example, a meeting facilitated by a translator takes twice as long, as the translator must repeat everything said. If everyone in the meeting speaks the same language, tasks move forward much more quickly. This improved productivity can lead to better collaboration, efficiency, and overall business success.

Fact 5: 63% of language learners report feeling more engaged in their work

How can language training impact job satisfaction? Studies indicate a strong and very positive correlation. Learning new skills helps employees feel motivated and empowered to take on new responsibilities and challenge themselves. If you want to see your employees continue to learn and grow in the workplace rather than stagnating in the same responsibilities for years, providing language training can keep them engaged. Improving employee engagement can improve employee satisfaction, and increased employee satisfaction means increased retention. It’s a win-win situation for employers and employees alike.  

The statistics clearly demonstrate the integral role that language skills play in the modern workplace. Investing in language education is not just a choice; it is a necessary strategy for businesses and individuals navigating the complexities of our interconnected world. To learn even more key statistics supporting the need for employee language training, download our free infographic, “10 Statistics Demonstrating the Imperative for Language Training in Corporations.”