Why Language Training is Critical to a Business

(This article “Why Language Training is Critical to a Business” was originally published by the Language Testing International Blog)

The world is becoming more and more interconnected every day, and new technologies and digital platforms capable of bringing brands to any customer with access to the internet are the driving force behind this unstoppable phenomenon. Additionally, to help facilitate access to these new international markets, businesses are striving to increase cross-border trade, international investment, and labor integration.

The vision for most, if not all, business leaders is to turn their humble enterprises into international brands, and there are many reasons for this. For one, successful globalization not only helps companies access the latest industry-specific technologies and innovations, but also helps attract a wider customer base. Expanding internationally can also provide companies with plenty of chances to work with a highly diverse talent pool, enabling them to significantly lower production costs and increase global competition.

There are myriad ways companies can prepare for smooth globalization, one of which is by introducing language training. Below are some of the reasons why language training is critical to a business.

Language Training Upskills Employees

As highlighted in one of our previous posts, languages can be a gateway into another culture  and help companies nurture, foster, and maintain a truly diverse and inclusive workforce that can better communicate with a global customer base. This, in turn, can significantly improve customer retention and foster brand loyalty. Language training can also heighten employees’ cultural awareness and respect for others, thereby allowing them to connect effectively with customers and improve customer satisfaction. Companies that offer language training also demonstrate that they are willing to invest in their employees, thus making the company more attractive to prospective job applicants.

Language Training Improves Business Leaders

Mainstream employees aren’t the only ones who can greatly benefit from language training. In fact, business executives and administrators can also gain an array of competencies from learning a new language. Language training can make them better leaders who can empathize and build a stronger rapport with employees from all walks of life. In the long run, this can lower employee turnover, increase morale, and improve engagement. By working in a multinational company with employees from all over the world, business leaders will be better equipped to deal with conflict management because they are able to view situations from different perspectives. Proficiency in other languages has also been noted to help business leaders become highly perceptive and sound decision-makers who have a wide personal network.

Language Training Enhances the Hiring Process

One of the most desired skills for businesses, outside of regular training, is hiring employees who are multilingual. If you can train your HR department to have language skills, this will also widen your ability to hire globally. This is becoming more common within the business community because of the shift to remote working across the globe.

Language skills could also dictate which job seekers are worth hiring. With the business world now more interconnected globally than ever before, knowing a language gives any job applicant an advantage when seeking employment. For this reason, many choose to study languages while  at the college level as they prepare themselves to enter into the workforce. Studies show that completing at least a minor in a language while in college can boost academic achievement. The good news for students is that all top learning institutions offer foreign languages as a minor, and many students opt to combine them with business degrees to expand their career options.

For anyone working toward a business administration degree, they will no doubt be looking to work for global companies, non-profit organizations, or in the government/public sector. All of these sectors often work or have offices abroad, giving those who have a business degree combined with language skills a wider scope for career advancement. A prospective employee who speaks a second language has in-demand skills that can set them apart from other applicants when applying for jobs.

Having people who can speak the languages of your diverse customer base will give your business an advantage over the competition. After all, this ensures that your company values and messages are accurately translated and delivered to foreign markets. In addition, a company capable of communicating in various languages will have a higher chance of working well with external branches, resulting in a locally driven international brand.

Once you’ve offered your employees language training, you will want to test their proficiency. Language Testing International (LTI) can help you with that task.

Since 1992, LTI has been a leader in language proficiency testing for more than 120 languages in over 60 countries. We are the exclusive licensee ACTFL, and to ensure the quality and validity of our tests are up to international standards, we use only certified ACTFL testers and raters.

Our accredited ACTFL language assessments are widely recognized and accepted by major corporations (from Fortune 500s to small businesses), academic institutions, and government agencies. Each test is designed to determine the specific proficiency level of an individual’s speaking, reading, writing, and/or listening abilities and ultimately to provide a valid and defensible rating language credential.