Why companies should encourage employees to learn an additional language
As we move into a more digital era, it's crucial now, more than ever, that we understand communication in all its forms. How you engage your employees is important, as are the benefits that you can offer as an employer. Some employers provide training and education for their staff, and as part of that offer, you should consider encouraging your staff to learn an additional language.
Choosing for your employees to learn an additional language is a great idea, and we've got five reasons why you should make it happen in your business… right now!
1. Make Your People More Valuable
When you want to scale your business and take it global, you are going to need to combine communication with culture. If you are encouraging employees to learn an additional language in a country that you are planning to win over, then they become more of a valuable asset to your business. When you add their existing business skills to their newly acquired linguistic abilities, you change the way they work and open up more doors for them (and your business) thus giving them a better shot in a new area. This way of heightening job satisfaction increases employee loyalty.
2. A New Way Of Thinking
Foreign languages are not just for communicating correctly with new clients and a different audience. You can create better attitudes within your business by broadening your employees’ horizons - especially towards people with a different culture or from a different country. Prejudice exists and sometimes we don’t realise that our workers may fear the "unknown" until we move our businesses into a foreign country. When we do that, the worry about being cut off, or shut out, increases - simply because of a lack of comprehension. However, when you encourage employees to learn an additional language, you are opening their minds and embracing others who may be from different cultural backgrounds.
3. Competitive Advantage
More than anything else, you need to consider that you are going to be handing your employees a lifeline for their future. Not only will you enable them to have a competitive advantage in their career (both whilst working for your business and beyond) but you also open the doors across the world. They don't have to stay still; they can work abroad if they want to one day. As an employer, people will work with you before moving forward and ensuring that you get your employees to learn an additional language will further their future.
4. Increased Creativity
As foreign language lessons give your employees a competitive advantage, they also allow them to be more creative and think out of the box. Searching for another way of articulating something when you don’t know the word improves your ability to find multiple solutions for a single problem. Multi-linguists are often more flexible and open in their ways of thinking. There is a lot to discover when learning a new language, and you will be offering that to your staff!
5. Improved Analytical Thinking
Being able to decipher and understand a new language allows your employees to have better analytical skills. Studying a whole new language is the fastest way to encourage a better and different way of thinking entirely. Studies have shown that bilingual people can be more logical, with better decision making skills. In particular, due to the way that the brain develops, they tend to make more rational, less biased decisions overall… not just when thinking and speaking in the second language. This is perfect for making business decisions: your employees’ ability to problem solve and to analyse will greatly improve!
Encouraging employees to learn an additional language is going to improve your business as well as your employees’ future prospects. If you want to scale up and expand your business, then this is your first step. Start with your employees and you will find success with it!
To help you improve the language skills of all your employees, why not invest in corporate language lessons? It’s a great way to get bespoke in-house training (we offer several languages, both virtually and actually in-house!)
It will reward your employees all the benefits listed above! If you’d like to find out more, head over to our Corporate Language Lessons page.