With globalization at an all-time high, it is no surprise that foreign language skills are essential and in high demand. Regardless of the industry, it is likely that your team will interact with partners in other parts of the world. A multilingual team is now more vital than ever and can benefit your business in a variety of ways.
A multilingual team has more confidence, creativity, problem-solving and communication skills. The advantages of investing in language learning for employees are endless, but how can you ensure your employees will commit to the program? Here are five tips.
1. Find a Program That Fits Your Organization
A language program is not one size fits all. Every company is different, from day-to-day operations to strengths and weaknesses; as a result, needs may differ. Luckily, there are numerous language programs available.
Before selecting one, consider your company's objectives, the time and budget available for training, and the functions of your team. There are many different methods for teaching language, so you should choose a program that meets the company's needs and those of your employees.
2. Communicate Objectives
Before implementing any new learning program in your organization, set clear goals for learning expectations and communicate them to your employees. A clear outline of the program goals helps employees understand and get invested in a shared vision while working towards achieving the objectives. It also allows you to create a culture of learning within your organization. Outlining the benefits of learning a new language motivates employees to commit extra time and effort, thus making the program a success.
3. Make It a Priority
For your company to reap the benefits of a language program, you must have a plan. Proper planning gives your employees sufficient time to learn while keeping the company running efficiently. Schedule training sessions, allowing your team adequate time to learn course material and balance the daily functions of their role.
Often, time is the greatest obstacle for employees trying to learn a language. It can be challenging to handle the daily demands of your job and find time to study. Reduce long meetings to facilitate classes and encourage employees to take advantage of slow periods to study.
4. Provide Incentives
Reward sweetens labour, and incentives are a great way to get employees excited about participating in the company's language program. Learning a foreign language while handling a full workload can be difficult. That means employees may require extra motivation to sign up for the program. Studies show that recognizing employees or providing rewards for a job well done can increase motivation, improve performance and promote collaboration. Incentivized learning also bolsters healthy competition among employees, which in turn helps improve learning.
5. Encourage Communication in a Different Language
Practice is a vital part of language learning for employees. As part of the learning process, ask employees to incorporate their new languages into internal emails or during business meetings. This allows them to practise what they have learned and improves conversational techniques. It may take some time for everyone to become comfortable, but it will help to boost confidence in the long run.
Are You Looking for a Language School for Your Company?
Reaping the benefits of a corporate language program is not difficult with the help of Berlitz Canada. At Berlitz, we offer a variety of courses to support language learning for employees. We have instruction for all levels with in-person and online delivery. Our programs help employees develop business communication skills that empower them to become effective business leaders.