Why Language Training is Business Critical in a Post-Brexit World
International expansion has been, and continues to be, a part of the global strategy for many businesses and organisations across the UK. The fundamental need for businesses to communicate on a local level, in order to develop new business and execute sales in new territories, has contributed to the widespread end of monolingual and mono-cultural teams.
Teams are typically made up of both native and non-native English speakers, bringing a wide range of experience and cultural benefits to the work place. The UK relies heavily on workers from Europe to form these multilingual and multicultural teams. However, as Brexit approaches and Britain looks to close its doors, companies face an enormous language gap that will need to be filled.
In addition, whilst most international organisations rely on English as their common language, statistics show that only 7% of non-native English speakers in global companies believe they communicate effectively at work.
These factors lead to two key requirements. Firstly, that English, as an international common corporate language, needs to be bench-marked and trained to a level where all employees communicate effectively. Secondly, foreign language training and cross-cultural training need to be part of a global strategy that facilitates continued international expansion and wins business abroad.
Whilst Brexit dictates the urgent need for both English and other languages to be trained to a high level, the benefits of business language training are far reaching and are business critical. Language training positively impacts individual employees, team performance, employee productivity, customer and client satisfaction, and sales revenues.
1. Benefits for Employees
Improved language skills in the lingua franca, the local language and additional languages result in improved internal and external communications. The productivity levels of employees who can operate in multiple linguistic environments increase, and misunderstandings and conflict are reduced. Employees feel valued and with enhanced communication comes improved relationships and the ability to empathise. Employees are able to work across multiple cultures and countries, giving organisations increased flexibility with the roles and locations their staff can fill and transition into.
2. Benefits for the Business
When your clients and customers feel understood your export sales will increase. Every year government figures show that the UK economy loses about £50bn in failed contracts due to a lack of language skills in the workforce. Deals with China, Russia and other developing markets in the post-Brexit trade discussions will be missed if the UK is only able to negotiate in English. The £50bn figure is set to increase if organisations do not prioritise language training on both a local and global scale.
3. Benefits for Networking
The ability to communicate in other languages offers a wider professional network, allowing both individuals and organisations to build trust and engage with others in their own language. Along with language training it is important to included an element of cross-cultural training in order to address any cultural and behavioural differences that could be a barrier to doing business. Gaining an insight into different management styles, communication styles, social and business etiquette, perspectives and perceptions, and behavioural norms, facilitates positive business relations and winning deals.
Developing an organization-wide language training strategy is vital for international success, even more so for the UK in a post-Brexit world.
If you are interested in discussing your global language training strategy with the UK leading provider in language training then get in touch with Cactus Language Training to learn more about your language learning options. From face to face, online, blended learning and in company tuition Cactus Language Training will help you find the delivery and schedule that meets your needs.
Cactus language offers the following types of language courses:
Evening language courses: 19 different languages in 15 UK locations
Language holidays: worldwide immersion courses in the country of the language
Private tuition: tailor-made and corporate language training solutions throughout the world
TEFL: teacher training courses for both English and other languages all over the world
Online courses: for teacher training, English and French