12 July 2016

Lost in Translation: How a Lack of Proper Language Training Can Hinder Business Processes

business meeting

Generally speaking, Britain boasts a culturally diverse workforce and, despite its decision to leave the EU, it will indefinitely.  The reason for this is the fact that it is in the best interests of British companies to have cultural diversity within its ranks.

Technological developments in recent years have ushered in an era of business globalisation.  This means that every company in the UK, regardless of its size, has the ability to operate and collaborate on a global scale.

However, it also means that all British businesses aren’t just in competition with similar businesses on their home soil, but rather compete with businesses from across the globe.

The need to be competitive at an international level means that businesses have expanded their talent searches and opened their doors to a variety of international talent.

But, while this may seem like the key to the international market for many businesses, the truth is that improper language training for many foreign workers can be detrimental to British companies’ efforts.

How Improper Employee Language Training Can Disadvantage Local Businesses

The following are three of the ways in which improper language training on the part of employees can greatly disadvantage the companies that hire them:

1. Increased Employee Turnover

The specifics of business English, for example, exist at a higher level than basic conversational English.  With this in mind, foreign nationals who are hired by British companies and possess only conversational English might battle to grasp the vocabulary necessary for their positions.  This can lead to discomfort that results in those employees abandoning their positions.

The problem with this is the fact that high employee turnover results in a loss of company resources.  Not only does to company lose trained individuals, but it loses the money that it invested in their training.  Furthermore, the employees hired to fill the vacancies also require training.  If these employees leave as a result of the same language issue, the company can lose a great deal of money and never benefit from fully-trained employees.

2. Reduced Productivity

Another downside of a lack of language training is a loss of productivity, both for the employee and the company.  If a particular employee is having trouble communicating effectively on a personal level, he or she might experience difficulty in achieving acceptance in the workplace.

Employees that feel as if they are outcasts don’t tend to offer their ideas freely, and usually aren’t considered for leadership positions.  In order to gain acceptance, these employees don’t often disagree with various proposals, and can waste time as a result of poor communication.

3. Tarnished Company Reputation

Companies that, through improper language training, make their foreign employees feel alienated risk garnering a reputation of being discriminatory.  Though it may have been completely unintentional, this sort of reputation can severely damage a company’s success.

The hiring of skilled international employees can greatly boost a company’s productivity, but only in conjunction with proper language training.  Any company that disregards this factor risks losing resources from either an internal or an external perspective – or possibly both.

In the wake of Brexit British companies might face new challenges in terms of doing business internationally, but certainly not enough to see them turn their backs on the prospect.  The possibilities afforded businesses as a result of global connectivity are simply too great to deny.  But, with international business dealings comes the importance of foreign employees.

As we ascertained in Part 1 of this look at language training for foreign workers, having improperly trained international employees can be more of a liability than an asset.  This is why any company that wishes to truly capitalise on global connectivity should have language training for foreign workers high up on its list of priorities.

But, while we have established the disadvantages of improper language training on the part of foreign employees, we have not yet looked at the advantages of proper language training.  So, in order to stress the importance of professional training, let us now discuss the benefits of language training for foreign workers.


How Proper Employee Language Training Benefits a Business

A properly trained, culturally diverse workforce benefits a company in many different ways.  Here are just three of these advantages:

1. Better Ideas

One of the main motivators for British companies to hire foreign workers is to better understand foreign markets.  It thus stands to reason that they would want their foreign workers to supply them with as many ideas as possible with regards to market penetration, foreign partnership, and perhaps insights on local competitors.

2. Home Advantage

There are fewer immigrants in the UK hailing from EU countries than there are immigrants from the rest of the world.  This means that, even if many return to their home countries as a result of Brexit, there will still be a lot of immigrants living in the UK – enough to make up a solid customer base.  By employing foreign workers, companies can appeal to migrant communities on British soil, which could be responsible for a great many sales.

3. Enhanced Productivity

Workers who feel truly valued are more motivated to perform, form strong business relationships, and show commitment to their employers over the long term.  Employees like these are vital to a company and channel their motivation to maximise productivity for their companies.


The Importance of Proper Language Training for Foreign Employees

Looking at the above advantages, there is no mystery concerning British companies’ eagerness to employ foreign workers.  However, when these employees are improperly trained in language skills they can develop feeling s of alienation which can lead to decreased productivity and high employee turnover.

This is not good for the individuals involved, and it is certainly not good for the companies that employ them.  This is why it is vital for companies to seek the absolute best language training for their foreign employees.

Not only does proper training help foreign employees perform at a higher level, it offers a host of benefits for the companies employing them.  And, with Brexit offering fresh challenges for international business dealings, added benefits are surely assets that no company is willing to overlook.

Why Proper Language Learning Is Important
Article Name
Why Proper Language Learning Is Important
As the world becomes smaller and more connected, competition rises and the need to have a solid understanding of the English language is even more important.
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Simon and Simon International
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