Providing English communication skills can have a plethora of benefits for businesses whose employees may not speak English as their primary language.
For companies with departments such as distribution, hospitality, production or warehouse, the need to liaise effectively with internal departments and external clients is of paramount importance to the overall success and effectiveness of the business.
But this is often where problems can occur. A low level of English can lead to miscommunication and misunderstanding, which then results in lack of employee confidence, motivation and increased risk of error.
In this article we’ll emphasise the benefits for businesses considering improving their staff English communication skills.
Related Reading: Why you should focus on learning English for your business.
What is the importance of English communication skills?
● English is the primary language of business, communication and trade worldwide
The English language is the most widespread spoken and written language in the world, which makes it all but vital for global business and trade. English is the world’s third most common native language and possesses 360-400 million native speakers. It’s also favoured as the language of business in over 28 different countries, including in countries like Jamaica, India and the Philippines.
● English is the preferred language of the internet
Though this may not sound as relevant to a business, it is when we consider just how digital everything is nowadays. From 2019 English has consistently ranked first place in the most common languages used on the internet. Just think of how many websites or social media sites you visit that all communicate in English.
And in the workplace, mostly everyone involved is likely to come into contact with an online touchpoint: Whether that’s by emails, online staff portals, social media, digital marketing or PR.
● English is the language pop culture speaks
A good business usually places some of its success on the good relationships built between teams and departments. Those relationships start with good camaraderie, which of course begins with communication.
Team camaraderie is usually built by sharing interests, discussing hobbies or events, and engaging in office chat and jokes. For non-English speakers, this is where they can begin to feel isolated and disengaged if they are unable to follow common English colloquial expressions, or share references to jokes or events because they may not understand the pragmatics.
Learning cultural nuances can make all the difference when it comes to building a good work or team culture.
The English language has a variety of strange colloquial expressions that can make it a challenge to learn. Read some of the best ones in our blog here.
What are the benefits to improving English communication skills?
English communication skills make up an essential part of the efficient and effective running of a business, especially if it is dealing with external clients in an international space. The benefits this can have for the business are far reaching, but the initial and most important benefits are:
● Enhanced and improved communication
All businesses rely on good communication, collaboration, networking and teamwork. Even introverted individuals who may prefer to spend time away from colleagues will still need to communicate and collaborate inside a team environment.
However effective communication is made ten times more difficult if employees cannot understand one another. This becomes crucially important if departments, such as hospitality and suppliers for example, need to communicate vital information or reach the right people.
In worst case scenarios miscommunication can lead to mistakes that could negatively affect business success and even cost employees their job.
Learning business English communication skills can prevent these situations from occurring and instead improve communication by allowing staff to communicate better with their colleagues and external customers and to confidently express and represent themselves in their roles.
● Express dedication to go above and beyond business standards
This benefit is especially important for businesses who may be located outside of primary English speaking countries.
Whereas forty to fifty years ago speaking and communicating in fluent English would have been a bonus for international businesses, nowadays with the English language becoming one of the top three languages spoken in the world, there is almost an expectation for all businesses to be able to communicate in English.
It’s that unspoken expectation that can lead to international businesses missing out on opportunities in the global market if they are unable to utilise English communication skills.
To ensure the business is best placed to capitalise on opportunities, showing that it is fluent and skilled in the English language will go a long way in helping it to enter and capture new markets.
When communicating in global markets, businesses should make sure their grammar is accurate too. The English language is known for its somewhat peculiar grammar, which you can learn more about here.
● Better staff retention
It’s well known that staff are likely to be more loyal to a company, and therefore stay longer, if they feel they are invested in and well supported.
Improving the English communication skills of non-English speaking staff is one way to display this as it will not only give them an additional skill in the workplace, it also provides them with a skill to take into their everyday life.
Business wise enhanced communication skills can also lead to better chances of promotion, which is especially important for retaining valuable members of staff. It could also lead to increases in job applications if the business advertises that it is happy to employ non-English speaking staff and train them in the English language as this inclusivity will be a valuable attribute for any non-English speaker.
● Easier application process for the EU Settlement Scheme
If your business will be helping its employees to apply for either settled or pre-settled status as part of Britain’s exit from the European Union, having enhanced communication skills can significantly help the process by overcoming the language barrier. It also places your employees in a better position to understand the changes, which helps keep everybody on the same page.
What do courses involve?
At Simon and Simon, our English communication skills courses focus on writing, pronunciation and presentation skills and are open to all levels, from beginners to fluent speakers.
We start our English learning process with a pre-course assessment, so we understand what the current level of language is and what needs to be done to reach the level you are aiming for. From there our Account Managers will work with your English teachers to provide a plan for your bespoke course.
We can tailor our courses to improve your skills when discussing business areas such as law, banking, finance, insurance, sales, travel, marketing, and administration. Or you may want to focus on improving your English for meetings, discussions and negotiations, or to concentrate on improving your listening comprehension, pronunciation and telephone skills.
Our native language teachers have helped thousands of people master the English language. As the UK’s number one provider of experienced language trainers, SIMON & SIMON are fully committed to helping all our clients master the English language. We have an extensive network of teachers across every region, each with an average of 15 years experience. As well as running courses for employees across Britain, we also provide training for hundreds of individuals.
Whatever your needs, one of our highly experienced English language trainers can help you become more confident in your English skills. Get in touch with us for your English language training quote today.