Some training is often referred to as soft skills development. However, these skills contribute significantly to the hard numbers used to measure individual and corporate success. Language training is skills development that links directly to strategic company goals.

Employee engagement drives business

infographic extract NOV14

Global enterprises, international and national firms, and local businesses have this in common — each works to improve ROI while maintaining an engaged, qualified workforce.

Operating income and productivity reflect employee engagement levels. A report at DecisionWise shows companies with low engagement scores earn an operating income 32.7 percent lower than companies with more engaged employees. Similarly, companies with a highly engaged workforce experience a 19.2 percent growth in operating income over a 12-month period

Employee retention  also impacts a company’s bottom line. An engaged workforce helps to double customer loyalty and productivity, while cutting its turnover in half, cites DecisionWise.

Language training increases employee engagement according to 84% of surveyed corporate learners. Over 70 percent of survey respondents say they are more likely to stay with their employer as a result of the opportunity to build lifelong language skills.

Communication barriers block productivity

Poor communications impact corporate performance in key areas. Here’s a number that should catch every company’s attention: $37 billion.

According to the Holmes Report, that’s the “total estimated cost of employee misunderstanding in 100,000-employee companies, among 400 surveyed corporations in the U.S. and U.K. ” The average cost per company cited totaled $62.4 million annually. Employee misunderstanding was described in the report as “including actions or errors of omission by employees who have misunderstood or were misinformed about company policies, business processes, job function or a combination of the three.”

To bring these large numbers down to a practical employee level, the Holmes Report revealed the “cumulative cost per worker per year due to productivity losses resulting from communications barriers” to be $26,041.

This indicates how critical language communication skills are in today’s globally connected and culturally diverse marketplace.

shutterstock_133608929Maximise value of language training investment

For companies that operate in multilingual markets now, or plan to in the future, language training is a key training budget item. Is your language investment centrally managed and accessible, allowing your company to realise the value and efficiency technology delivers?

Here is an example of the risks presented by an uncoordinated language training process:

A large multinational telecom company based in Europe had 3,400 current learners in their various markets, and the company was spending $764 on average, per person, for language training. When language training for 458 eligible expats and their families was examined, that average cost per person skyrocketed to $10,636.

The company discovered thousands of learners utilising different language training solutions. Each solution was purchased by a different entity, for many languages and learning methods including private tutoring, online learning, and in-person classes.

After revamping its language training approach and moving learners to a single global platform, the company realised savings of over $3 million while providing language skills training in eight different languages.

By analysing language needs and current spending carefully, companies can gain efficiencies, increase value, and extend training to more learners by centralising language training on one global platform.

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Sources for further reading:

Infographic: Business Risk of Language Barriers

Whitepaper: The Language of Employee Engagement

Assessment: Learn more about the impact language can have in your business

Donavan Whyte is Vice President, International Enterprise & Education, at Rosetta Stone. He leads the company’s regional institutional divisions in EMEA delivering online language-training solutions to businesses, universities, schools, and public sector organisations.

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