For your business to go international, it’s not enough to simply invest resources into marketing and online ads. Instead, your employees should develop the skills relevant to an international market, starting with new languages.
There is a wide range of benefits to intensive language learning for employees. Working with international stakeholders, both B2C and B2B will require you to either hire local talent or teach your employees new languages. Here is how language training for employees is beneficial for your business going forward.
1. Higher Understanding of Foreign Cultures and Etiquette
People from the UK, Austria, Japan, and Russia work in very different ways, both privately and professionally. This can lead to problems when working with international clients and companies, however. You may not realize that you’ve made a mistake in assuming one thing or the other during a corporate meeting. Or, your employee might have written a completely acceptable email only for it to be met with a refusal due to cultural misunderstanding.
Integrating language learning training into your professional development options will allow your employees to better understand who they work with. This will educate them on how other people think, how to approach different subjects, and how to address people from other countries. In turn, this will lead to far more positive responses from international stakeholders who will appreciate your understanding of their corporate and cultural standards.
2. Worldwide B2B Networking Opportunities
Whether you operate in shipping, finances, IT, or eCommerce, there are plenty of companies abroad that would like to work with you. Unfortunately, working with other companies is extremely difficult if you don’t have a stable communication channel. While you can hire translators, this is a time-consuming and resource-intensive way of addressing a more pressing issue.
Investing in employee language training will present you with a long-term solution to the issue of international B2B networking. Your employees can use the best translator websites to translate their writing for B2B stakeholders and speak different languages to meet international standards. Moreover, satisfied representatives will want to continue your B2B relationship moving forward thanks to the fact that your employees speak French, Italian, Spanish, or German.
3. Ability to Take on International B2C Clients
If you are operating as a retailer, a SaaS company, or outsource your services to would-be clients, you will find plenty of potential stakeholders abroad. Again, it might be difficult to communicate with them or engage them in a meaningful manner if your employees lack the necessary language skills.
Once you invest in employee language training, you will be able to successfully service international clients from around the world. This, combined with localizing your website’s content, will ensure that no client is left out from your service portfolio. In turn, you will be able to collect meaningful user-generated content such as testimonials, reviews, and ratings from people worldwide.
4. Translate Documents Quickly and Effectively
Once you acquire international clients, they will likely expect you to meet them halfway in terms of your language barrier. Whether you work with Spanish, Italian, or French-speaking natives, your employees will be able to translate corporate correspondences, emails, and other documents quickly. To do that, you can use Is Accurate to stay in touch with the latest translation and localization trends around the world.
The result of delivering your international clients translated documents instead of hoping they understand your native language will be seen as a net positive. Those clients will be far more likely to work with you again in the future and recommend your business to their B2B networks locally.
5. Better Employee Collaboration and Leadership Development
Enabling your employees to learn new languages will make it easier for them to collaborate on international projects. They’ll be able to service your clients, cooperate with international companies, and work together to solve more complex business issues. Over time, you’ll be able to groom certain staff members for leadership positions and further retain relevant talent in your company.
Employees who receive language training will be more inclined to renew their contracts and stay with your company longer thanks to the benefits you’ve provided. Attracting overseas talent and professionals from abroad to collaborate with your employees or teach them new skills also isn’t out of the question. Thanks to their language training, they’ll be able to follow more development seminars and work with international coaches.
Language Training Mistakes to Avoid in Your Business
While facilitating language training for your employees is very beneficial, it can also backfire if you mishandle it. Many of your employees will already know different languages and may not have the time to spare to go over familiar materials again.
Likewise, asking employees to put “overtime” into learning for your company’s benefit isn’t a great look for your business. Language and other learning programs should be developed and executed with professional care and supervision. Here’s what not to do once you decide to employ language learning training:
Creating a language learning training program for your employees is a noble and beneficial endeavor. It won’t bear fruit overnight, however. It will take months or over a year for your employees to effectively use new languages. This means that setting unrealistic, short deadlines for learning new languages should be avoided at all costs.
Even if your company has its platform for online learning, it shouldn’t be used for new languages. Learning new languages takes interpersonal training, speaking exercises, and writing assignments. You will need dedicated coaches and language professors to teach your employees business-level language skills.
Multiple simultaneous language training
Depending on the scale of your company, you may be tempted to employ multiple language learning programs at the same time. This is a bad decision since people can barely keep up with two or more language modules in addition to their daily work obligations. Conduct an internal poll and gauge different employees’ interests in different languages and assign them to different modules accordingly. This is both democratic and far more doable in practice.
In the end, the more languages your employees speak, the better shot you will have at establishing an international foothold in your industry. Don’t overlook the value of investing in employee language training for your staff.
Your employees will appreciate having access to more professional development content which will lead to their retention and commitment to the company. Likewise, you will have an easier time attracting talent to your company due to a better public reputation of providing employees with language training benefits.