How to Overcome Language Barriers in the Corporate Environment

We see more and more companies discussing the importance of diversity to improve their organizations. Diversity is enriching, as it allows people to combine different experiences to produce unique, increasingly creative, and profitable solutions. According to a recent Forbes report on embracing diversity and inclusion, companies in the top quartile for ethnic diversity outperform their competitors by 35%.

Diversity takes into account race, social class, sex, and sexual orientation, but also encourages the diversity of cultures, creating teams with people of different origins and nationalities, while helping to reduce major barriers in languages acquisition. In fact, for our own language learners, Voxy has recently introduced a new course to help empower learners to have Diversity, Inclusion, and Social Justice course conversations in English.

English is still one of the most required languages ​​in the labor market around the world. It is still noteworthy that building a team that masters English not only fosters collaboration between teams from different regions of the world but also opens doors to access knowledge in books, videos and lectures often available only in English.

If you want to help your organization to overcome language barriers among employees, consider these important factors to help you get started:

Foster a Culture of Learning and Development

Whether referred to as your Training & Development or Learning & Development team, most companies have human resources teams – and also managers and department leaders – that are responsible for employee training. While they should look for ways to encourage English language learning within companies, these professionals must also be able to have full visibility and control of the results obtained by implementing a language training program.

When looking for English training solutions, professionals must know the specific goals of the company to identify the best fit. Is English necessary for all employees or just specific groups? Is English a requirement for some key activity in the organization or is it an incremental improvement of the entire operation?

Raising these types of questions allows not only to compare the solutions available on the market to identify the one that best suits the needs of the company but also to analyze the results of the language program. Identifying the main success indicators and metrics for your reality allows your organization to have a clear view of the return that the investment made is bringing to the business.

Institutional Incentive

The success of language programs is not the exclusive responsibility of HR but must be shared by the entire company. Business leadership must embark on the challenge of breaking down these language barriers and encourage the entire body of employees involved to engage in this activity. Developing programs that recognize highly engaged employees or those with great progress in English learning helps to increase participation of the entire workforce in this type of initiative. It is important to show that this search for training is something encouraged within the organization, which must actively promote the language programs offered.

Helping employees to fit English learning into their schedules, electing program representatives amid the organizational structure, and even counting on the participation of leadership members in the language program are ways to promote institutional incentive in team training.

Emphasize the Importance For Career Development

As previously mentioned, teams with high English proficiency add to the results of the organization as a whole, but it is also worth emphasizing the importance of this knowledge for the training of each professional. Although knowledge of English can be important even for lower-level positions in corporate structures, this is often something that becomes an indispensable requirement for higher management and leadership positions, and it can also serve as an incentive for employees to engage in your organization’s language programs.

Also, by mastering English, professionals become able to access the knowledge previously mentioned, which often exists only in that language. Expanding the range of possibilities for reading and consuming content, in general, allows employees to experiment and deepen new knowledge, potentially even finding new areas of interest that can add to overall professional performance.

Japan Market Partner and Voxy offer an innovative English training solution focused on personalized learning that has a positive impact on ROI. Contact our team to find out how we can help your company break down the communication barriers on your business.