Back in July, our very own Brian Rovito hosted a free webinar discussing the benefits of integrating language learning into the corporate environment. Going into 2017, it’s more important than ever to put language training at the forefront of corporate initiatives. Why? Two words: relationship building.
Establishing strong business relationships and studying a language have two major things in common: they are both essential skills in today’s world, and they can take a lot of time and energy. If you’re a business leader, you probably know this better than anyone. Building a strong professional network is crucial for everything from strengthening employee morale to ensuring that you achieve (and exceed) your annual sales goals. As you start to wrap up the fiscal year, consider these ways that language training will enhance your organization’s business relationships in 2017 - both internally and externally.
4. Connect with colleagues on a deeper level.
Diversity is something to be celebrated in a professional organization, and we’re thrilled that more and more companies are actively hiring employees with a range of cultural backgrounds and nationalities. That said, many employees might have a native language other than what is spoken in the workplace. Here’s where we come in.
As a manager, you have the power to help all employees feel comfortable and excited when they come into work each day. Language training is a great way to celebrate diversity in the office while encouraging inter-cultural bonds between colleagues. Get to know your staff a little better - which languages are represented? Who could benefit from learning them? If a quarter of your employees are native French speakers, for example, consider encouraging the rest to tackle some French as well. Colleagues will be able to learn from each other, exchange ideas, and connect on a much more meaningful level.
3. Give your employees a mutual goal.
Think of it as a long-term team building activity. Instead of using the classic “human knot” game, challenge your employees to master a certain level of their target language each quarter. If there are multiple people studying the same language, put them in a challenge group - they’ll be able to support one another while bonding with colleagues outside of their own department.
While it’s crucial for every employee to set and reach their own personal goals, instilling a mutual goal like this will inspire collaboration between teams that don’t normally work together. They’ll have the chance to build a valuable skill that goes beyond the daily grind, while getting to share that progress with coworkers. The key is to emphasize not only how language training will help you meet corporate objectives, but also the personal benefits that come from being multilingual. Higher workplace satisfaction = better business outside the office.
2. Expand your client base.
“If I am selling to you, I speak your language. If I am buying, dann müssen sie Deutsch sprechen.” (“then you must speak German”).
This quote by former West German chancellor Willy Brandt says it all. Bottom line: people respond positively when they are spoken to in their native language. It creates an instant connection that is often lost when conversations need to be translated through a third party. We’re here to tell you to ditch that translator! Instead, impress your clients by speaking their native language - it will show that you’ve done your homework, you value their business, and above all, you care about the strong relationship you have with them.
Check out these stats: according to a survey done by Common Sense Advisory, 56.2% of consumers say that having product information in their own language is more important to them than price. That is, if you can present your product or service in the native language of your clients, they will probably be willing to pay more for it. This will be especially important for companies wanting to reach new markets (what company doesn’t?) Having a language barrier is no reason to miss out on potential business opportunities.
Apart from gaining new clients, language training can help retain your existing ones. Add some extra shine to your customer success team by encouraging them to learn the languages that your current clients speak. The effort won’t go unnoticed, and you’ll be able to sit back and relax when it comes time for renewals.
1. Adapt to the changing corporate world.
It doesn’t matter if you work in finance, healthcare, government, or education - language learning is truly industry blind. The business boundaries that once existed between countries are now quickly fading, thanks to the increased globalization of technology and brands. Ever heard of Samsung? About nine years ago, the tech powerhouse was just a small engineering company based solely in Korea. Thanks to an all-star marketing team and a major revamping of their company culture, it’s now a global leader in all things smartphones, appliances, and computers. We can bet language training was a crucial part of their international success, since bilingual English and Korean speakers are preferred for a large percentage of Samsung jobs today. Follow suit, and stay competitive in the ever-changing global market by emphasizing foreign language training as one of your company’s learning tools.
As a growing company ourselves, we recognize that building and maintaining strong professional relationships is everything. It means greater employee satisfaction, increased productivity, and happier clients - and we all want that. If you’re looking to bolster your networking initiatives in the coming year, we’ve got just the tool to help your company shine and continue to build positive relationships, whether inside the office or at a client meeting overseas.
With Mango, your employees will have on-demand access to over 70 languages - that’s 70 potential new business connections waiting to be made. Plus, the software is specifically designed for the busy professionals that you are, with personalized, flexible, and totally mobile learning options. Click below, and let us help you make 2017 your company’s year for language-learning success.