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Talent Acquisition: How language training for business benefits recruitment – and more

11 December 2023

Language training for Business, English lessons.

Let’s face it – business is evolving. Status quo simply doesn’t work, and as the work continues to change, so must the workplace while also upskilling the people who are driving holistic success. Here the Babbel for Business Learner Success Team offer their take on how language training can open up the world for your business and employees.

Today, a diverse, empowered Gen Z makes up over one third of the global workforce, bringing with them their own expectations to the hiring process. 17% are more likely to prioritize employers who are serious about diversity and inclusion. While 45% say they’re more likely to prioritize opportunities to learn new skills.

Language training addresses these dual concerns head-on. Language mastery builds confidence, connects people, solves real-life problems, and opens doors. No wonder 67% of companies think multilingual teams lead to more innovation. Or that 7/10 employees value language courses as a workplace perk.

And it’s not just a hiring issue. A full 25% of employers in the US claim to have lost business due to a lack of foreign language skills – a shocking statistic when the solution is so easy to access.

Bespoke, business-oriented language courses can give your company the power to deliver, both in the office and across borders. Employees should never be limited by geography, and neither should your business.

Let’s look at some of the ways language training for business can play to your advantage:

  1. Harness the world’s talent: If you’re looking for the best talent, why limit yourself to one region? Especially with the rise of remote working technology, the world is your oyster. Attract candidates from all over the globe, bringing fresh perspectives and fewer boundaries to your business. A confident, multilingual recruitment strategy can engage with potential new talent on their level. For example, one of the world’s most diverse food service companies, Sodexo USA, already boasts a diverse, multilingual workforce, something that the industry-leading corporation knows is a key differentiating factor in making their business a success.
  2. Make people feel heard: The potential to learn another language at work fosters a sense of belonging and participation for employees. For Sodexo USA, the particular challenge was bridging the gap between English- and Spanish-speaking teams in order to strengthen internal as well as customer-facing interactions. But for Sodexo USA, it wasn’t just a question of everyone learning English. In a diverse workplace, employees and customers feel valued when their native language and cultural background are not only acknowledged but embraced. Encouraging a range of languages demonstrates a commitment to inclusivity, thereby strengthening employee engagement.
  3. Spread your reach beyond borders: Your diverse, multilingual workforce is a powerful tool to extend your market. And while international English is no doubt important, again, there’s more to be said for reaching outward. Employees fluent in multiple languages are often more sensitive to the needs of clients, customers, and partners from other cultures. This can be crucial for building business relationships, improving collaboration, and expanding confidently into new markets with the right tools at hand.
  4. Don’t forget the customer: An often underestimated bonus of language training is improved customer service. When customers can resolve their queries clearly and confidently, with someone literally speaking their language, it builds satisfaction and loyalty, as well as a positive brand reputation that you can showcase in other markets. To go back to the example of Sodexo USA’s business ambitions, language mastery sets their customer service apart from the rest.
  5. Stimulate to innovate: Of course, to access these markets, you don’t just need to talk. You need great ideas that result in action along with a relevant product. Beyond cultural awareness, different languages come with their own unique understanding, thought processes, and problem-solving approaches. Diverse linguistic perspectives can therefore stimulate creativity and innovation. From trouble-shooting to identifying fresh, new opportunities, language training is about a sustainable long term investment in your business.

Ultimately, businesses like Sodexo USA have a goal to improve work and life quality for all involved. With learners more likely to be engaged in content that mirrors their real-life conversations, Babbel’s language learning ecosystem proved an effective tool.

Employees at all levels could practice independently at their own convenience with short, relevant 15-minute lessons. Smooth onboarding, an intuitive user experience and motivational reminders kept learners on track. The end result: 90% of participants gained self-confidence and self-efficacy, and 85% felt more comfortable speaking English at work, increasing employees’ willingness to communicate. But that’s not all, the greatest result is that Sodexo USA benefited from improved internal relations and better customer service.

There you have it. An empowered workforce, brighter ideas, satisfied customers, enhanced client relations – and all on a global scale. Offering language courses lets you tap into a broader talent pool, which will ultimately reap benefits, both for your people and your bottom line. Because when you embrace language diversity as part of your company culture, it sends a powerful message to your employees and partners worldwide: we are open for business.

Why Babbel?

Babbel has become the world’s top-grossing language-learning app with millions of paying subscribers. Fast Company awarded us “The world’s most innovative education company.”

In 2017 Babbel started helping businesses with tailor-made solutions. Over 1000 companies from various industries, including manufacturing, tech, healthcare, pharma, and education use Babbel for Business as part of their professional development programs – as formal or casual training initiatives, team incentives or benefits.

With Babbel you can choose from 14 languages featuring lessons in business and casual situations. Babbel is flexible to support the needs of specific business goals, or to allow learners to explore what interests them.

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