Here's how encouraging your employees to learn a foreign language can help your business grow.
Language learning for business forms part of a powerful corporate benefits package. It allows ambitious business giants like Forbes to support their employees’ careers, reach international markets, enhance customer service and increase cultural understanding.
But the benefits reach far beyond this.
Learning a new language will enhance your team members’ entire lives. Not only will it provide them with a much-needed opportunity for personal growth, but it will also boost their thinking skills, enhance their creativity and help them feel more fulfilled in the workplace.
Clearly, this will also contribute to the success of your business. As the professional development magazine Training Mag says, “…language learning is such an under-leveraged opportunity, especially given the clear business need for it.” When you invest in your staff, you will provide conditions that allow them to thrive so they can continue to be an asset to your business.
Let’s take a closer look at the benefits of language learning for both your business and your employees alike.
1. Language learning helps you connect better with others
One of the most powerful ways to connect with a diverse range of people and cultures is to learn a foreign language. Making the effort to learn another person’s language demonstrates understanding, international awareness and a willingness to expand your horizons for the greater good.
Native speakers will also appreciate the gesture, even if your employee only masters a few basic phrases in the language and will become more likely to share their insight and build connections.
By fostering their international communication skills in this way, your employees will also understand what it takes to bridge any language barrier and make meaningful connections with people from all walks of life.
2. It enhances your thinking skills
Language learning also provides substantial cognitive benefits that will allow your employee to boost their creativity and problem-solving skills and encourage them to think outside of the box.
Studies suggest that new languages are stored in different parts of the brain than our native tongues and take more effort to process and recall.
When communicating in this new language, we’re forced to listen more intently and focus more. We need to recall new vocabulary, revise key grammatical structures and persuade our mouths to make new sounds.
Each of these language learning activities forces our brains to work harder, increasing the volume and density of grey brain matter and forming new neural connections. With more effective thinking skills, your employee can optimize their performance in the workplace, stave off Alzheimer’s and make the most of any opportunity that comes their way.
3. It also improves your travel experiences
When your employees can communicate in a foreign language, they will be able to break out of the tourist bubble when traveling abroad for business or leisure.
Instead of believing the stereotype that Parisians are rude, for example, they will start understanding what makes locals tick and start making those meaningful connections that open doors.
With their new language skills under their belt, daily activities such as getting around, ordering food and enjoying the highlights of the destinations will be easier and they’ll be less likely to get ripped off by unscrupulous people.
4. Boosts your confidence and self-esteem
By learning a foreign language, employees can overcome their perceived limits (even if they were terrible at languages when they were at school!) and boost their self-confidence and self-esteem in the process.
The innovative technological tools available via apps such as Mondly provide an effective language learning platform that helps learners reach their goals without stress. Because they provide constant feedback and metrics, your employees will see that with focus and dedication, anything is possible.
Learning a new language also forces learners to take calculated risks before they feel ready yet notice how they can push through and succeed. This enhances both their work and personal lives and allows them to push through hurdles that they may come across.
“Confidence gives employees the ability to problem solve in difficult situations, even when they’re running up against tight deadlines,” says Worklife Partnership, “Confident employees are also more willing to take on new projects and get outside of their comfort zones because they aren’t stymied by the fear of making mistakes.”
5. And promotes better decision-making
Language learning helps people distance themselves from emotional interference and can allow them to make more effective decisions for the common good, according to research from the University of Chicago.
“We discovered that people who used a foreign language were not more concerned with maximizing the benefit”, said Doctor of Psychology Sayuri Hayakawa, “Rather they have less aversion to violating the taboos that could interfere with the decision-making process, maximizing utility”.
This offers clear benefits for businesses that need to avoid biases in order to maximize revenue and achieve optimal results.
However individuals can also benefit from this phenomenon in their personal lives. With the freedom to make clear-headed decisions, they are more likely to choose the right career path, decide whether a relationship is right for them and live happier and more fulfilling lives.
Language learning helps your employees grow
Support your employees in their careers and personal lives by signing up for the Mondly for Business corporate scheme. With a range of innovative language features that help boost communication skills, confidence, decision-making and encourage employees to think outside of the box, it’s the smarter investment for your team.
Give your team what they need to thrive. Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org to find out how our corporate language learning scheme can help.