Does Your Business Have a Corporate Language Strategy?

Corporate language strategy is essential for a successful transition into new business markets. For any international company, one of the most significant decisions to make is how employees will communicate with one another. In order to be successful, developing an effective language strategy must include corporate language training for every employee- from your newest associates all the way up to the CEO.

Present-day multinational businesses face many challenges as they expand their business reach to new markets located in countries whose citizens speak a different language. One of the biggest and most common hurdles to overcome during expansion involves answering the simple question "in what language will my employees conduct business, and how do we ensure our staff is prepared to operate in this language?"


Corporate language training

A successful language strategy includes defining a common language for all offices to ensure clear communication.

Global Corporate Language Strategy Must Define A Common Language

It is perplexing that many international companies don't even appear to have a lingua franca - or common language - defined across all business offices; let alone have a clearly defined language strategy. A successful business owner is aware that offices-  separated by boarders and bodies of water- require clear communication with each other. When expanding into new territories, local offices must be staffed by people who have the ability to not only speak the local language to customers but the designated language of the business as well. If employees cannot count clear direction from higher-ups, business owners can count on a chaotic and inefficient working environment. With business english training employees will be able to adapt with all the changes that come with a globally expanding business.


Business Language Skills vs. Leadership Skills - Which is More Important?

Another oversight global organizations make, occurs during the valuation of a candidate's skills for a position. During standard operations, assessing a prospective employee's leadership skills are usually heavily weighted when filling an assignment abroad. Opening a new office in a new country isn't a standard operating procedure, and therefore developing business language skills should logically play a larger role than leadership skills. While it's hard to definitively say which is a more valuable skill, a large portion of international companies fill positions with monolingual candidates who possess strong leadership skills over someone who is bilingual or proficient in the local language. Employees can absolutely learn a new language, but how long will it take to become proficient and what will that end up costing the business in the long run?

Having a clear and organized language strategy is critical for the success of an expanding business. Organizations that are serious about filling their international assignments successfully, will support their employees in learning a new language. At minimum, a successful language strategy should include

  • training goals - how long will language training take and how many employees?
  • establish a lingua franca
  • what the ideal setup would be
  • how much it is expected to cost
  • adopt ongoing, 360 evaluations to ensure success and progress of corporate language training
  • encourage feedback from employees to meet their needs

Whether your company will be successful in a new country is dependent upon many factors. Corporate sponsored language training in-and-of-itself cannot guarantee success, but it will provide tools for a successful transition. By managing your plan and identifying needs you can develop and acquire the best talent, meet strategic goals and strengthen your foothold in new markets and make your business more competitive than ever before.




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Our highly engaging In-Person English classes and interactive English classes online with live native-speaking teachers are easy to access from wherever you are. We offer Real-Time Small Group and Private Lessons. Take our  free Online ESL Placement Test or register for one of our upcoming  online English Language courses.

For more information contact our Language Training Department:
Phone: (617) 731-3700

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