As the world grows smaller with the advent of Internet, we have also seen our businesses spread out to countries with which we normally did not share many relationships. Most English speaking countries often conducted business amongst themselves until Germany and Japan became business leaders too, along with Britain and the USA. This led to people learning German and Japanese, while perfecting various dialects of English.
While it is very important for your employees to speak and communicate in good English, it is also crucial for all of them to know at least one foreign language. No matter in which industry vertical you are, you need to make a list of a few foreign languages that can always prove handy. Some of those languages are French, Spanish, German, Japanese, Chinese, Arabic, Russian and Portuguese. These are international languages that are spoken in not just one country, but many.
As we continue to do business with other countries, there will always be a situation when one of your employees who knows a foreign language will help you better in terms of signing business deals with another company in a different country.
Now, let us take a look at why you must go ahead and invest in teaching your employees foreign languages.
One of the biggest advantages of learning a foreign language is that it can be used as a team building exercise. An entire team may be encouraged to learn one foreign language while the other team can be trained in a different language. At the end of course, these teams can showcase what they have learned during team activities. All this helps to boost team loyalty and assists in team building.
We live in a very small world now and it has become important for us to look for clients in countries where they may not speak English. This is especially important when dealing with countries in the European Union or in the Far-east. When we speak the language they do, it helps to boost relationships with them and engage in conversations that could lead to signing a deal. In fact, the more foreign languages you know, the more people you will be able to connect with.
When you know a foreign language, you will be able to avoid ambiguities in the contract. When you read a contract in a foreign language, you will be in a more authoritative position that you might have been if you didn’t know that language and depended on a translator.
One of the most important benefits of employees knowing a foreign language is, when they go abroad on tasks, they will be able to speak the local language, which makes them seem very international. That boosts the image of your company and this is always a good thing.
It is a well known fact that employees who stand to gain something usually do not leave the company for a long time. This is more of a psychological benefit than anything else. If you teach your employees a foreign language, they are more inclined to stay back during the course. No foreign language can be learned perfectly (along with a full time job, at work), in less than 3 years. Considering how quickly people quit jobs, using foreign languages to keep people from leaving a job is not such a bad idea.
When employees feel they are doing something constructive, especially for their own personal growth, at a free cost, they tend to feel good about themselves. This boosts their morale and they perform better in other tasks. By ensuring that you teach your employees a foreign language, you might effectively be boosting their morale and encouraging them to perform at their best.
It is a well known neuropsychological fact that learning a foreign language boosts brain activity that is reflected in unrelated tasks. A study revealed how children who learn foreign languages fare better in general mathematics, than those who do not. This is related to neuroplasticity,