English is the global language for international business. English is the fastest-spreading language in human history, spoken usefully by some 1.75 billion people—that’s one in every four of us. In a 2012 HBR article, Tsedal Neeley said, “Ready or not, English is now the global language of business. More and more multinational companies are mandating English as the common corporate language in an attempt to facilitate communication and performance across geographically diverse functions and business endeavors.”
It’s no longer a matter of if your business has English language skills, English is now the differentiator of success for global organizations.
Being able to test English at the hiring door is obviously important. However, what businesses face is a lack of a standardized English Language Proficiency Test. Many organizations still use informal interview tactics from untrained English professionals. This leaves a lot of subjectivity to the results. It also is very time consuming. Every company needs to hire qualified English speakers, but it can be hard to accurately test the English language proficiency of a potential employee during the interview process. New BPOs or other international organizations that often must hire hundreds of people in a very short time need something that can scale to their demands. Hiring for English skills can put undue stress on companies.
Having a scalable process for an English language proficiency test will not only save you time, money and possible legal issues; it is also necessary to acquire the best talent in a high-demand environment.
In a country that is experiencing strong economic growth, the ROI of English testing will provide an organization with a scalable process that will quickly identify qualified talent and provide a differentiating benefit to the organization.
Millennial workforce promotions
A recent study (2019) completed by InsideOut Development, highlighted some of the very different attitudes of the new-age workforce. A few highlights include:
- 75% of Gen Z employees believe they should receive a promotion within 1 year of working, and 32% believe within 6 months.
- 40% believe they should be making over $100,000 at the height of their career.
- 43% plan on leaving their jobs within two years.
Young workers are not shying away from asking for promotions. Gen Z workers feel more comfortable asking employers for more perks and compensation without planning to stick around very long. While this may seem like only a problem, there is always an opportunity. For companies with massive English needs and little supply, English skills can be used as a key performance indicator for a raise or promotion. Developing proper promotional training and development and leveraging English proficiency will help develop the English skills of your most successful (or ambitious) employees. Developing simple promotional strategies that enable your employees can create a culture of excitement and success and retain your best talent.
Customized English testing
While a basic level of English is a necessary benchmark for employment, each industry will need a specific English language vocabulary. Hospitality companies will need a specific English vocabulary versus, say, a logistics company. Medical English will differ greatly from tourism. Companies that want to provide better results in customer experience, customer journey mapping, and employee satisfaction will also create advanced English programs to specialize their staff in their respective industry.
Advanced English skills will provide a channel for employee growth and result in better customer satisfaction. 73% of consumers say friendly customer service reps can make them fall in love with a brand (RightNow). Statistics show that 74% of customers are more likely to purchase from a company that offers post-sales support in their language.
English excellence as customer experience
A recent LinkedIn survey revealed that 90% of HR Directors, CEOs and CMOs say that having English-speaking employees is beneficial to their businesses. Having qualified English speakers on staff is attractive to new clients, business partners, and potential employees. If your entire staff is fluent in English, you can point this out to customers as a way to distinguish your brand from competitors.
When you receive customer service from a company, you want to make sure you’re able to communicate clearly. Whether it be a complaint or simple troubleshooting, you want to make sure your concerns are clearly understood while also making sure you completely understand the company’s response. Being forced to communicate in a language that you’re not 100% comfortable with makes for an unenjoyable customer service experience, no matter how good the service or rep really is. By providing multilingual customer service, you eliminate that problem and allow your customers to get clear support, which ultimately allows them to place more trust in your products, services, and brand.
English training is a next-gen ROI
In a 2007 global initiative, McDonalds launched a corporate English training and advancement program called, “English Under the Arches.” McDonald’s has a long history of promoting from within – 79% of restaurant managers and 50% of U.S. company officers began their careers in entry level positions in a McDonald’s Restaurant. McDonald’s developed English Under the Arches, a program to develop employees’ English skills and to help them advance in their careers at McDonald’s. The program currently operates in over 30 sites around the country and is slated to continue to expand in the coming years.
Some key results (in just 18 months, include):
- 30 different countries participating
- 1500 participants
- 85% course completion
- 90% retention year-to-year
- 95% of participants increased their wages following program participation.
LinkedIn preformed a survey asking managers what they believe Gen Z wants and also asked Gen Z employees what they want. The important issue is the discrepancy and lack of understanding about Gen Z. For example, 60% of Gen Z said they would learn in order to increase their salary or get a bonus. Only 33% of professionals (managers) thought monetary compensation would be a top motivating factor. For more click on the link below.
The new generation needs to be treated differently. They want a culture of learning and promotion. English training and development can be your gateway to a profitable, differentiated business strategy.
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