map-687953_640Businesses of all sizes and across all industries feel the challenges and benefits of globalisation. With an ever expanding range of suppliers and customers spanning country boundaries, language skills among employees have never been more valued.

For companies with a global outlook, a multi-lingual workforce can be a high-performing one and put you ahead of the competition.

Stronger relationships can be formed and more successful interactions had from conversations with customers, suppliers and colleagues in the language they’re most comfortable with. This builds higher levels of trust that can lead to more sales, increased productivity and more successful working relationships.

The bottom line

It follows that language training at work is therefore a sound investment. But establishing the direct impact of language proficiency on the bottom line has been difficult in the past.

Can an upshift in key performance indicators be directly linked back to language learning initiatives?

Highly adaptive digital learning programmes recognise the business need to prove return on investment. Look for programmes with robust administrative tools that can measure and report on learner progress so that business leaders and administrators can track performance, proficiency gains, and usage across learners and languages. Rosetta Stone Catalyst for example, provides this and allows its clients to create reports that measure learning outcomes, and signal when the employee is ready for new opportunities. This, coupled with the ability to serve all learner levels across an organisation, is helping to change the way global businesses learn new languages.

Remote learning and working

The benefits of digital-based learning are many. They include the practical benefit of being able to efficiently rollout an online and mobile training programme wherever employees are based, including to homeworkers.

As employees build their skills, digital learning programmes with speech recognition software are ideal for developing confident pronunciation. After all, it’s a challenge to do this working from a text book. Face-to-face training achieves a good result, but can be expensive to arrange and hard to build into everyone’s schedule. Digital language learning achieves the best of both worlds – the personal touch of online interaction with native speakers and the efficiency of remote learning.

No “one size fits all” model

Learners have a diverse range of needs. Everyone learns in an individual way. A benefit of using digital learning programmes in the workplace is that they adapt to learners, both in terms of content delivery and pace, and deliver a more personalised path for learning.

While this makes for a better all-round learning experience, there’s also the benefit of ensuring employees are getting the content that fits their skill level. Look for programmes that

individually assess each learner and assign them to an appropriate learning path based on proficiency level and learner goals. It takes the guessing game away for both the business and the employee.

Close the Skills Gap: Pick a Program that Suits Your Needs

Industry-specific content has taken digital language learning another step forward. Training that is highly relevant and targeted to the situations in which the skills are going to be used will yield the best results. Look for programmes that offer content relevant to your business and industry. This will go a long way in preparing your employees to use their new language on the job.

Technology based training makes language learning even more accessible for companies wanting to develop their employees to help the business to perform better. With high levels of individualisation, new industry-specific content and effective measurement and reporting, companies and individuals can reap the rewards of better communication. By closing the language skills gap, businesses can also improve customer service and increase employee productivity and engagement.

By Panos Kraniotis, regional director of Europe at Rosetta Stone