As a provider of Business English Courses and Business Spanish Courses, we see firsthand how companies thrive when employees enhance their language skills and communicate more effectively. Today, we want to share with you how Fluency Corp has helped a multinational client and the impact we have had. (To protect our client’s privacy, we aren’t listing its name here.)
The Client: A Multinational, Multilingual Workforce
The client in this case study is a 12 billion euro (about $13.5 billion) company with almost 100,000 employees worldwide and 30-plus subsidiaries. The company is involved in the construction, financing, design and maintenance and operation of transport infrastructure and urban services. Since the company originated in Spain, most of its executives and engineers are relocated from Spain to other countries.
In 2012, the company began expanding into the Dallas-Fort Worth area (where Fluency Corp is based). They brought over some talent from Spain, but strategically (and smartly) hired most of the talent locally.
The Challenge: Language Barriers at Work
The company wanted to make sure that local and international employees worked together at top productivity and that they could ensure safety out in the field. To work efficiently and to be as productive as possible with the typical strict deadlines and long hours of construction, the company’s international employees needed to be able to communicate clearly and confidently to the many local networks and employees they were working with. The company wanted to improve the daily overall English proficiency of the many Europeans — non-native English speakers with varying levels of English skill — who had just arrived.
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The Solution: Customized Corporate Language Courses
The company reached out to Fluency Corp within weeks of opening their doors. They understood the importance of communication and wanted to get started right away. We were asked to put together business English classes on a convenient schedule for the five Spaniards at one of their Texas subsidiaries. A Fluency Corp project manager (Fluency Manager) interviewed each employee separately and put together a customized, curated English course for each of them.
Since each employee had different needs, each customized English course incorporated materials that pertained to that employee’s job, interests, community involvement (assimilation for successful relocations), current level of English, goal at the company, who they would be communicating with daily, what they specifically would need to say and explain, and accent reduction (clear communication) needs.
For example, some employees were in accounting. With their Fluency Partners (expert language instructors), they practiced what they would say in future meetings or upcoming presentations. They worked on how to speak up on conference calls, how to enunciate to ensure understanding when speaking to native speakers, how to explain the finance reports and role play what other employees would ask and how to answer clearly.
Fluency Corp also helped the expats feel at home in their new community. Each Fluency Partner gave suggestions of how to make friends, put down roots, get involved at their children’s school, join a gym, find a local soccer team to play on, and much more. This can help keep employees from cutting international relocations short.
The Expansion: Adding Corporate Spanish Language Training
This client truly believed in the power of teams being able to communicate at 100%. So, in addition to English language training for Spanish employees, the company also began offering Spanish lessons to American employees who wanted to expand their horizons, understand what it felt like to learn a second language and connect with their Spanish-speaking colleagues on a deeper level. Not to mention, they put themselves in the running for more trips to headquarters in Spain, classes at the company’s university, and possibly more leadership roles in the future.
The Results: Language Training Helps Drive Expansion
Our client is now working on projects in locations including California, Virginia, Georgia, North Carolina, Texas and Colorado. They have expanded throughout the U.S. at warp speed. We believe that our client’s investment in high-quality, customized language lessons — instead of a software program or cookie-cutter lessons — is one of the factors that have catapulted them to success in the U.S. Also, every relocation has been finished to completion – not one employee who took language training went home early. Today, they offer both Spanish and English lessons to employees at all locations in the U.S., and Fluency Corp has created customized courses for over 100 employees. The company continues to bring in talent from Spain and hire local talent. With each hire, they entrust their second language communication training needs to Fluency Corp. The relationship has continued since 2012 and continues to grow every year.