Resources for HR Professionals

Tools for Improving Employee Retention

Is your company able to hold onto its employees long term? Whether these employees are white collar or blue collar, employee retention has always been a top concern for companies. One example from the US could be this: Spanish-speaking employees that don’t speak English well. Or another example, top executives at a French headquarters that could use English polishing for business. Or, employees in the USA wanting to improve their business skills abroad by learning the basics of a foreign language.
But the continuing labor shortages in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic and the Great Resignation make retention more important than ever. Companies want to keep top employees onboard because it’s so hard to hire capable candidates to replace them. There are many strategies for improving employee retention, of course. But one of these strategies often gets overlooked: language training. As longtime language trainers ourselves, we’ve seen firsthand how effective language training for retention can be for multilingual and/or global companies.

For more ways to help your employees
learn a new language, check out our blog.

Why Turnover Is a Problem

If your organization is experiencing turnover, we don’t have to tell you that it causes damage in a lot of ways. First, it’s costlyreally costly. According to Gallup, U.S. businesses lose $1 trillion yearly due to voluntary turnover. But that’s only the beginning. When key employees jump ship, your company loses valuable institutional knowledge.

Turnover also reduces productivity. All the steps of hiring a new employee — creating a job posting, vetting resumes, interviewing candidates, onboarding the new employee — take valuable time away from other employees.

Turnover can also damage a company’s reputation. With social media, Glassdoor and professional affinity groups on platforms like LinkedIn and Slack, word gets out fast when a company is struggling with turnover. Or, word gets out among a strong workforce population that could either help you recruit more incredible employees, or lose them.

Why Does Language Training Improve Retention?

Employees want to learn. Surveys have shown us again and again that one of the best remedies for turnover is increasing learning and development opportunities for employees. Learning and growth mean a lot to employees. They want to feel that they’re getting better at their jobs. Language training can help keep them from getting bored and stagnating. More than 9 out of 10 employees said they would be more likely to stay with a company that invests in their learning. For global, or multilingual companies, language training is one of the most powerful learning opportunities you can provide. In another survey, 58% of employees said they were more likely to stay with their company because it offers language training.

Language training improves engagement. Only a third of U.S. employees feel engaged, according to Gallup. And, you guessed it, disengaged employees are more likely to quit. But language training can increase engagement in several ways. When they’re fluent in their workplace’s dominant language, employees feel more comfortable speaking up with ideas or feedback. It’s also easier for them to collaborate with their colleagues.

Language training encourages ambition. Employees don’t want to stay at companies where they don’t see a future for themselves. Language training can set them up for a promotion or for an international assignment.

Language training makes employees feel valued. Employees have become less likely to believe that their company cares about them as a person, according to Gallup. This could partly be because of the disconnection that remote work creates. But language training shows that the company values an employee enough to invest in them.

Language training makes life outside of work easier for expats. For an employee on an international assignment, or who has moved to the USA to find job opportunities, success doesn’t just depend on how things are going at work. If a lack of language fluency is keeping them from making friends or performing the tasks of everyday life (going shopping, mailing a package, etc.), then they are more likely to leave their job. Our founder, Micah Bellieu, was an expat herself, so we understand the challenges of expat life.

10 Secrets to Managing your Multilingual / Global Workforce

What Kind of Language Training Makes Employees Stay?

Not just any language training program will get your employees to remain with your company. If classes are based on irrelevant vocabulary lists that can’t be applied to employees’ jobs, that isn’t very engaging. Instead, language training should be customized to their needs and goals.

For example, how often do they interact with colleagues who speak the language they’re learning? What vocabulary that’s specific to your line of business do they need to learn in their target language?

For example, a marketer who regularly delivers presentations and a lawyer who writes a lot of briefs need different things from their language classes. Or, someone who works in a warehouse with important safety guidelines would need a different class than a plumber who needs to explain what he’s doing to clients.

Language training also needs a human touch. You learned your first language because you wanted to communicate with the people around you. Learning another language is no different. The best language training programs include lots of conversational practice. This is one reason that apps alone aren’t enough to make your employees fluent in their target language.

How Fluency Corp Language Classes Work

Fluency Corp has a long track record of helping companies retain top talent through the benefits of language training. We work with employees of all levels — from the warehouse to the C-suites. Because we have a deep understanding of business needs, we have established courses that you can customize for your organization.

We know you and your employees value flexibility. That’s why we offer language classes for individuals and small groups in person around the world. Classes are also available online. No matter the format, though, all of our classes are taught by live instructors who are native speakers of the language they are teaching. And your employees will get plenty of conversational practice to gain confidence using the target language in realistic situations.

Our language classes can help your employees achieve long-term goals, like advancing a level in language fluency, or short-term goals, like gaining confidence with clients who speak a different language. Whatever your employees’ goals are, their Fluency coach will focus on language skills they’ll use every day. We ask your employees about their job, their role, their meetings, their presentations. There’s nothing cookie-cutter about our training.

You can learn more about Fluency Corp by reading our client testimonials and case studies, or exploring what makes our proprietary Bellieu Method unique and effective. We’d also love to talk with you about how language training can support employee retention and your other business goals. To open the conversation, get in touch with us now.

Get More Info About Our Language Training Resources

We’d love to talk with you more about how we can support your work with global relocations and international collaboration. To get additional information about how Fluency Corp works with HR professionals seeking language training resources, call us for a free consultation at (800) 401-3159 or fill out the form below.

Yes! My Company has Language Goals.

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