We all have the nebulous and sometimes daunting idea that the road to business growth lies overseas. Organizations spend millions of dollars to establish a presence in emerging markets. They hire employees from around the world. But do we really have an idea of how well this is working? What is the return on investment?
Last year, we commissioned a survey of 500 executives of companies with more than 500 employees in offices all over the world. The results have been made available in a handy infographic entitled Business Value in Language. We sought to break down the language needs of organizations as detailed as possible, including how employees with language skills have added value to their businesses.
Improved relations with customers
79 percent of our respondents believed that improved language skills among their employees led to improved customer relations. Linguistic lines are blurring, not only overseas but within the US. For example, in a time where Latinos have become the majority-minority in the country, Spanish language skills can make a significant difference in the bottom line.
Increased sales opportunities
72 percent responded that improved language skills have led to increased sales opportunities. For most, the goal in increasing their company’s international footprint is to gain new customers. Obviously, without the appropriate language skills, those new customers will have a difficult time communicating their needs, and you will have a tougher time communicating your value proposition.
68 percent of respondents stated that language skills have led to increased productivity. That’s not surprising. In businesses large and small, due to the growth of communications technologies, teams can be made up of employees from all over the world. It’s important for these team members to be able to communicate effectively. When they do, the job gets done more efficiently.
To see more results of the survey, click here to check out the infographic Business Value in Language.