Here’s How to Convince Your Boss to Invest in Language Training

Woman in suitcoat discussing corporate language training options with her team

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Having an accent, not finding the right words on the fly, or even crafting an email can be overwhelming for non-native English speakers in corporate America. For non-native English-speaking professionals, language proficiency plays a significant role in their career trajectory. We recently conducted a study of over 6,000 working professionals, and over 95% said they want to see their employer offer them language training as part of their learning and development budget. You’re in good company! 

Convincing native-English speakers that there’s a communication gap is no easy feat. Still, with the increase in remote work, global expansion, and the ability to work without borders, language training can be the difference between staying at a company until retirement or leaving as soon as there’s miscommunication. 

If you're eyeing language training to enhance your skills but are hesitant about convincing your boss to foot the bill, here’s your guide to making a persuasive case.

Authentic Communication Matters. In a multicultural workplace, authentic communication fosters strong relationships among colleagues. Whether it’s a Slack message or a presentation to executives, having the words to communicate ideas is what you’re being paid to do, so doing it effectively is good for you AND your organization. Language training lets you express yourself more confidently, leading to clearer and more genuine interactions. This not only improves camaraderie but also enhances team dynamics and collaboration. What boss wouldn’t want that? 

Break Down Language Barriers in Meetings. Language barriers often hinder effective participation in meetings. Imagine the empowerment of expressing your ideas without struggling to find the right words. With personalized language training, you can contribute meaningfully in discussions, ensuring your insights are not lost in translation. This not only benefits you but adds value to the entire team. Increasing your confidence and commanding a room is beneficial for everyone. 

Professional Development as a Retention Strategy. Companies invest in professional development to retain top talent. When an employee quits, on average, it costs 6 to 9 months of that worker’s salary to recruit and train a replacement. There’s no arguing that language tutoring is significantly less expensive than recruiting, hiring, and onboarding your replacement. Turnover costs US organizations around a trillion dollars a year. You demonstrate a commitment to your personal and professional growth by seeking language training to impact your job day positively. Many employees leave their jobs due to a perceived lack of opportunities. Convince your boss that supporting your language training is an investment in your long-term commitment to the company.

Global Business Opportunities. Let's face it: the world is constantly connected, and no one is ever more than a Zoom call away.  Businesses operate globally in an interconnected world, especially with the increased remote work. Language proficiency opens doors to international opportunities and collaborations, makes you and your organization more marketable, and signals to competitors that you’re committed to understanding prospects and the global impact of your product or service. Convey to your boss that your enhanced language skills can be a valuable asset, especially if the company is expanding its reach or engaging in international partnerships.

Boost Team Productivity. Clear communication enhances overall team productivity. You can streamline workflows, reduce misunderstandings, and contribute to a more efficient work environment with language training. Your improved communication skills can positively impact team projects and deadlines. Don’t let language hold you back from contributing to your role meaningfully. Native English speakers don’t understand the hesitancy to speak up because they’ve never had to. It’s up to you to reiterate that everyone wins when language and ideas flow easily. 

Demonstrate ROI. Give your boss tangible examples of how language training can yield a return on investment. Whether it's improved client interactions, successful cross-cultural negotiations, or increased team collaboration, showcasing potential outcomes will strengthen your case.

Investing in language training is not just about personal development; it's a strategic move that benefits you and your company. Convince your boss that supporting your language journey is an investment in improved communication, enhanced team dynamics, and future business opportunities. Take the initiative to propel your career forward and make language proficiency a cornerstone of your professional success.

Global LT offers virtual language tutoring in any language, anywhere in the world. Your next lesson is a click away, and your teacher is on hand to tailor your lessons to your specific use case. Want to know more? Check out our language packages

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