The Problem with Benefits in Corporate America: A Case for Change

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As an HR leader, you know that benefits packages can make or break your company's ability to attract and retain top talent. While traditional benefits like healthcare and retirement plans are essential and standard, another benefit should be considered: language learning. 

In a diverse country like the United States, language barriers can create challenges for employees and employers. According to a report by New American Economy, over 41 million people in the US speak a language other than English at home, with over 25 million of those individuals speaking English "less than very well." 

These language barriers can create communication issues that can lead to misunderstandings, reduced productivity, and even safety hazards in the workplace. By offering language learning as a benefit, employers can help employees communicate more effectively and improve employee engagement, productivity, and retention. 

Here are a few reasons why language learning should be a part of your company's benefits package: 

  1. Attract and Retain Diverse Talent. A study by the Society for Human Resource Management found that 71% of employees value the opportunity to learn and grow in their job. By offering language learning as a benefit, you can attract and retain diverse talent who love personal and professional development opportunities. 
  2. Improve Communication and Collaboration. Language barriers can create communication gaps, leading to misunderstandings, decreased productivity, and even safety hazards. By offering language learning as a benefit, you can improve communication and collaboration between employees and departments. 
  3. Increase Productivity and Engagement. A study by Rosetta Stone found that employees who participate in language training are more engaged and productive than those who do not. By offering language learning as a benefit, you can increase employee productivity and engagement, ultimately leading to better business results. 
  4. Demonstrate a Commitment to Diversity and Inclusion. Offering language learning as a benefit is a tangible way to demonstrate your company's commitment to diversity and inclusion. Investing in your employee's ability to communicate effectively conveys that you value all employees and are committed to creating an inclusive workplace. 

 If you're considering offering language learning as a benefit, there are a few things to keep in mind: 

  • Choose a language learning program relevant to your employees' needs and interests. For example, if many employees speak Spanish, offering Spanish language training may be more valuable than providing Mandarin. 
  • Communicate the program's benefits clearly to employees, including how it can help them in their current roles and professional development. 
  • Include e-learning apps like Duolingo and Rosetta Stone so employees can take their learning on the go.  

Offering language learning as a benefit can positively impact your company's ability to attract and retain diverse talent, improve communication and collaboration, increase productivity and engagement, and demonstrate a commitment to diversity and inclusion. By investing in your employees' ability to communicate effectively, you are investing in your company's success. 

Let's chat if you want to learn more about offering virtual language benefits at your organization.

This blog was written by Patricia Diaz, VP of Marketing.

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