What’s Inclusive Language Training?

3 adults, 1 woman and 2 men, participating in an inclusive language learning program. The smiling woman is raising her hand to answer a question

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Effective communication is key to fostering collaboration and maintaining a harmonious work environment for companies across the globe. For HR and L&D leaders at multinational companies, the challenge lies in creating an inclusive workplace that caters to the diverse linguistic backgrounds of their workforce. In this blog post, we'll explore the concept of "Inclusive Language Training" and how it can significantly benefit global companies in retaining and engaging non-English speaking workers.

According to a Holmes (a voice of the global PR industry) report, the cost of poor communication has hit an overwhelming $37 billion. Also, 400 surveyed corporations (with 100,000 plus employees in the U.S. and U.K.) estimated that communication barriers cost the average organization $62.4 million annually in lost productivity. 

TL:DR – language tutoring is significantly less expensive than miscommunication. Here’s why.

Understanding Inclusive Language Training

Inclusive language training is a proactive approach to promoting diversity and fostering a workplace environment where employees, regardless of their native language, feel valued and included. This specialized training equips employees with the skills to communicate effectively and inclusively, breaking down language barriers and promoting a sense of belonging. LinkedIn recently released their most in-demand skills for 2024, and “communication” ranks #1 on the list. Unsurprisingly, as remote work and global workforces become the norm, effective communication ranks at the top of the list for in-demand soft skills. The cost of not effectively communicating is high, especially for employees who don’t speak English as their first language.

Enhanced Communication Across Teams

One of the primary benefits of Inclusive Language Training is improved communication between colleagues. As global teams collaborate on projects, effective communication becomes crucial for success. By providing language training tailored to the needs of non-English speaking workers, HR and L&D leaders can facilitate clearer and more efficient communication, ultimately boosting teamwork and productivity. There’s no point in hiring the best talent if they can’t communicate their thoughts and ideas to the rest of the team, to leaders, or prospective customers. You need every employee to articulate what they’re working on, and the best way to do that is with personalized language tutoring.

Reducing Misunderstandings in Written Communication

In a global workplace, written communication is often the primary mode of interaction. Misunderstandings arising from language differences can lead to errors, delays, and even conflicts. Inclusive Language Training addresses this challenge by honing employees' written communication skills, ensuring that messages are clear, concise, and free from potential misinterpretations. This streamlines workflow, enhances the organization's overall efficiency, and cuts back on back-and-forth messaging that can lead to frustration from both parties.

Fostering a Sense of Belonging

For non-native English-speaking workers, navigating a language barrier can sometimes make them feel isolated or excluded. Inclusive Language Training works towards breaking down these barriers, fostering a sense of belonging among employees. When workers feel confident in their communication skills, they are more likely to actively participate in discussions, share ideas, and contribute to the company culture. This increased sense of belonging positively impacts employee engagement and retention. It’s also a great way for native English-speaking employees to practice empathy and patience since they’re used to freely communicating and assuming everyone can understand them.

Attracting and Retaining Talent with Language Tutoring

Companies that prioritize Inclusive Language Training demonstrate a commitment to diversity and inclusion. This not only helps attract a diverse pool of talent but also aids in retaining skilled professionals from different linguistic backgrounds. Employees who perceive the company as a place where their unique identities are valued are likelier to stay engaged and committed to their roles.

“Human skills, like communication, leadership, and teamwork, are particularly critical at this moment," says LinkedIn Learning’s Global Head of Content Strategy, Dan Brodnitz. “With a rise in remote and hybrid work, and now AI, the need for human connection and people skills have become even more important as companies are looking for talent that can step up and create innovative, agile, collaborative teams."

Inclusive Language Training is not just a tool for overcoming language barriers; it's a strategic investment in creating a workplace that celebrates diversity and inclusivity. HR and L&D leaders at global companies can leverage this training to enhance communication, reduce misunderstandings, and foster a greater sense of belonging among non-native English-speaking workers. As businesses continue to globalize, embracing inclusive language practices is not just a choice but a necessity for sustained success and growth.

If you’re interested in bringing customized language tutoring to your organization, we’d love to help. Global LT has been the leading provider of personalized language tutoring solutions for over 40 years, and we teach any language anywhere in the world. Whether job-specific and goal-based language lessons or focusing on pronunciation, our teachers are trained to make every lesson about the student’s learning and language goals that make them successful in the real world – both at work and home.

Want to know how? Check out the benefits of inclusive language tutoring here.

 

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