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The power of polylingual employees

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Daniele Saccardi, Campaign Manager at Preply, uses his expertise to explain why offering language lessons to employees results in improved work ethic.

In a world that is becoming more global and accessible by the day, language skills are like gold dust - rare and highly valuable.

Possessing the ability to communicate in multiple languages not only benefits the individual but also their employer.

How is that, you ask? Let's walk through the benefits that polylingual communication brings to both employees and employers.

Polylingual benefits

Firstly, learning to communicate in another tongue and navigating foreign cultures fosters adaptability and empathy, allowing employees to develop sought after soft skills. Language learning also exercises parts of the brain responsible for memory retention and puzzle solving, providing employees with better tools to work with.

Employees who speak more than one language show higher understanding of the global market and have an increased ability to create connections with foreign partners.

Supporting employees in their language learning will not only help businesses to grow globally but also increase the possibility of networking and collaborating with other businesses from further afield. Having in-house language skills will also save businesses time and money by allowing them to bypass translation services.

Many well-known CEOs, such as Mark Zuckerberg and James Quincey, speak multiple languages and have used these to benefit their businesses. Preply has seen the advantages of language skills when expanding into global markets through our work with international ad tech and digital media companies.

“If I’m selling to you, I speak your language. But if I’m buying, dann müssen Sie Deutsch sprechen [then you have to speak German]”

Willy Brandt, the former Chancellor of the Federal Republic of Germany

Research shows that multilingual employees are more conscious of the effect their words have on others and express greater empathy towards colleagues and clients. Not only does language learning increase empathy among employees but also loyalty towards the employer.

In a study conducted by Rosetta Stone, it was revealed that “80% of employees who participated in language training felt more positively toward their employer, and 66% felt more engaged with their work”.

In short, implementing language learning can enable enterprises to support international growth, open new markets, share knowledge rapidly and effectively, appeal to global talent pools and increase employee loyalty.

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