boss shaking employee's hand, congratulatingThe spirit of giving is in the air as the holiday season approaches. What better way can you show your employees that you care about their futures than by giving them the gift of language proficiency certification? Whether you are in academia, healthcare, hospitality, construction, technology (or any another industry), we are experiencing demographic shifts and linguistic diversity in the business world. These changes require us to have a good understanding of how to utilize our team’s bilingual skills by not only investing in employees, but also by enhancing customer satisfaction and our ability to capture market share.

As you plan your holiday gift giving in your organization, consider providing your multilingual employees the opportunity to obtain a language proficiency certificate. The value that multilingual employees bring to businesses is undeniable as the data from a research study conducted by ACTFL called “Making Languages Our Business: Addressing Foreign Language Demand Among U.S. Employers,” show. Here are four benefits you can bring to your business by gifting your employees with language proficiency certification.

1. It creates pathways for career advancement for multilingual staff.

Approximately 34% of employees reported a foreign language gap when asked if their employees could meet their foreign language needs. Therefore, to fill the gap, consider language proficiency testing, tracking, and training as a critical component of an employee’s professional development plan.

2. It empowers your team to engage non-English speaking customers.

Communicate, engage, and interact with your customers in their preferred language to build brand awareness and loyalty. Over 58% of employers reported that their employees communicated in a foreign language both externally with customers, suppliers, and other stakeholders as well as internally with fellow coworkers. The demand is there by non-English speaking customers, you just need to empower your team with the language skills to fulfill that need.

3. It allows you to utilize the skills of your multilingual staff and grow your global market share.

“With a five-year outlook, employers in the healthcare and social assistance sector are the most likely to expect an increase in demand (64 percent), followed by employers in trade (59 percent), education services (57 percent), professional and technical services (55 percent) and construction (54 percent).” (ACTFL, pg. 4). And there are no signs of those trends slowing down – so, empower your multilingual staff to strengthen your company’s connection with your local customers and community while growing your market share globally.

4. It incentivizes multilingual employees by certifying their language skills.

With ACTFL language certification delivered through LTI, your multilingual employees will have an opportunity to validate their level of language proficiency in over 120 languages. This certification not only boosts their confidence in their current roles, it but also enhances their communication skills both locally and abroad. 97% of U.S. employers reported using foreign language capacity domestically and 54% deployed them overseas. So, if your organization isn’t currently utilizing the skills of multilingual employees, it is likely that your competition is. Incentivize your multilingual employees by certifying their language skills.

The season of giving is upon us, and language proficiency is a gift that keeps on giving…to your employees, customers, and community. Get your bilingual and multilingual staff members language proficiency certification this holiday season!

 

Source: American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (2019). Lead with Languages. Making Languages Our Business: Addressing Foreign Language Demand Among U.S. Employers, https://www.leadwithlanguages.org/report

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