group of professionals collaborating

Every organization has four primary audiences, whether they are in the private, public, or nonprofit sectors. They are their internal team (i.e., staff, leadership, stakeholders, board of directors, investors, etc.), their consumers, their vendors, and the community at large. Depending on the industry and the products or services that the organization provides, the internal and external language needs will differ; however they are more present than ever before and must be addressed to succeed in the current business climate. The U.S. is a multicultural marketplace, and we need to be equipped with the language skills necessary to compete effectively in a global economy.

Internal organizational language proficiency requires adopting employee hiring and retention processes that value language skills. Human Resources departments are tasked with the responsibility of securing a pipeline of talent that is reflective of the diverse consumers served by organizations and effectively investing in maximizing that talent’s potential and contributions to the organization. This includes assessing their command of different languages, a human asset that often goes untapped for various roles such as Customer Service, Marketing, Community Relations, and Public Relations, to name a few. Creating an environment where diversity and linguistic proficiency are embedded allows access to diverse audiences.

Language barriers can limit your access to diverse consumers, vendors, and community partners. With the growth in social media and the options people have for selecting the content they enjoy, it’s becoming more challenging to create messaging for marketing and advertising campaigns that resonates with everyone. Being able to communicate directly with consumers about the value of your products or services in their language of preference can be a major point of differentiation between you and your competitors.

The business community has also become very diverse in the U.S. in the last decade. Many suppliers or vendors that provide valuable products and services for you to carry-out your business endeavors effectively speak languages other than English. They serve as an extension of your operations and as indirect ambassadors to your brand in their respective communities. Having the ability to share with your diverse vendors the efforts you make to deliver on your customers language preferences creates an opportunity to become a champion for diversity, equity, and inclusion. In addition, by increasing the number of diverse businesses you establish procurement contracts with, you will tap into a larger pool of suppliers stimulating competitive rates and innovation.

As for your organization’s role as a responsible and committed corporate citizen, language and communication is at the heart of conducting meaningful outreach to diverse and underserved communities. Cultivating a respectful exchange with community partners is not just about building rapport, representation, and reputation. In URBANDER’s experience working with a wide range of industries – from beauty products to healthcare – language proficiency and cultural intelligence are instrumental to effectively embed meaningful cultural attributes into how your brand speaks to communities of diverse backgrounds to nurture long-lasting relationships that are high-impact, sustainable, and rewarding.

For 30 years, Language Testing International has supported the rise of multilingualism in the United States. As an exclusive provider of ACTFL language proficiency assessments in 120+ languages in over 60 countries, LTI allows for a quick and secure way to assess language proficiency of individuals anywhere, anytime. Learn more here.


Want to hear more from Sami? Listen to her interview with LTI here.

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