How Language Training Can Improve Employee Relations and Increase Your Bottom Line

To ensure you’re arming your employees with the specific skills they need to succeed, here are three things to keep in mind as you look at language training for your business.

I’m sure you’ve heard the saying that employees are a company’s most valuable asset, and that’s 100 percent true. A good team is priceless when it comes a company’s success, which is why it is important to treat them as you’d like them to treat your customers, if not better. Often, organizations use company perks as an added value proposition to maintain (and build) employee morale. When organizations think of perks, they often start with traditional benefits packages: 401(k) plans, health insurance, and perhaps tuition assistance credit here or there. While these are great perks to offer, it’s important to take a deeper look at employees’ needs, and offer a benefits package that will do as it says—benefit them.

The Benefits of Language Training

At Rosetta Stone, we understand the value in providing a benefit that truly benefits the employee. We work with enterprise organizations around the world to help businesses implement learning programs that will help their teams gain proficiency in a new language. Every day, we see the impact language learning can have on individuals, both personally and professionally, and how learning to speak and work in languages other than their native tongue adds undeniable value to employees’ everyday life. Being proficient in more than one language can have huge advantages in the workplace and make your employees stand out from the crowd.

To better serve the needs and wants of our customers, we partnered with Forbes Insights to survey business leaders around the globe on the impact that improved communication through language training is having on their business. According to the report, having a multilingual workforce is critical for success in organizations that compete in a global atmosphere, and business leaders are taking action to provide employees with language learning resources.

Due to tremendous technological advances over the years, implementing language training within a diverse and global organization is easier than ever. Panda Restaurant Group, for example, offers Rosetta Stone’s digital program for business learners—Catalyst—as an employee benefit to its workers. The company has seen tremendous interest from its workforce, with 275 workers signing up to take the courses in an attempt to improve their language skills. As a result, Alvin Tang, coordinator of the Learning and Development department at Panda Restaurant Group, has seen those employees provide better customer service with a 20 percent decrease in employee turnover, significantly cutting Panda’s training and rehiring costs.

Tips to Keep in Mind

While companies aim to offer targeted solutions that make employees feel like they’re getting exactly the training they need, when they need it, many often struggle to accommodate the diverse needs of their workforce. To ensure you’re arming your employees with the specific skills they need to succeed, here are three things to keep in mind as you look at language training for your business:


  • Tailored learning paths for each skill level: It’s imperative to have a program that evolves alongside learners as they progress, so they are continuously advancing their abilities, instead of remaining stagnant. An effective learning solution should help fulfill language training needs that match a wide variety of use cases, such as Catalyst, which supports everything from workforce development where it’s critical to have a beginner-level solution, all the way up to advanced English for business learners or specialized language lessons for industries such as health care, medicine, or hospitality. Additionally, look for programs that track language goals and baseline assessments, so they determine what skill level employees are at before they even begin the program, where they need to be by the end of it, and the best path to get them there.
  • Readily available progress reports: An effective language learning solution must feature testing and reporting, enabling program managers to assess employee proficiency at the start of the program and then measure progress along the way. There should be an option for reporting on key metrics, such as usage, to ensure your company is getting the highest possible return on investment.
  • Support your workforce’s diverse needs: There’s no “one-size-fits-all” solution for learning. Look for a comprehensive solution that breaks down barriers; sparks confidence; and transforms customer, partner, and employee communications. An effective program should offer multiple learning paths, specifically paths that are tailored to each learner’s individual needs. Self-paced programs offering different learning environments are a bonus, as they arm employees with the option to accelerate their language learning either in groups or in one-on-one settings—whatever works most effectively for them.

Providing language training as an added benefit for employees undeniably adds value to not only the employee but to the organization as a whole. Employing a workforce with a diverse skill set and the ability to communicate confidently and effectively in various languages and across cultures will positively impact your bottom line.

Chris Brotherson is a seasoned sales leader, having worked with numerous global businesses in the software, technology, and education space for more than 15 years. In his role as senior director of Enterprise sales for language education leader Rosetta Stone, he is responsible for leading a sales team of more than 20 people who work with large businesses and global organizations looking to provide language training to their workforces. Prior to leading the company’s U.S. Enterprise sales efforts, Brotherson led sales for Rosetta Stone’s Education division, where he developed partnerships with school districts in the U.S. and Canada to help align them with Rosetta Stone’s education solutions for K-12 learners. Prior to joining Rosetta Stone, Brotherson held various sales and leadership roles with ADP, where he focused on sales for the company’s Enterprise Benefit Solutions to large organizations in the St. Louis, Kansas City, Omaha, and Wichita markets for more than five years. He is based in Kansas City, Missouri and graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree from Kansas State University.