Impact of English Skills in the workplace
English in the workplace. Impact of English Skills on...
★ Hiring and Selection
- Hiring applicants with strong English skills reduces the amount of resources spent on language and job training delivered in English.
- Hiring employees with strong English-language skills makes it easier to promote from within if higher level positions require a stronger command of the English language.
- Having a lingua franca strengthens corporate identity; we thus focus our hiring efforts on employees with high levels of English proficiency.
- Language-sensitive recruitment helps narrow down a large pool of applicants to a more manageable number.
★ Training and Professional Development
- Low proficiency in English may prevent employees from participating in corporate training or professional devel- opment programs.
- Low proficiency in English may interfere with how much employees are able to benefit from corporate training or professional development programs delivered in English.
- High English proficiency helps ensure that employees are able to contribute their knowledge and expertise.
- High proficiency in English helps employees accurately and clearly capture the message intended for discussion.
- High proficiency in English helps employees convey their thoughts and ideas in relation to professional matters clearly and accurately.
- High proficiency in English makes it easier to implement new learning or new policies.
- A higher degree of English fluency opens the channels of communication across employees.
★ On-the-Job Performance
- Proficiency in English leads to creating strong team-building opportunities.
- Proficiency in English has helped develop English-language skills for interaction with managers, to prepare them for visits, and technical inspection from outside the company.
- Low proficiency in English contributes to broken promises and human oversight leading to disappointing service outcomes.
- English-language misunderstandings may stand in the way of major cross-border transactions (e.g., contract with a supplier, merger and acquisition, foreign direct investment), which may in turn cause significant economic losses.
- Low proficiency in English might lead employees to understand only the basic message in a meeting, not the contextual nuances, which can sometimes be critical.
- Low proficiency in English might lead to written reports and e-mails taking longer to write and having more errors.
- Employees’ lack of confidence in English leads to customers not having confidence in them, which might lead to doing business with the competitor.
- Low proficiency in English skills might lead individuals to appear “flat,” “nonverbal,” or “lacking in insight” given their limited vocabulary in English.
★ Promotions, Career Mobility, and International Assignments
- Limited English-language skills may reduce the chances of being promoted.
- Employees fluent in English will have an easier time developing international networks.
- Employees who are highly proficient in English are more likely to be chosen for international assignments.