Hays journal focuses on language skills
November’s edition explores how small steps towards improving language skills can boost staff morale and business performance.
Even modest improvements to language skills can help to create a feeling of pride and loyalty shared within an organisation. Improving individuals’ language skills benefits both their personal development and the organisation’s capability in an increasing global business environment. These skills and the cultural intelligence they often come with are equally indispensable for today’s global executives and the organisations they lead.
This is particularly the case in emerging markets where economic growth is taking place organisations can’t rely on a monocultural and monolingual approach. Those in established economies are no longer in a position to assume that other people share their language or system of values. Increasingly, we have to have the insight to understand people on their own terms and in their own language.
Barney Ely, director of Hays Human Resources, commented, “Although English remains the global business language, organisations will hugely benefit from hiring staff who are fluent in other languages and including language skills in graduate training. Job seekers should look at what languages can give them a vital edge and what will be useful in the future.”
With Brazil having overtaken the UK to become the world’s sixth largest economy, fluency in Portuguese will become increasingly useful. The ability to communicate with clients and colleagues in the rapidly growing Russian market will also be advantageous. With Poland being the only other member of the EU to avoid the recession and with the business ties to the country becoming more valuable than ever, 20% of UK employers rate Polish language skills as useful. Candidates who have fluency in French, German, Spanish, Mandarin or Japanese remain highly sought after. Even those with some knowledge demonstrate a desire to cultural connect with their overseas colleagues and customers.