Employees with better English add $128,000 to a business, finds research
The research report, entitled The English Margin, is based on a survey of managers and directors of international businesses, based in Brazil, China, France, Germany, Italy, the Middle East, Russia, Spain, Sweden and the United States.
The report found a single employee with full professional English language proficiency adds an average of $128,000 of value to a business, through a combination of an increase in international sales, improvements in productivity and efficiency gains.
The survey data shows that 88% of large international companies would consider paying more for a product or service supplied by a company with a high level of English proficiency on average, they would be prepared to pay 16% extra for such products and services.
The primary impact of better English skills is said to be in client-facing business areas, where 58% of managers and directors think better English would contribute to growth.
According to the research, a lack of good English costs the business - 60% of respondents said that they’d missed business opportunities due to poor English language skills within their organisation.
Peter Burman, president at EF Corporate Solutions, said, “Communication is at the heart of every business – and proficiency in English across a workforce directly impacts a company’s attractiveness, revenues and productivity. Business managers and directors are increasingly recognising the value of employees with a full professional level of English, who can create powerful content and ensure they have absolute accuracy in all client communications. Good English means good business – and our research findings show just how important English language skills are in today’s global economy.”
The research also found that English language competency impacts on supply chains around the world. According to the report’s findings, 85% of companies considered that having suppliers with a strong English proficiency is crucial or very important. More than four in five companies would consider replacing a supply chain partner with poor English language proficiency. 35% of respondents view organisations without a good grasp of business English as & lsquo;unprofessional’.
Burman said, “It’s impossible to underestimate the impact that English proficiency has on all aspects of a company’s success. Notwithstanding the regional variations in the companies we spoke to, the message across the board was clear – good English means good business. Companies that work to improve the proficiency of English language skills across their workforce will – all things being equal – tend to outperform their peers which lack the same capabilities.”