Having a multilingual workforce can be a significant business asset, enabling your organization to have greater global mobility and a more diverse and inclusive culture. Research indicates demand for bilingual workers has doubled in the last decade, largely because a bilingual workforce gives businesses access to more opportunities in global markets. Languages in demand include Mandarin Chinese, Spanish, and Arabic as global enterprises look to align business opportunities with booming economies in China and Latin America.
However, offering language training doesn’t automatically lead to a bilingual workforce and its success depends on your employees having the confidence to speak in real-world settings. Recent research from the Education Endowment Foundation suggests blended learning models that leverage online learning for certain tasks combined with peer interaction can improve learning outcomes.
Live, online coaching from Rosetta Stone can bridge the gap and help language learners put newfound skills into practice. By creating a low-pressure environment through individual and group sessions with other learners, live coaches provide opportunities to speak, make mistakes, and grow the confidence needed to take language skills beyond the lesson and into the workplace.
Below are just a few ways that live online coaching sessions can complement training initiatives and help your organization speak the language of a global market at home and abroad.
Coaching builds confidence
Evidence abounds that speaking and engaging in impromptu practice can help solidify skills and build the confidence learners need to become more proficient. Not only is feedback like the kind learners receive during coaching sessions essential to improve pronunciation, but it can result in better recall and application of language skills.
In fact, a study conducted by researchers at the University of Wisconsin-Madson found that learners who received feedback through language coaching and practiced speaking scored better on both grammatical and vocabulary tests than learners who had progressed independently through straight-forward listening exercises.
DPR Construction, one of the top 50 general contractors in the United States, found that the confidence to speak helped their employees surmount language barriers and move a very important organizational metric: reducing workplace safety incidents. After implementing Rosetta Stone language training, the company’s incident rate decreased by 35 percent.
“Who we build is as important as what we build. Rosetta Stone has been a successful tool that has enabled DPR employees to communicate and connect with people inside and outside our company.”
-Liz Tershel, Rosetta Stone Program Administrator, DPR Construction
Making mistakes is part of the journey
Many business leaders recognize that having the ability to make and learn from mistakes is crucial to growth in professional settings but it’s also essential to making progress in language learning. Mispronunciations and embarrassing vocabulary blunders are all part of the learning process.
Your employees can experience benefits from plunging into applying skills even when they haven’t mastered them yet in theory. In a recent study, researchers found that learners who focused on the process of problem-solving had better learning outcomes than those that relied strictly on a previous knowledge base.
Further confirmation that when it comes to learning, it’s about the journey and not the destination. Live online coaching can be a pivotal part of allowing your employees to make these mistakes in a low-pressure environment before they matter in the boardroom.
Coaching can maximize the impact of language training
Employee retention studies continue to tell organizations that their talent is not interested in performative professional development but rather in real opportunities for growth and career advancement. Offering live coaching to complement language training can emphasize that your organization sees language training not just as an opportunity to build a bilingual global workforce but also as the chance to inspire confident, flexible learners who have the skills to chart their own course.
Enabling employees to leverage flexible learning models also allows them to make progress on their own terms and can be key to the success of your language training initiatives. The ability to access lessons anytime and anywhere coupled with on-demand language coaching lets employees build confidence at their own pace.
Global apparel and accessories leader Stella McCartney experienced as much when they launched language training to address communication issues between departments that were a direct result of language barriers. Several of their employees commented that the live online coaching sessions became a pivotal part of their language learning journey.
“The training gave a general overview of the new language and I have been more confident to speak French during work trips. The lessons with the tutor were really useful and engaging.”
—Stella McCartney French beginner learner
“I can say that I learned a lot and my use of the English language (written and spoken) has really improved. The live lessons are really good and useful.”
—Stella McCartney English intermediate level learner
Complimenting language training with live coaching sends a clear message that your organization wants employees to feel they received practical value out of the professional development you’ve invested in rather than just another line to add to their resume.