Report Shows Importance of Multilingualism in Business
(The Language Educator – November 2011 – p. 8)
A new study released in early October by Forbes Insights says that U. S. companies will perform better by hiring individuals who can communicate in foreign languages and by helping current employees develop language skills.
“Language Study: Reducing the Impact of Language Barriers” is based on an exclusive survey of more than 100 executives at large U. S. businesses (annual revenues of more than $500 million). According to the study, more than half (65%) of companies surveyed face language barriers that contribute to inefficiency, ineffective collaboration, and low productivity, among other factors.
Other key findings include:
· Overseas assignments have become more common among executives. Nine in 10 respondents agreed that international firms would not be able to compete successfully without world class managers worldwide.
· Three-quarters of respondents agreed that it was easier for foreign nationals to work in the United States than for U. S. nationals to work overseas because they are more likely to be multilingual. This leaves U. S.-based organizations, as well as many Americans, at a disadvantage.
· Companies are responding to the need for multilingual executives. Two in three firms (66%) said they expected U. S. executives going abroad to have basic or intermediate proficiency in the native language.
Find out more online at http://www.forbes.com/forbesinsights/language_study_reg/index.html