We live in an increasingly globalized society. The internet has given us the ability. This rise in interconnectivity has also given businesses an unprecedented opportunity to expand their business operations throughout the world.
However, expansion demands the ability to approach these markets with understanding, sensitivity and nuance. The only way businesses can successfully navigate these untested waters is with the aid of employees well versed in the language and culture of prospective markets.
But, beyond being able to expand your business into untapped markets, what are the benefits of having multilingual staff?
Expand Operations Overseas
The main benefit of having multilingual staff is the advantage it gives you when expanding overseas. The global market gives you a new target audience to reach out to. Having staff that are aware of the idiosyncrasies of unfamiliar areas allows you to attack these burgeoning markets with confidence. New customers mean higher revenues and increased growth – giving you the financial might to overpower your competitors.
Interpersonal skills are one of the most sought after qualities in business. Being able to connect with others – irrespective of background, personality or culture – is so important.
Success in business is dependent on your ability to form and maintain connections with others. Simply being able to communicate with clarity, empathy and speed is crucial in passing vital information onto key stakeholders – whether that’s a client, a customer or a colleague.
The value of having the ability to do this in several different languages cannot be overstated.
Of course, improving your communication skills also has a drastic impact on your leadership qualities. Understanding how to communicate with different groups of people allows you to concentrate on the things that unite us all – and point them towards a shared goal.
People listen to – and respect – those who take the time to get to know their own unique blend of interests, needs and desires.
A shared thread like a language makes it much easier to form strong, robust bonds with colleagues.
Streamlined Operations: Hiring One Member of Staff Instead of Several
Having a member of staff that is conversant in numerous languages can help you refine the number of staff you have to employ. If you have a member of staff that is comfortable communicating with people from several different communities, they’re like a Swiss Army knife. Instead of forking out wages to independent contractors or taking on a different member of staff for every region.
Cognitive And Health Benefits: Keeps Staff Sharp And Wards Off Mental Decline
Learning another language can help your staff maintain their focus, work on several tasks at once as well as improve their memory. People who speak multiple languages have far more grey matter in their brains compared to those who are monolingual.
The wellbeing of your employees can also be protected by multilingualism. Multilingual people have a higher probability of warding off diseases where executive control declines like Alzheimer’s. Studies have shown that those who speak more than one language can delay the onset of Alzheimer’s by up to five years.