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iSay / Inspiration  / Need to improve your business English?

Need to improve your business English?

During my time as language manager and now translator and language consultant, I have come across an increasing number of companies that have adopted English as their corporate language. In many cases, the decision to introduce a new corporate language is taken without consideration to the consequences it may bring to the organisation in terms of (lack of) effectiveness and other business aspects.

Prior to the announcement, management discussed the decision (most likely in English!), assuming that the rest of the organisation will get up to speed with a flick of the finger. But working in another language than you’re used to will affect your effectiveness. Therefore, it’s important to take the time to define what it means for the company to have English as its corporate language.

Mapping the skills and needs of each employee or group of employees ought to be an integral part of any such decision. This could be integrated into the performance appraisal system. After an appraisal, employees should be supported in reaching an appropriate level of English for their job description, and financial resources should be set aside to achieve that goal. Companies implementing a new corporate language tend to forget that an investment in language skills is an investment in the effectiveness of the company.

On the topic of performance appraisals, I have come across an interesting and FREE tool that can help extend your business English vocabulary. This resource is just one of many examples of how you can help your employees develop by providing the right language assistance and tools. This video focusses on the terminology used during a performance appraisal, but there are no less than 66 videos to choose from depending on your particular need!

Does your company have intranet to share useful resources on? Consider sharing ­- maybe some of your colleagues will enjoy an opportunity to improve their English – quickly and free of charge. Enjoy!

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