7 critical ways English improves work skills

You’ve already heard several inspiring personal stories from employees who advanced in their career by learning English. But it’s not just about reading and writing better in English – learning English for work boosts performance along many key work skills employers look for during hiring or developmental processes. We’ve identified...

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You’ve already heard several inspiring personal stories from employees who advanced in their career by learning English. But it’s not just about reading and writing better in English – learning English for work boosts performance along many key work skills employers look for during hiring or developmental processes. We’ve identified 7 critical ways English improves your work skills below:

1. Allows you to communicate on a global scale

As the lingua franca of business, English is critical to communicate within a global company – 83% of executives we surveyed said poor communication has led to harmful business outcomes. Proficient business language skills will help you avoid misunderstandings and communicate effectively all over the world.

2. Increases your confidence and work purpose

English is important to perform their daily duties, said 92% of workers. Good business English can help you understand expectations and perform tasks successfully, resulting in a sense of purpose and a positive opinion about your workplace.

3. Improves team collaboration

Key employability skills that come quite naturally to native English speakers, such as writing an email, reading a business report or presenting ideas, may seem daunting to a non-native speaker. Building on these work skills allows you to work efficiently with other people – in your local team and within a global one. Team collaboration is one of the most frequently cited problem areas in terms of poor communication skills, and our report shows that 57% of employees communicate with their colleagues in English every day.

4. Boosts productivity

When you have the confidence to complete tasks, reach business goals and collaborate successfully with others, then your work productivity will increase. When it comes to the four skills, the GSE Learning Objectives for Professional English provides you with a clear progression path. Your employer will see productivity gains that can lead to at least $390,000 in savings each year.

5. Reduces stress

Trying to understand business-related emails, phone calls and queries can be the cause of stress in the workplace – even more so when they’re presented in a language that isn’t your mother tongue. Miscommunication can result in uncertainties and stress between colleagues – and our research shows that only 7% of non-native English speakers feel their current skills are sufficient for success in the job. Fear can hinder career progression and stress can cause a negative impact on your happiness, health and performance at work.

6. Builds the interpersonal skills to progress

Job promotion is a key driver to learning English, with 93% of employees stating that English was important or necessary for a promotion. Being in a workplace where you can build positive relationships based on communication will inevitably open doors and give you a better understanding of the opportunities available for you to advance your career.

7. Improves client/customer satisfaction

Having the skills to communicate effectively with customers or clients, whether by email, phone or face to face, will lead to fewer miscommunications and build a level of mutual trust and understanding. Having a positive relationship with your clients can lead to positive feedback to your company, which could also benefit your career progression.

The global workforce is growing, which means greater opportunities for business growth and individual career growth. For more information on English for Work, click here.

This is just the beginning of a new agenda for Business English. Join the debate by tweeting #englishforwork.

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