Is English in the company still a good benefit?
When we think about the benefits employees expect, we usually think of Multisport cards, private clinics, sometimes also fruit Thursdays and integration meetings. However, we don't always think about something that is so obvious and at the same time so useful - about English classes.
Who needs English in the company?
Seemingly, the main beneficiary of the language course organized by the employer is only the employee. In the end, he gains new skills, which - yes - he can translate into his work, but they will stay with him for a long time, not only while he is sitting at our desk.
We forget, however, that we, as employers, gain two serious advantages - an employee who knows English and an employee who feels appreciated and cared for, because we help him raise his own qualifications unrelated to the company.
According to the ABSL Poland report "The condition of the business services sector in Poland in 2020", language courses at work are the fourth most popular non-wage benefit in corporations - as many as 87% of them offer them. Often, however, the situation is completely different in smaller, domestic companies - the Pracuj.pl report "Benefits - what motivates employees?" points out that only 19% of respondents receive funding for their courses, but as many as 28% of them find such funding attractive.
Why are we afraid of language courses for employees?
For many entrepreneurs from smaller companies, those without dozens of offices and hundreds of employees, a language course may seem like an unnecessary whim. First, we see an additional cost in it. Secondly, the employee we train may escape from the company to the competition, having in his pocket not only experience, but also the advantage of knowing the language.
However, we are forgetting a few important points. First of all, an English course in a company does not have to involve bending the budget. Nowadays, online classes are gaining popularity not only among individual participants but also among companies. It is possible to work remotely, but also to learn a foreign language, which reduces the employer's costs.
In addition, an investment in an employee is an investment in the company. It may happen that a foreign client will come to us with a lucrative order - are you sure we want to look in the company then, who will be able to communicate with him efficiently? By offering language courses to our employees, we show that we want their development, because we believe that their development will help the entire company to develop.
The most important advantages of the English course for employees
English is indisputably useful these days. Thanks to the opening of borders and trade, as well as the ubiquitous internet, even small, local companies can potentially cooperate with foreign countries. Knowledge of modern language spoken all over the world allows us to feel at ease and expand our business.
A group language course for employees is also less expensive than you might think. Many language schools offer group classes, and their cost per student is much lower than if we wanted to subsidize individual classes selected by the employee.
Convenience and time saving cannot be overestimated either. An employee who leaves the office after eight hours will be reluctant to see the prospect of traveling to the course during rush hours and will most often simply give it up. Therefore, it is much more effective to arrange a teacher who will connect with employees online at a specific time or organize classes on site during the company's working hours - since the employee is already on site, he will be much more willing to participate in them.
Finally, the already mentioned feeling of being "cared for" by the employer is a factor that influences employee loyalty. Although we may think that we are investing in a new employee for the competition, the person who we expect to speak the language and who we do not provide the course will feel cheated. She will have to spend her time and money on training - and maybe then she will leave in search of an employer who will provide English lessons in the company. And our employee, receiving the benefit, will be more likely to stay.
Modern English in the office
The times when English lessons are a printed and bound textbook, dozens of loose copy books and subsequent reworking of the material are gone.
- Teachers more and more often use modern solutions - they teach with the help of films, series, and base their syllabuses on the real needs of students. It is no different in companies where it is easier to find interactive boards or projectors. This allows you to create courses tailored to what the company expects - says Leah Morawiec, Native Speaker from TalkBack English language school. - Teaching young people is often linked to their school curriculum, while adults have more freedom in their choice of subjects - he adds.
The already mentioned online lessons, which no longer require the teacher to physically appear in our office, are another step towards modern language learning. Regardless of whether we choose an online or traditional course, with a teacher on site, there is no doubt that providing employees with English in the company is no longer a whim, but a standard expected by employees.
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