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Employee Language Proficiency Helps Global Businesses Compete, Says New Joint Study by Forbes Insights and Rosetta Stone
Nearly 60 percent of managers cited improved customer feedback as the area most impacted by employees participating in language learning programs

Arlington, VA, March 30, 2017 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- According to a new report released today by Forbes Insights, "Best in Class: How Enterprises Succeed with Language Learning Programs," with more companies expanding globally, having a multilingual workforce has become a critical success factor and businesses are taking action to provide employees with language learning resources. Businesses with multilingual teams reported seeing a positive impact across various areas, such as improved reputation within specific geographic markets and on a global scale. Employees also reap the benefits of language proficiency with improved performance, confidence and increased engagement at work.  

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“As companies look for a competitive edge in an increasingly globalized environment, it’s clear that multilingual employees offer their employers incredible value in multiple facets of their business,” said Bruce Rogers, Chief Insights Officer at Forbes Media. “Whether you’re operating nationally or internationally, communication is the key to success and it’s critical that business leaders take action to overcome language barriers.”

Conducted in conjunction with Rosetta Stone Inc. (NYSE: RST), the report shows that a multilingual workforce also plays a role in the overall perception of a company in the marketplace. At the C-Level, the value of language learning is clear with 92 percent of executives surveyed indicating that the entire company realizes the benefits of language training, though businesses in the customer service, travel and hospitality sectors are more likely to report this than other industries. Departments that see the most tangible and significant benefits from multilingual employees include sales, marketing, and customer service. Language training has the added benefit of also providing improved career prospects for current employees while attracting future talent.

“Companies want people who can communicate in multinational teams in different languages,” said Dr. Ben Voyer, L’Oreal Professor of Creativity Marketing at ESCP Europe Business School in London. “This shows that people are prepared and capable of understanding the viewpoint of others.”

In business, gaps in communication have a real impact on the bottom line. According to the report, miscommunication could have a direct impact on expansion and profitability. For example, an unsuccessful interaction with a customer could end a relationship, or a failed conversation with a supplier or key partner could have serious financial or strategic implications.

Companies know that expanding their operations and influence globally requires a workforce than can communicate effectively in multiple languages. And there is a clear market opportunity here for companies that provide language learning services, as two-thirds of business executives surveyed reported that less than 50 percent of their employees have professional proficiency in more than one language; 36 percent reported less than one in ten multilingual employees. This indicates that companies are underserving their employees and that the current state of language learning is ripe for disruption.

Additional key findings include:

  • Successful learning aligns with organizational goals. Companies that build language training into employee development plans and track KPIs are twice as likely to successfully link language learning goals to the organization’s strategic priorities.
  • Opportunity awaits. The proliferation of online learning is prompting organizations to rethink traditional learning approaches and adopt technology-based models for training and development.
  • Language training must become part of the corporate culture. While companies understand the necessity of language learning, incorporating it into the corporate culture remains a challenge.
  • Management is seeing results. Nearly 60 percent of mangers cited improved customer feedback as the area most impacted by employees participating in language learning programs. Performance improvement and more confidence also ranked high at 46 percent and 51 percent, respectively.

“In order to thrive in today’s global marketplace, we need to make sure employees are equipped with the resources and skills they need to succeed,” said John Hass, Chief Executive Officer, Rosetta Stone. “We’re seeing more and more global businesses recognize how imperative a multilingual workforce is and the clear need to provide employees with training that not only benefits the company, but improves employees as well.”

About This Study
Forbes Insights surveyed more than 200 executives and managers around the globe that currently offer language training to their employees to examine how leading businesses are training their employees to speak and work in languages other than their native tongue. The report also looks at the impact language training is having at an individual and organizational level. Additionally, Forbes Insights conducted one-on-one interviews with experts and executives to add context to the findings. To download the full report and white paper, visit http://www.forbes.com/forbesinsights/rosetta_stone_enterprise/index.html. Additional information on Rosetta Stone can be found at www.rosettastone.com/business.


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About Forbes Insights
Forbes Insights is the strategic research and thought leadership practice of Forbes Media, a global media, branding and technology company whose combined platforms reach nearly 75 million business decision makers worldwide on a monthly basis. By leveraging proprietary databases of senior-level executives in the Forbes community, Forbes Insights conducts research on a wide range of topics to position brands as thought leaders and drive stakeholder engagement. Research findings are delivered through a variety of digital, print and live executions, and amplified across Forbes' social and media platforms.

About Rosetta Stone
Rosetta Stone Inc. (NYSE: RST) is dedicated to changing people’s lives through the power of language and literacy education. The company’s innovative digital solutions drive positive learning outcomes for the inspired learner at home or in schools and workplaces around the world.

Founded in 1992, Rosetta Stone’s language division uses cloud-based solutions to help all types of learners read, write, and speak more than 30 languages. Lexia Learning, Rosetta Stone's literacy education division, was founded more than 30 years ago and is a leader in the literacy education space. Today, Lexia helps students build fundamental reading skills through its rigorously researched, independently evaluated, and widely respected instruction and assessment programs.  

For more information, visit www.rosettastone.com.  “Rosetta Stone” is a registered trademark or trademark of Rosetta Stone Ltd. in the United States and other countries.


Media Contacts:

Forbes Insights
Laura Daunis
212-367-4874
ldaunis@forbes.com

Rosetta Stone
Michelle Alvarez
703-387-5862
malvarez@rosettastone.com 

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Rosetta Stone Ltd.
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