Expanding your employee’s skill set by adding to their body of knowledge is known as upskilling. Upskilling is important as the world has become one vast interconnected network of business, travel, technology and entertainment. This creates enormous international social and business networks, and people need to find a common medium for communication. In most cases, this medium is the English language.
Upskilling will not only benefit the employee, but the World Economic Forum believes that the training undertaken to upskill people has the potential to pour trillions of dollars into the economy. With the majority of mature members of the workforce still communicating mainly in their mother tongue at home, it is high time employers introduce upskilling plans to encourage employees to improve their proficiency in English.
1. Identify Employees’ Priorities and Current Skill Sets
Any intervention must occur within the company’s goals and vision and, more importantly, within set budgets.
Firstly, an organisation would need to look at the various sections within the organisation and determine which will require employees to be highly proficient in English. These could be sectors that regularly interact with international clients or employees responsible for the organisation’s social media presence. Other sections, such as I.T., may require proficiency in English to undertake technical training or gain technical qualifications where the examinations are only written in English.
Organisations should also pay close attention to their succession planning. Gaining proficiency in any language is not a simple process, and English is a challenging language to learn. The focus should also be placed on employees with the potential to move into roles where this skill set is required before deciding if they should be brought on board for upskilling.
2. Make Good Use of Internal and External Resources
In-house training, both informal and formal, can be arranged using skilled personnel who have a good command of English. This type of training is especially valuable if your company uses a lot of jargon or words that are unique to the industry. English is tricky to master. This is because when industry jargon is introduced, people with English as a second or even third language will quickly become confused and misguided.
Highly skilled English speakers can also fulfil the role of mentor to staff members on a succession plan. They can support their mentees in the correct use of English and proofread documentation written in English. This one-on-one coaching is invaluable for building skills as well as nurturing talent.
Another valuable internal training methodology is to allow senior staff members from one department to conduct training courses in other departments. This can also ensure that newer staff members have the opportunity to interact and learn from senior staff from other departments.
If a group of employees require a specific set of tools or skills when it comes to communicating in English professionally, it can be helpful to bring in an expert, such as the School of Language International (SLI) to teach your staff.
3. Send Employees Out for Upskilling Courses
Sometimes it might not be the most convenient option to run in-house training, which is where the top language institutions in Singapore such as SLI can come to the rescue.
In Singapore, we are fortunate to have top-flight language schools that specialise in teaching different languages. Singaporeans love to learn, and providing training courses for your staff can be a highly motivating factor for many staff members as well.
Staff members in the same department or section will definitely benefit from a corporate English training course. Modules included in this course can even be customised to suit your specific industry needs to ensure that your staff will improve their proficiency in English and have fun learning together.
Senior staff members may find it challenging to put aside enough time for corporate lessons, so private English lessons for adults can be an excellent solution for them. In these lessons, the student gets one-on-one instruction at a time suitable for the student. This means your staff can improve their ability to read, write, and speak English with guidance.
4. Track Progress with Assignments
Sending your staff members for English lessons is essential from staff development and business points of view, but you need to ensure that no time or resources go to waste during the upskilling initiative. This means putting your staff to the test on assignments or projects which require them to speak professional English once they have completed their respective courses. Once they achieve success, they will also feel encouraged to share their experiences with other employees.
Upskilling your staff in English makes sense from a business point of view, but it is also an excellent motivational tool for the workplace. Singaporeans love to learn and providing them with the opportunity to upskill can definitely increase their job fulfilment levels. Visit our website to learn more about our English language courses for professionals today.
Starting date of English classes:
Conversational English: 11 Jan 2022
General English: 31 Jan 2022