Speaking English Makes the Work Better

Speaking English Makes the Work Better

In a Time article that appeared last summer, Christopher Matthews highlights Zeynep Tom’s research: “by underinvesting in their employees, retailers are actually making their operations much more inefficient, and therefore much less profitable.” Investing in employees (training them, even in seemingly menial tasks) makes them more efficient, and more likely to stay around; if you scratch my back, I’ll scratch yours. Both of these reduce expenses enough to overcome the cost of training them, and then some. Training them in language, if only in the language necessary for their occupation, is ostensibly useful enough to increase loyalty even further.

On top of that, being able to communicate better with customers in something like retail or hospitality increases customer satisfaction, which in turn increases the likelihood of return customers. It’s easy to imagine—or relate to—a situation in a store where you and an employee are divided by tongues, and you cannot find what you are looking for, or need a third party to translate. The customer is always right, although a cliché, should be taken with a grain of salt. Keeping the customer happy and understood is always right.