A recent study by The Economist « Competing across borders: how cultural and communication barriers affect business » reveals the importance of languages for businesses. Two-thirds of respondents say that differences in language and culture make it difficult to gain a foothold in unfamiliar markets.
Some 47% say their companies do not offer enough training to hone their employees’ language and communication skills, and 40% believe there is not enough emphasis placed on recruiting or selecting people who are suited to cross-cultural environments. Misunderstandings rooted in cultural differences present the greatest obstacle to productive cross-border collaboration
Interestingly, linguistic diversity – or the lack of it – is considered by some margin to be a greater business challenge in Latin America and southern Europe than elsewhere. For example, 38% of those surveyed in Brazil and 40% in Spain believe the difficulty in communicating in non-native languages to be a significant hindrance to effective cross-border relations.
According to John Reed (Robert Half Consulting), companies can only set up a well functioning recruiting and retention process if they obey the following rules:
1) Individual employee development
– It is important to know, which training the individual employee considers relevant for him-/herself.
– Regular conversations with the employees are necessary as wishes and requirements change.
2) Delegate responsibility and foster teamwork
– Employees aim at taking over responsibility. Managers therefore shall be willing to delegate tasks.
– Find a proper relation between individual and team projects.
3) Support IT experts in developing new capabilities
– Soft Skills are considered most important as they facilitate the cooperation with other colleagues.
– SMEs tend to neglect training measures in their daily business.They shall remember that employess want to train existing and develop new skills.
The results of the a survey entitled « Closing the Gap Between Business and Education
” show that business leaders find young people to lack ‘soft skills’ such as confidence, teamwork, self-motivation, networking and presentation skills. 63 % of respondents said that their countries’ educational systems were not preparing young people with the right skills to enter the workforce and 70 % of respondents said their countries were doing a poor job developing financial and entrepreneurial skills among young people.
The survey was carried out by FreshMindsResearch for JA-YE Europe, which is Europe’s largest provider of entrepreneurship education programmes bringing together businesses, schools and young people.
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A Hindustan Times article reports on a recent study carried out in India: « Attractive remuneration packages and perks are vital to retain employees but it may not necessarily motivate them to give their best to the company if there is no sense of « emotional ownership » towards the organisation, according to a new study. The factors contributing to « emotional ownership ofwork » and a sense of belonging are « opportunities of self-expression, creativity in work, empowerment, freedom on job, opportunity to learn something new, variety in job and a sense of achievement », said the study on transforming the organisational culture, conducted by Manik Kher, a UGC research scientist at Pune University, advocating the concept of ‘Emotional Ownership’ to keep employees motivated ».