In 2011 GlobalEnglish launches The Business English Index to Track Global Communication Progress
Businesses around the globe agree that developing employees’ Business English skills is a bottom-line necessity, yet the recently launched Business English Index (BEI) demonstrates there is still a significant skills gap and a long road to travel. Thanks to globalization, English has been accepted by the global business community as the de facto language of business. Unfortunately and ironically, few companies are actually prepared with a plan to provide their workforce the Business English skills necessary to meet the demands of their global business activities, and even fewer global companies have looked far enough down the path on the journey towards Enterprise Fluency.
Customers, analysts, and the press have been conjecturing for years on the progress (or lack thereof) of global companies achieving Enterprise Fluency — the communication, collaboration and operational proficiency companies must have to profitably expand their global footprint. So at the beginning of the year, GlobalEnglish Corporation conducted a study to determine our client’s competency in Business English communication skills across all industries and geographies. At the end of March we introduced the Business English Index report, the first in an annual series that stops any conjecturing by presenting a benchmark to measure the progress of global Business English skills, a key component of an organization’s Enterprise Fluency.
The results of the 2011 BEI show respondents, on average, measure 4.46 out of 10 possible points, confirming that current Business English skills are insufficient to meet the demands of global business in the 21st century. Scores of 5.0 or lower translate into a workforce that can understand only basic information on the telephone or in person, but cannot understand most business presentations, take a leadership role in business discussions, or perform relatively complex tasks. This measurement is consistent with past research which showed that 70% of today’s global workforce speaks English as a second language, yet only 7% think they speak it well enough to do their jobs.
The BEI is only a benchmark, and by definition an average of thousands of companies in over 150 countries. It is a measurement of our global progress toward Enterprise Fluency but cannot define an individual company’s path. It is your organization’s actual journey
which is most important – getting others to understand the criticality of Business
English skills within your organization, identifying the highest value employees who will leverage these skills, and (of course) measuring the bottom line benefits of an organization that has a high level of Enterprise Fluency.
This blog will explore the strategies to successfully march your organization through globalization, help you recognize any skill gaps within your own workforce and uncover the indisputable relationship between effective business communication and financial growth and performance.
To learn more about the BEI, check out the report on our website.