Do either of these sound familiar?

A big board meeting is coming up. You’re excited to show plans for reaching a key group of your market. You need a new report with data about this group. So, you go to your new database genius, Eduardo.

He just moved to the U.S. from South America. In most ways, he’s a dream employee. He’s always happy. He always goes the extra mile. He even got the database to run reports 3x faster.

You give him the details of what you need. You tell him that you need it in your email first thing in the morning. He responds with his usual, “Yes sir, boss!”

When you get to work the next day, you open his email. Your heart drops. The report is close, but not right. It has the right info, but it’s not for the group you need. It’s for everyone BUT that group! Your meeting is in an hour and there’s no time to run it again. You feel your face getting hot.

This isn’t the first time Eduardo has made a mistake like this. He seems so bright. Why do these things keep happening?

Your marketing firm has just started doing work in Japan. Early success has been largely thanks to Aya, a talented local designer. She was an easy hire. Her portfolio was great and she seemed very nice in the interview. Since then, she has done a great job making ads that stand out in a good way.

In her first big client proposal meeting, Aya seemed like she had something to share.

“Aya, do you have any thoughts on this?”

She paused, then said, “No, I think it is good.”

In fact, Aya did have some thoughts on it. She had a bright idea for a concept to market. But, she struggles to express some ideas in English, so she said nothing. For the rest of the meeting, she sat with her head hanging down.

Unfortunately, you did not win the contract. After a few months, Aya’s doubts about her English lead her to quit and go back to her Japanese firm.

Why are you here?

You must be feeling the pain of a language barrier.

There are many reasons you might start facing this problem. Maybe you started hiring talent from overseas. Perhaps you built a factory on the other side of the world. Or maybe you merged with a foreign firm. But somewhere in your company, there is a group of people you can’t fully communicate with.

They’re good people. They work hard. They have the skills to do the work and help you succeed. But things are going slower than you hoped.

You want miscommunications to stop slowing things down. You want assignments understood and done right the first time. You want your teams to work well together. You want them to share ideas freely and clearly. You want your clients to be understood and for things to be said clearly to them.

You also realize that language barriers cause pain for the employee. You don’t want them to be stressed and unhappy. Employee turnover can cost you a lot of time and money. Plus, you like your people and don’t want them to go.

You’re not alone in your struggle. According to Forbes, 67% of bosses say they have slowdowns due to language barriers. About half of managers say language keeps their people from working effectively with each other.

Just because you hire great, talented people doesn’t mean you get everything they can offer. Studies show that if your employees don’t speak the language of the workplace well, they:

  • do not perform at their full capacity,
  • are not as confident, and
  • are less engaged.


The research also notes that you could see poorer customer service and lower respect felt by managers.

The fact that you are here means you have seen at least some of these effects. And you’re wondering if language training is the right way to solve the problem.

Language training alternatives

There are different ways to deal with language barriers.

In the short term, you may get by with interpreters and AI translation tools to fill in the gaps. These solutions can be a big help to fill an immediate need. They also have their obvious shortcomings:

  1. As long as you need to translate, you will need to pay for the people or tools to do it. If you are only working with an overseas team for a short time or you are trying to reach just one specific foreign client, hiring translators could be the way to go.
  2. Repeating everything in a meeting or collaboration can be a burden. With translation, you say something, and the translator repeats it. Then the other person responds, and the translator repeats it. Over time, this can be a drain on you and others.
  3. Translations aren’t always accurate. This is especially true when you talk about more complex things and are using automated tools.

Aside from all that, you have to ask yourself another question. Would you trust a translator or AI to have the same enthusiasm as you or your people when talking to a customer? Will they have the same twinkle in their eye?

“Well,” you might ask, “if not translators, what about language learning apps? There are cool apps with AI that will practice the language with you and coach you along.”

With the rise of AI, language learning apps are getting better and better. We are implementing AI practice tools in our program too. They are very helpful, but not enough.

Unfortunately, it takes more than a helpful app to reach your goals. If that’s all you needed, then nobody would be overweight, everyone would speak another language, and nobody would be in debt.

There are tons of health apps that coach people through workouts and plan their meals. There are more and more apps that teach people another language. And there are plenty of apps that coach people out of debt. But, those apps are just tools.

It’s probably no surprise to you, but most people that set goals don’t achieve them.

Just imagine for a minute that you are an average person. You get geared up to make a real change in your life. You commit. You even pay for a gym membership or a subscription to a language app with tutoring sessions. You’re going to do it this time!

But that excitement doesn’t last. Once the novelty wears off and things get hard, you get less excited. You start skipping some days at the gym because you are too tired. You reschedule sessions with your language tutor because you are too busy. You stop recording the money you spend every day in your finance app.

To achieve something hard like mastering a language, you need more than access to a good resource. You need accountability. You need consistency. You need to see clearly what it looks like at the finish line. And you need to be surrounded by others who will keep you going.

At FluentStride, we understand the level of language needed for a person to do their job fully and how to get there. Our program is designed to get your people to that level, regardless of where they begin. We do what it takes to set them up for success.

Getting started is easy!

Once your company is registered, just send us the names and emails of the people who need training.

We send them a link to a quick placement test (15-20 min). They will immediately get results with their starting level.

They will see a list of schedules to choose from for regular sessions with a teacher. Sessions are at a fixed time either daily or every other day. You want them in a routine of study and practice for steady growth.

They will be assigned to a cohort with others at the same level for support and accountability.

They download the app or go online and start studying for their first session.

We’ll send you regular reports of their progress.

When they reach their target language level, we’ll give them training and resources so they can go even further on their own if they wish. With the patterns and habits they built in the program, they are more likely to see continued progress.

Our commitment to success

We back our program with our Target Proficiency Guarantee. We commit to getting your team to the level of language they need to do their job.

You want your people to have the best available. FluentStride is based on the blended learning program developed at Brigham Young University, one of the top language universities in the world.

With FluentStride, your team gets quality face-to-face speaking practice with highly trained teachers. They also get access to software with patented algorithms made for deep learning and long-term retention. FluentStride software learns as the user goes to make sure learners have more practice on things they struggle with while still keeping things they know fresh.

The mobile app allows them to study at home, at the office, or anywhere in between. Whether they commute on a bus, the subway, or their bike (although studying on a bike is not recommended for safety reasons), the FluentStride app is available. Students also keep access to the app when they are done, if they want to keep things fresh with review activities.

Why should you invest in language training for your employees?

Other positive effects you will see when you have a language training program and multilingual culture in your company:

  1. You can attract better employees.
  2. You will have better team relationships.
  3. Your employees will grow in other ways. They:
    1. gain confidence that they can do hard things.
    2. are more willing to engage and share ideas.
    3. gain a cultural understanding that helps them work with clients and customers.
    4. become better listeners.
  4. It shows you care about your market.
  5. You will enjoy better customer relationships.
  6. You will have better customer retention.
  7. New business opportunities will open to you.

Contact us

If you are ready to enroll or just have questions about FluentStride, please give us a call  at 385-327-9838, or reach out using the form below.

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