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  • Writer's pictureIan Lavis

Improve your English skills at work.

Updated: Jun 28

English skills should be a top priority for companies with English-speaking employees, customers and suppliers.


Employees who can speak and write in clear, powerful English are better equipped to do business with native and non-native English speakers worldwide.


However, many non-native English speakers do not have the English skills required to communicate well in the workplace.

Others lack confidence and feel uncomfortable using English even if they have a reasonable level in the language. Or they have a good level but their pronunciation is poor.


This can have a negative impact on sales, relationships and even staff morale.


Investing in high quality business English coaching can be a cost-effective way to:


  • Improve skills

  • Improve performance

  • Incentivise staff

  • Improve morale


The key to success is to focus on the specific English skills each employee needs to do their job more effectively.

Myself, a copywriter and English coach, at my desk, holding a cup of tea.


Better communication, higher motivation

One organisation investing in specialist English coaching to improve performance is Kudelski Group, a data and content specialist with over 3,200 employees across 30 countries.


Last year, one of the Group’s talent and acquisition managers hired me to assist with the training of two employees with very different needs:


  • A manager in Asia needed help writing blog articles and sales and marketing material in clear, compelling English for global audiences;

  • An HR professional in Europe needed help with spoken English for interviews and meetings.


I developed personalised English coaching programmes to help each employee reach their goals and build their confidence in the language. 


For the blog writer, who already had a high level of spoken English, I focused on developing a clear, accurate and compelling writing style. I helped him write in shorter, more powerful sentences, while also being more humble in tone to reflect the company brand. He has since adopted a more concise, reader-friendly and humble writing style, and he is more confident using a wider range of vocabulary and phrases.


The HR manage needed help with interviewing candidates in English, attending meetings and making presentations. We focused on the specific vocabulary she needs to do her job, while improving her grammar knowledge and pronunciation skills. She says she now feels more confident interviewing candidates in English and speaking to colleagues at work.


Andrea Schmelz, Talent & Development Manager, Kudelski Group, says: "Since working with Ian, we’ve seen a marked improvement in the output of our team’s non-native English speakers. This is highly motivating for the individuals and for the company."


Rewarding staff

While improving employees’ business English skills undoubtedly improves performance, it can also be a rewarding way to incentivise staff.


Individual or group coaching sessions are an attractive job perk that benefits the employees and the organisation as a whole.


This is the case for the health and wellbeing department of Germany’s largest energy company, RWE Power AG. Each week, I provide customised business English training for two small groups of RWE employees, helping them improve their English skills and feel more confident in the language.


The training is delivered as part of the company’s employee training and benefits package. It focuses on the English the employees need for their work and day-to-day situations, including project updates, emails, presentations, meetings, conferences and social English.


Esther Havertz, Health and Wellbeing Specialist, RWE Power AG, says: “Ian is a very appreciative English trainer. He gives you hints and corrections in a great way. It is so valuable that he is a native speaker; you learn ‘real’ English. In our small group everyone is taken into account and Ian uses a great mix of methods. We practice everyday conversations, talk about topic-specific texts, and use podcasts and practice sheets to support the online lessons. I really look forward to my English lessons because learning with Ian is fun. Even the grammar! You can see an improvement in a short time."


Get help

If you think you or your colleagues can benefit from customised business English training, contact me today and let’s have a chat.


Don’t worry about making mistakes in your English when you contact me. I write clearly and I speak slowly. The most important thing is to understand and be understood, and I am here to help you.

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