When you work for a global firm like Accenture, you could have team members located all over the world. This creates a rich and diverse workforce, but can sometimes present challenges in communicating effectively with colleagues for whom English isn’t a first language. That’s why Accenture in Japan created a new program called Language Buddies.
Language Buddies program lead Chiemi Kondo, talent strategist specialist – Human Resources, says the program increases opportunities for employees to practice English in a work environment while strengthening connections with their colleagues in other countries. Regular, one-on-one calls serve as the primary means of building English language skills, and any Accenture employee anywhere in the world can participate if they speak English as a first language. Kondo noted that although Accenture is a company that “speaks” one language, the opportunity for most employees in Japan to engage with English speaking people on a daily basis is, not surprisingly, rather limited.
“This makes it difficult to develop English skills and, as a result they feel less a part of our global community,” she said. “Employees who participate in the program now feel more comfortable communicating in English with their Accenture colleagues around the world.
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