How HR Managers Should Approach an Employee who Needs Accent Reduction Training

Do you have a talented employee with poor English skills?  Do you wish you could help him or her but are afraid of coming across as insensitive or discouraging?  Here are five tips for helping your employee get the help they need:

  1. Begin by emphasizing the employee’s value to the company.  If your employee feels that they are valued, they are more likely to embrace constructive feedback.
  2. Ask the employee how they feel about their English skills.  Often, people with poor speech know they need to get better.  If your employee is capable of accurately assessing his or her deficiencies it will be easier for you to get their buy-in for training.
  3. Avoid using the phrase “accent reduction” –  the term tends to put people off.  Begin by suggesting “articulation courses” or “speech enhancement”.
  4. Make the lessons voluntary.  It’s never a good idea to force training on an employee who doesn’t want it.  Your employee will become bitter, and the training will not go well.
  5. Offer to compensate your employee for lessons.  Think about the added value your company will have when your top talent can truly express themselves in important meetings!