Business Owners Brace for Looming Recession - Expert Recommends Improving Intercultural Communication Skills to Boost Bottom Line

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Forty five percent of Economists with the National Association for Business Economics now expect a recession in 2008. As businesses scramble to look for ways of protecting profit margin, many will resort to hiring freezes and layoffs. Multicultural communications expert, Lauren Supraner, suggests improvement of intercultural communication skills in the workplace as a practical alternative that will have a lasting effect on the bottom line.

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Beyond the immediate bottom line benefits of a multicultural workplace, cultural competency training also gives businesses a competitive edge in an ever-expanding global market

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According to the latest report from the National Association for Business Economics, 45 percent of economists on its forecasting panel expect a recession this year. If history is any indication, this could spell trouble for U.S. business owners who have seen an average of more than 500,000 businesses fail during each of the 10 recessions that have occurred in the U.S. since the end of World War II.

Before business owners start handing out pink slips, Lauren Supraner, president and founder of CAL Learning (formerly CAL Culture and Language) recommends taking a good look within for areas where a little improvement can go a long way. "It sounds simple, but having employees and managers who can communicate effectively and appropriately with colleagues and customers from different backgrounds can have a profound effect on bottom line issues like employee retention, productivity and customer satisfaction," said Supraner. "You'd be surprised at how immediate the results of cultural competency training or a session on workplace communication training will translate into increased profit margin."

Research shows that businesses stand to gain, or lose, a significant portion of profits from issues like motivation, productivity and employee retention. Gallup polls suggest that over half of employees in the United States report having no enthusiasm for their work. When you consider Gallup estimates that suggest a mere 3.7 percent increase in productivity from every U.S. employee would swell the gross domestic product by $355 billion, factors like motivation and productivity gain instant significance.

As valuable as advanced communication training can be in the workplace on a day to day basis, Supraner suggests that the ability to effectively communicate becomes even more valuable in a tough economy where competition is fierce, and every dollar counts. "Beyond the immediate bottom line benefits of a multicultural workplace, cultural competency training also gives businesses a competitive edge in an ever-expanding global market," said Supraner. "Think about it. If communication constraints are keeping your competition from taking full advantage of their own human capital, and on top of that they have a limited view of how the relationship between culture and communication can be leveraged to expand global reach, your mastery of these skills puts you ahead of the game from square one."

About CAL Learning

CAL Learning is a culture and language training institute committed to helping organizations understand, manage and benefit from a multicultural workplace through intercultural, diversity and language training programs. The experienced and talented professionals at CAL Learning have developed customizable programs to address a wide variety of communication issues including accent training, cultural competency training and workplace communication training. To learn more about CAL Learning programs and the benefits of intercultural communication training visit http://www.callearning.com.

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