In an increasingly internationalized worklife, one could ask - why learn Norwegian?
At many Norwegian workplaces with international employees, professional talk and meetings are already conducted in English. Moreover, social talk is commonly carried out in English too. This may appear like a good thing, seemingly it makes the workflow and communication run smoothly. However, there is a lot of low hanging fruit and advantages missed out on if not investing in your international employees Norwegian training. Here are reasons why and how learning Norwegian is beneficial for expats and employers alike:
Better integration = retention
Language mastery is one of the most important integration efforts. Good integration is in many cases the key to retaining foreign employees who move to Norway over time. Integration takes place at different arenas however, from the workplace to society at large. Everything from exchanging a few words in Norwegian with a colleague over the coffee maker, to being able to follow a parental meeting at the local school, strengthens the sense of being part of a community. Furthermore, demonstrating Norwegian language proficiency is required to be granted a permanent residence permit and citizenship, which many international employees want in the longer term. In other words, mastering Norwegian is the way to inclusion into the community.
Increased employee satisfaction and productivity
By supporting employees in their language learning journey, employers can increase employee satisfaction and engagement. Employees who feel supported and valued by their employers are more likely to be loyal, productive, and motivated. In addition, many Norwegian companies with an international workforce collaborate closely with Norwegian based clients and customers in the private & public sector alike. Being able to express and understand Norwegian concepts and terminology relevant to the project at hand is literally productivity enhancing.
Enhanced communication with colleagues and cultural awareness
Having employees who can speak Norwegian is beneficial as it facilitates communication with local clients and colleagues. It also improves collaboration between team members and fosters a more inclusive work environment. When expats can communicate with Norwegian colleagues in their language, they can more easily identify and understand cultural nuances and differences, which can ultimately lead to stronger working relationships. All cultures have many subtle and “unwritten” codes and norms, and Norway is of course no exception. Everything from emails written in Norwegian to informal social interactions might be read differently if you don’t have a good grasp of Norwegian – as Norwegian can seem direct, understated and maybe even impolite to those not well acquainted with the language. Learning the language helps to understand the cultural differences between Norway and the respective home country, allowing for a smoother adaptation to the new environment.
The importance of tailor made language training
In our experience, most foreign specialists who move to Norway already have a desire to learn Norwegian. There are many language services aimed at immigrants, but they are often aimed at other types of immigration and include an unmanageable number of curricular hours during a week or semester. Having a course program that is fit for purpose is crucial.
Learning a new language is not done in a day – or a semester for that matter! It takes time to master Norwegian and get comfortable using it on a regular basis. It is therefore well worth investing in a longer term Norwegian learning program.
Our main focus is a course plan that fits well into the working day schedule and provides rapid progression. We have a 4-level course program, running from beginners to advanced proficiency level. The course plan is flexible and can be adapted to the individual company if necessary.
Norwegian language courses tailored to fit the working schedules of your employees
Digital courses allowing for flexibility in scheduling and logistics. Facilitates for teams/employees working in different locations.
In-person courses for a collaborative and dynamic learning environment.
Intensive courses with more hours per week for an accelerated learning schedule.
A 4-level course program running from A1 - C2, covering all proficiency levels in the The Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR).