Speech Pathology Associates


A workforce without sufficient English skills presents a significant challenge to global companies. Employees who are unable to process and disseminate information quickly and accurately can adversely affect the bottom line. The question is not if a lack of English proficiency impacts operations, but how much it costs a company.

Potential Annual Costs For a Workforce without Adequate English Proficiency ( per 1,000 employees in US dollars).

Lost productivity:

Additional time to understand, respond to, or consult information in English (average salary $50,000)

  • Reading and writing emails: 2 per day, 10 minutes each--$2,000,000
  • Reading technical manuals: 20 minutes per week--$400,000
  • Duplicative work due to poor comprehension in meetings: 20 minutes per week--$400,000

Increased organizational support needs:

Checking the work of or assisting non-English speaking employees

  • Managers at 1:5 manager to staff ratio (average salary $100,000): 15 minutes per day--$600,000
  • Peers (average salary $50,000 at 15% staff proficientcy): 30 minutes per week--$100,000

Translation costs:

Translating training manuals, safety information, company policies, etc.

  • Translation at $0.50/word--$500,000

Opportunity costs:

  • varies by company