Jul 15, 2017

Communication skills and employee disengagement

Employee disengagement is a huge factor in the cost of turnover – in fact, it could cost your company 2-3 times the salary rate of one software engineer. But even while companies work to actively engaged their engineers, there’s one major piece of the puzzle missing: not all your engineers have the same cultural background, linguistic and language levels, and communication skills.

We surveyed hundreds of software engineers and found that for non-native English speakers, communication challenges are a primary cause of employee disengagement. According to a Lingo Live survey of non-native Silicon Valley engineers:

  • 85% would enjoy work more if they were more comfortable speaking English, even if they are already advanced English speakers
  • 77% have had an idea dismissed because of language issues
  • 66% feel communication issues hold them back from promotions

Additionally, having a close relationship at work also factors into employee satisfaction. According to a Gallup poll, close workplace friendships boost workplace satisfaction by 50%, and employees with a best friend at work are 7x more likely to engage in their work and company culture fully. Non-native software engineers who feel held back by communication barriers are less likely to engage in small talk or network with their English-speaking counterparts.

It’s important to note that employees who see a glass ceiling at their company are more likely to search for other opportunities. By ignoring communication and cultural barriers facing your engineering teams, tech companies not only lose millions of dollars in productivity, but also miss an opportunity for retaining software engineers and building an empowering culture for everyone.

Interested in reading more about employee engagement?

Read more on cultural awareness in business communication and download the whitepaper on organizational barriers to communication.


mmunication Barriers and Employee Disengagement White Paper


Communication, People

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