A day or half-day of workshadowing is by far the most efficient way for me to help Japanese employees, and it is the best possible way to allocate training budget towards the successful induction of any employees who are new to the UK environment.
A short period of workshadowing is enough for me to be able to see first-hand what an employee's biggest needs are and then get to work on them straight away. This is something that could ideally be arranged during the first week of a new employee's secondment, to ensure a smooth settling-in period, and creates an equally valuable training opportunity for improving the functioning even of employees who have been working here for a longer period.
The beauty of workshadowing is that it enables me to assess the reality of an employee's language dealings in the workplace, as opposed to asking the individual to make their own assessment of their language needs or the difficulties they have in using or understanding English. This is something which would be of value for seconded employees of any nationality, but it is particulary valuable with regard to Japanese employees who are culturally less likely to be willing to be open about difficulties they might be facing.
If language interventions are to be of maximum use for any employee who is new to the UK workplace, it is vital to enable them to happen at as early a stage as possible. This will help the employee to function better in his or her role, as well as giving them more confidence, and also allows for the option of follow-up sessions if applicable.