Workplace globalisation has increased the importance of efficient communication. However, linguistic gaps in your workforce widen as workers from different countries collaborate.
The contemporary workforce is a diverse group of people with a variety of cultural differences, political, religious, and social backgrounds. You can almost always anticipate that some of these diverse people will speak a variety of languages.
Strong communication abilities are essential for success when managing and working in a diverse workplace business setting. To avoid misunderstandings or barriers, whether in writing or orally, language learning is essential.
Teams frequently collaborate to share information, generate ideas, make decisions, and plan tasks; however, this can be challenging when there is a lack of understanding between team members.
We’re strong advocates of language learning and cultural diversity here at Simon & Simon, so we’ve put together this guide to help you promote diversity and languages in the workplace.
Challenges of language barriers
Despite the fact that globalisation has brought about new encounters, connections, and business possibilities, staff miscommunication is inevitable. According to a survey, 90 percent of businesses encounter linguistic barriers on a daily basis.
Language, cultural, or translation errors have the ability to have a negative impact on interactions between coworkers and with customers. The last few decades have seen a rise in the significance of cultural acceptance and a diverse workforce.
When it comes to communicating crucial information, offering supportive counsel, and distributing knowledge about a client, product, or service, employees frequently depend on one another. Staff scattered across international offices or on the front lines are unable to communicate effectively due to a linguistic barrier.
3 ways to promote language diversity in the workplace
When it comes to languages learned in businesses around the globe, English is regarded as the top business language. The likelihood that your complete workforce will speak English as their native language will, however, decline as workplace diversity increases.
Even though many businesses acknowledge the importance of acquiring a foreign language, very few actually provide their staff with the necessary applications or training. It’s time for language initiatives to grow and take centre stage for businesses wanting to celebrate workplace diversity, particularly those venturing into foreign markets. Since there is a greater chance of intercultural misunderstandings, organisations need to be able to speak across cultural boundaries.
Not only does providing language training improve employee performance in their jobs, but it also has a big effect on people’s personal lives. Grammar and vocabulary instruction is easier to acquire than a language, which is deeper and more complex. Before completely comprehending a new culture, people who learn new languages frequently acquire social customs, cultural norms, idioms, and other skills.
Not all businesses decide to spend money on language training for these employees. Others try different strategies for a more inclusive company culture. Some managers depend on their bilingual staff to translate the needs of those who struggle with communication. Others prefer to use translation services to communicate with staff members who have restricted language skills.
Despite how helpful interpreters are, it is not always possible to have a hired or expert translator available. Google Translate and other translation tools can be a useful and portable addition to bilingual staff and language learning initiatives.
Encourage your employees to embrace diversity
The best method to create a diverse and inclusive workforce is to create a multilingual environment because language is an integral part of culture. Employees should be supported by executives in their exploration of cultural differences, including idioms and traditions, and encouraged to acquire additional languages relevant to their jobs.
One of the greatest obstacles for workers trying to develop their communication skills is a lack of time and motivation. Understanding how language proficiency and promoting diversity affects job advancement, promotions, and confidence building can inspire staff.
It is impossible to avoid linguistic and cultural differences in the job. Companies must be ready and equip their staff with the tools they need to surmount challenges.
Benefits of an inclusive culture in the workplace
Improves workplace relationships
Knowing more than your native language is very helpful, whether you only communicate with people inside your office or if you have frequent conversations with clients from around the globe. It enables people to interact without feeling awkward or concerned that there may be cultural barriers or a lack of clarity in the communication.
Language plays a significant role in culture, and when barriers are broken, it’s simpler for people to form stronger bonds and develop mutual confidence.
Your employees will likely become more understanding of one another as a result of learning a new language together. Employees develop stronger relationships and learn how to collaborate more effectively as a result, which makes it simpler to organise work. A highly productive workforce can be achieved by fostering great dynamics and accelerating processes across the organisation.
Even more than when communicating in your native tongue, communicating across a variety of various cultures necessitates paying close attention to what others are saying. This will help to diffuse any dispute because you’ll be paying closer attention to both the words being said and their underlying meaning. Your workforce will become more cohesive as a result of this.
Looking for intensive language courses?
Get in contact with us right away to find out more about how enrolling in one of our intensive language courses could help your business expand internationally.
To make it easier for you to communicate with your international co-workers, whether online or in person, we can work with you to create a customised language learning strategy for your company and offer cross-cultural training.
For more information about our Professional Business Language Courses, please contact us today!
Promoting language diversity in the workplace FAQs
How do you promote language diversity in the workplace?
The best method to create a diverse and inclusive workforce is to create a multilingual environment because language is an integral part of culture. Employees should be supported by executives in their exploration of cultural backgrounds, including idioms and traditions, and encouraged to acquire additional languages relevant to their jobs.
How does language play a role in diversity?
Communication between and within groups of people is made possible by language. Expression of ideas and emotions can be accomplished through language. Language can be a tool for establishing and sustaining divisions across differences when it comes to diversity, or it can be a bridge for fostering relationships.
How can languages be valued in the workplace?
Everyone is more likely to feel valued and appreciated by using inclusive language, especially in the workplace. People feel more comfortable contributing and using their talents in such a happier work atmosphere. This then influences how well an organisation performs.