How Language Services Support HR
In any company, good communication is key.
And how can we ensure that when we deal with a multinational staff?
The modern workforce is more diverse than ever, with bilingual, multilingual and ELL (English Language Learner) employees. This is especially true in the USA, where international and multilingual teams are pretty common.
HR or Human Resources is the department in charge of almost all of the workforce’s employee aspects and communications, and in their hands lies the responsibility to make a multilingual company work. From recruiting to performance management, HR is in constant communication with employees and has to ensure a smooth exchange of information.
In an international market, HR’s responsibilities are amplified as they need to juggle different languages, cultures, time zones, work habits, currencies, and local legislations in the workplace. And although the need for professional translators and interpreters in HR is often overlooked, it is the only tool that can help companies to avoid language barriers.
Not sure about the value of language services to support HR? In this guide we’ll show you 4 scenarios where translations and interpretation are a must for your HR support.
#1 Are your papers in order?
In companies with multiple linguistic backgrounds, translation and interpretation services are key to overcoming language and cultural difficulties.
One of HR’s roles is to ensure that every employee understands the company’s policies and guidelines. If some employees don’t speak perfect English, handing out only English documents can lead to misunderstandings and problems in the future.
To avoid that, translations of different documents and materials are highly recommended, particularly in the USA where multiple nationalities, cultures and languages shape the work scene.
Some of the documents and materials that HR need to translate are:
- Training materials
- Policies and guidelines
- Safety materials
- Codes of conduct
But not any translation will do, in the business world all translations must be done with the right terminology for each language and country. Ad Astra offers professional translations that take into account dialects, cultural differences and local legislations.
Do you need an interpreter too?
How can we create unity and a great business culture if we don’t understand each other?
HR together with language support is one of the means to achieve seamless communication in a multicultural workforce.
And we are not talking only about papers and documents… interpreters are also a great tool for HR teams that can help in interviews, company events and training programs.
#2 Find top talent internationally
Immigration, remote working and outsourcing are causing more and more businesses to recruit employees from different linguistic backgrounds.
Nowadays one doesn’t need to live in the same city (or even country) as the company they work for. And sometimes, the job even needs a multilingual person.
This has broadened the recruiting options for businesses, but also established the need for language services in HR departments.
In order to find the best talent in the market, you’ll need to adapt the job searching process to different languages and countries, as job searches are mostly made in each person’s native language. Forms, applications and employment contracts will need translation, and it is also recommended to get some local legal advice to comply with each country’s legislation.
#3 Catering to the global market
A good translation job could be the difference between a good and a bad impression.
If you want to expand to new markets, negotiate with other companies or attract investors, you’ll need to cater your company to the global market adequately through localization.
Word-to-word or simple Google translations will not perform well in these situations. To reach success you’ll need a localization service that takes into account the cultural aspects of the market, as well as the dialects in each language.
In this process, many things can change. You are probably familiar with brands changing even their name and slogan to adapt to a new market (Like “Lays” potato chips, that are called “Walkers” in the UK).
HR teams and language services must work together to develop specific marketing materials for each market, taking into account the brand’s identity and guidelines, and maintaining consistent communication throughout the company.
#4 Create an inclusive work culture
Multicultural diversity is usual in the USA and businesses must adapt to this reality to reduce turnover.
Through the use of translation services, a company expresses to its employees that they care about their safety and inclusion in every aspect of the company.
Besides what you may think, language services that support HR are not only useful for international companies, they are also a great instrument for local businesses with a multilingual workforce.
Using language support in HR is essential to create a diverse and inclusive work culture. And this can help to maintain brand unity, no matter the distance or difference in language.
HR can use these language services to facilitate communication with employees, which will lead to a more productive workplace. These translations can include important documents and materials, but also newsletter, memos, announcements and blog posts. All of these communications are part of the company’s culture.
Besides, having a multilingual staff and multilingual customer service is a great way to reach a more diverse customer base, key to international or regional expansion.
Hiring professional translators that take into account the cultural differences that come with languages, like the ones in Ad Astra, a company can ensure a more aligned message.
Using language as an HR device
It is clear that in a globalized economy, language is a powerful tool.
HR translations are fundamental in an increasingly complex world. With international teams, freelance collaborators, remote working, global expansion and different legislation it is important to adapt to each employee and market.
Although English is a far more common language spoken in the business world, as a company we must ensure that employees have all the tools they need to perfectly understand the policies, guidelines, contracts and more.
Outsourcing translation and interpretation services is the best option nowadays, since translation for HR combine their own terminology with business jargon specific for each market.
We hope that now you can see that HR and language support are a great team.
Get rid of those language barriers!