Globalization has blurred the boundaries when it comes to the success and competitiveness of the organization embracing the concept of diversity. Diversity encapsulates the different gender, race, ethnic group, personality, experience, education background, language and many more. Diversity influences the perception of the people for each other affecting the way they will interact with each other. So to establish proper relationship amongst the employees it is the job of the HR professionals to blend the assortment effectively.
HR industry has long evolved from being just the employee database manager and personnel administrator. It plays an integral part in business functioning. One such role of an HR is to maintain employee relations. They are responsible to bind the different communities, ethnic groups, gender, and race in one string. Language barrier is one of the important aspects in this context to look after. Though an employee speaking a different language from what is used in the organization is made to sit in a training session; however, it might be a little time consuming for the employees to imbibe the language faster. Also, organizations are crossing boundaries for expansion. Acquiring the language of the place will help them to communicate well with the natives, thus saving on the training cost.
Translation will undoubtedly be another well-thought approach, to help employees know the organization better. The employees, for instance, the worker class will be comfortable in communicating in their native language. Translation will help in flawless communications among all categories of employees shattering the language barriers. In this regard, translating the HR policies in the native language at least is first and foremost essential to make it available to all employees without keeping an ounce of ambiguity.
The translation industry is one of the old players in the market and it has grown with the evolution of technology. The translation growth can also be attributed to this diversity in the workplace. To align the goal and objectives of each and every employee to that of the organization, an employee needs to be thorough with the policies, rules and agendas surrounding the organization. Hence, the HR needs to see that the HR policies and guidelines are translated to the most prevalent language of the area to avoid any kind of misunderstanding among the employees. In this way, handling grievance and employee issues will be easier. If even a single policy is misinterpreted then it might brew unnecessary tension within the organization. The multinationals which abide by the ‘only-English’ employee policies might run into compliance issues. It will be clear from the following example. The supervisor of an Organization was indicted for sexual harassment; however, the organization claimed that it was not responsible as it took “reasonable care” to prevent this kind of situation as outlined in its HR policies. According to the firm, the employee did not take account of the protection policies laid down by the employer. This case was dismissed on the ground that the HR policies were documented in English while the professed victim spoke only Spanish. A well-published sexual harassment policy is one of the effective defenses employees can use regarding such cases. However, if the employees don’t understand the policies then it will be tough for the employers to carry on with the proceedings.
This kind of issues, where ambiguity is due to the language, is common. A lot of time, money, and legal effort go behind these cases which could have been solved just by translating the policies. Here comes the importance of HR. Starting from the onboarding policy, the leave policy, salary and benefits to the workplace ethics and guidelines; every single document should be conveyed in the native language apart from English. Thus with the help of a translator, HR will be able to combat the following workplace challenges:
• Communication: Futile communication results in unnecessary confusion, lack of team-spirit and low productivity in the workplace. To shun the language barriers, the cost-effective approach will be to translate the policies in the easy to understand the language of the region.
• Inculcating change effectively: It will be easy to plant the seeds of the change if the same is done in the most common language of the location across all categories of the workers.
• Managing diversity in the workplace efficiently: Training is alone not sufficient; to hold the place among the people of the area you need to be one of them that is best done by getting accustomed to the language.
Therefore, English definitely reigns high when it comes to communication at the workplace, however, making a way for the local dialect helps to connect with the employees better.
Agniva Banerjee is a writer by profession. She likes curating informative articles and blogs on diverse areas that provides a good read. This article particularly speaks about benefits of the job alert services that have made job hunting easier. Hope this enlightens the job seeker and helps them to understand how to make use of the service effectively.
Connect to her on Twitter @Agniva_B
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