Multinational companies with global workforces crossing language boundaries should understand the importance of translating documents. Work materials such as HR directives, employee handbooks, and the text within a work program are all examples of communicating that require translation.
To build a truly cohesive and engaged workforce, the translation of these communication materials is only the beginning. Full understanding of all internal communications is critical for engaging employees wherever they are located and at whatever level of your business they work within.
What Should be Translated?
Translating all key employee communications is good HR practice and a great place to start – in some countries it is a legal requirement. As the purpose of any employee communication is to get a message across to staff, it certainly isn’t where translation of employee communications should end.
With the proliferation of social media, newsletters, and internal memos, translating documents not only respects ethnic diversity, but also helps employees to understand the company’s vision, values, and culture. By speaking the language of your workforce, you’re enabling them to transition from satisfied to engaged employees.
Engaging Your Workforce and Customer Satisfaction
Professionally translating newsletters, corporate videos, and other internal materials into local languages will help overseas employees feel valued within your organization. A Gallup survey found that engaged organizations have 3.9 times the earnings per share (EPS) growth rate compared to organizations with lower engagement in their same industry. The difference between satisfied employees – the ones happy with their pay, conditions, and benefits – and the engaged employees is evident. Engaged employees go the extra mile to help the business succeed.
Employees shape your customer’s experiences; it’s not just the product they’re loyal to. Staff who exert a special effort to enhance a customer’s experience can in turn help you succeed in the retention of that client. These employees represent the engaged, rather than merely satisfied. If you really want international success for your business, employee engagement is what you should be aiming for.
Managing a Global Brand
Maintaining a strong brand is critical if you want to build value and customer loyalty. Overseas employees make great brand ambassadors for your business. That is, if they are engaged and understand key messages.
Anything from internal news bulletins to routine email announcements, global/regional bonus plans, sales incentive plans, compensation plans, and more, that are translated into the local languages of your organization’s workforce contribute to employee’s understanding and engagement. Engaged employees can help generate buzz about your business in target markets that may be less aware of your products and services.
Protect Your Bottom Line
In business, gaps in communication have a real impact on your bottom line. Missed opportunities, lack of employee engagement, and failed customer relationships all impact sales and profit margins. Correctly translating and localizing employee communications shows them that you value their participation, and in reciprocation they will return your investment multiple times over.
Author: Rachel Wheeler