5 Effective Ways of Managing a Multilingual Workforce


Today’s workforce has become highly diverse. There are employees working for an organization around the world and hence, business communication poses a huge challenge.

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A clear line of communication is required to avoid pointless confusions and mistakes and is indeed an essential factor contributing in timely completion of tasks at all levels. That is why the employers are nowadays becoming increasingly concerned about establishing effective communication among their employees to keep a happy and motivated work environment.

While there are always chances of ambiguities arising, the managers have to keep looking for ways to reduce the language barriers as much as possible and maintain positive employee morale.

Here are some great ways to help all the organizations and the employers to manage their multilingual workforce –

Pre-Assessment of Communication Skills

Interviewing your candidates for the kind of communication skills they possess is highly crucial if you want to manage your workforce adequately. While it is not necessary for the candidates to be fluent in every language the staffs speaks, but they should be at least able to understand what their job role is all about and what are the guidelines for the successful execution of tasks.

However, the level of proficiency in a particular language depends on the job. So, the employer should make sure that employees match with tasks that are appropriate for their level of language competency.

Draw an Open Communication Policy

There can be a lot of miscommunication when the people working in/for an organization don’t have the same language ground. So, to ease up the situation, it is recommended that the employers put a suggestion box or Q&A sessions with their employees. The sole purpose behind the implementation of the open door policy is to create a clear and open flow of communication among each other.

Moreover, asking your employees for their inputs and then incorporating them in the culture and company’s operations makes them feel valuable and give a great boost to their morale. Hence, the management should take efforts to understand the employees’ perceptions and constantly improve the working environment.

Plan Team Building Job Roles

There should be team building exercises once in a while to train the employers as well as the employees in intercultural communications. Don’t focus on a specific minority group and rather allow everyone to feel like an important part of your organization.

This will bring people from different cultures to work together and help them in improving their internal communications. The team-building activities would also aid your sales team to communicate properly with individuals from various backgrounds when they are in the field (market).

Hire Bilingual Leaders and Supervisors

Communication is a two-way process that gets hampered easily; and especially when the people speak different languages, the scenario becomes more complicated. That is why it is always better to have supervisors or leaders that can engage with the workforce in more than one language.

Having multilingual speakers in your organization facilitates accurate information exchange and helps in communicating with those employees that don’t speak English.

Deploy Multilingual Technology

To deal with communication challenges, many companies are resorting to multilingual solutions. This add-on tool feature enables all the employees and staff members to work in multiple languages in the same application.

The SharePoint Server (working on MUI) enables you to support your employees in different regions or those who speak different languages and manage content for them in their preferred language. However, since SharePoint isn’t built for multilingual collaborations, you can use PointFire and easily segregate your employees by languages. You can synchronize the UI and content in the employee’s selected language and improve the productivity.