Closing the Corporate Communications Gap With Localization

 

Board members, executives, managers, and employees within a company need to communicate on a regular basis. For instance, the HR department may send a memo to all company employees. If the employees speak the same language, the memo’s contents will be understood by everyone. However, companies that operate on an international scale may face serious challenges, especially if their team members speak different languages. In this case, the localization of content is imperative to ensure that internal corporate communication occurs seamlessly.

How Localization Can Close the Gap

Many companies, even though they have international employees, use English as the primary language for internal communications. When companies issue their documents in one language only, they risk cultivating low employee morale and a lack of loyalty. But does this mean that people in managerial positions should speak multiple languages to communicate effectively with their global workforce?

How can management, board members, and employees communicate with one another without having to learn a new language? The answer lies in localization. If the company uses professional translation services, it will be able to cater to the cultural and linguistic expectations of all employees. This means that your company must know the dominant culture and language in each of your international departments. Once you appeal to each department’s expectations, you will simulate a stronger relationship between management and employees. Consequently, your internal communication must be translated by experts to keep the original message and intent.

Corporate communications localization

Benefits of Translating Internal Documents

Designating English as your company’s official language is tempting, but this action may have many adverse repercussions. Here are some of the benefits of localizing your internal communication.

Nurture Inclusion and Diversity

A diverse and heterogeneous workforce can increase innovation and productivity. The acquired efficiency can reduce operational costs and increase sales. If you want all employees to fully contribute toward the company’s global strategy, your internal communication must be translated into various languages. Each employee will now better understand the company’s vision, mission, and weaknesses.

Foster Ethical Behavior

Creating a perfect company is impossible, but you can take measures to root out misconduct and corruption. Every company is susceptible to fraud and economic crimes, and most of these crimes are likely to occur at institutions that are located far away from the company’s global headquarters. When a company translates its ethics statement, policies, and penalties for misconduct, you will foster ethical attitudes throughout the company, especially at far-flung branches and subsidiaries.

Legal Compliance

Certain countries, like the UK,  have legislation that touches on internal corporate communication. These countries may dictate that key corporate communications must be in a language that local employees speak. I order to avoid such legal troubles, the safe approach is to translate your internal documents at the earliest opportunity to ensure compliance.

Create a Qualified Workforce

Failure to translate internal communication can also affect the recruitment process. Potential candidates may avoid applying for an advertised job because they are afraid of a potential language barrier when they join the company. Even those who apply may perform dismally during the interview due to linguistic challenges. Consequently, translating the company’s documents and using the local language can attract and retain top talent.

Eliminate Any Misunderstanding

New corporate directives can alter the way the company operates. These directives can cause mayhem within the company if some employees misunderstand them due to language problems. Your company must translate every communication so that all employees understand the expectations and goals. This will increase productivity and reduce downtime.

Improve Worker Safety

Perhaps the greatest risk of poor internal communication is that employees can get injured in their line of work. Therefore, one of your priorities is to translate all safety procedures. This not only reduces the risk of injury but also lessens your legal liabilities if an accident occurs.

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Which Internal Communications Documents Should Be Translated?

Most, if not all, of your internal corporate communications must appear in multiple languages. When you do this, you will create an environment of equity where investors, partners, and employees will feel valued by the business. Here are some documents that may need a translation.

Financial Documents

Your company will generate many financial documents. On various occasions, one department may need to access these financial documents for various reasons. Since each department will be recording financial documents in the local language, you may need to translate them for easy use by all departments. This also ensures that the company synchronizes its financials for legal and analytical purposes.

Intranet

Many multinationals use the intranet to handle their internal communication. The main benefit of an intranet is that it centralizes internal communication and reduces the cost of linking one offshore location to another.

Creating a centralized communication system means nothing if some employees can’t comprehend the transmitted information. The solution is to translate all communication that passes through the intranet. Each employee should have the opportunity to view any memo, report, or message on the intranet in their native language. This will improve the effectiveness of the intranet, apart from enhancing employees’ reception of internal communication. That is why seeking the services of professional translators is necessary for any business that uses an intranet system.

Employee Handbook

An employee handbook is a common feature at most companies. Most handbooks are usually written and archived in one language. As the company grows, employees from other linguistic and cultural backgrounds join the company. The new employees also need to be guided by the handbook. Such a task may be unsuccessful if the translation does not take into consideration the cultural and linguistic affiliation of each employee. The only way this is going to work is if professional, native, translation experts are used for the localization of your documents.

A professionally translated employee handbook can clarify the organization’s culture, policies, and objectives to new employees.

Key Takeaway

Localization of internal corporate communication can create a more cohesive team and improve employee productivity. This process can only occur when an expert translates your internal communication. You can contact us for further guidance.

Read also:

7 Ways to Successfully Manage International Teams

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