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Learning the Language: How HR Can Support Workplace Diversity

Ben Renner

Ben Renner

workplace diversity

workplace diversityOne by-product of workplaces spreading beyond office walls and to the coordination of many workers around the globe all at once is increasing diversity in workforces. Now, workplace diversity is a necessity for many companies. How can the human resources department help support everyone spread all over the globe be more productive and understood?

Of course, technology like web-based video conferencing software and employee video portals, etc. helps keep everyone connected in real-time. But what if you have workers in Mexico City who need to understand managers or other workers in the United Kingdom? Language barriers will present problems, even when everyone at least knows rudimentary English. When you have workers speaking different languages to each other, you have communication breakdowns. HR can help maintain workplace diversity without sacrificing efficiency by combining a little technology with a little compassion and understanding.

The Power of the Video Library

Live streaming and video conferencing are great, but pre-recorded videos uploaded to an online platform can dispense important information to multiple employees at once in several different places. Of course, with a multi-lingual workforce, many of these videos will have to have translations, subtitles, or some other way of relating the information in different languages.

Many employee communications companies offer sleek videos and platforms to get information across to multiple workers in multiple locations at the same time, but not all offer that content in languages everyone can understand.

An Opportunity for Marketers and Corporate Internal Communicators

employee benefitsSpanish is becoming more and more widely used in the United States. It is easily the second-most-used language in the US, with an estimated 40.5 million Spanish-speakers. By 2060, over 30% of the US population will be Hispanic or Latinx.

For marketers, of course, this means they have to start tailoring their messages to Latinx consumers. For an HR department, it means they should offer resources in Spanish so that all workers can access it and understand it. Many Latinx workers in the US know both Spanish and English, but a simple translation will ensure that everyone is getting and understanding the same information at the same time, and if you have remote workers who don’t speak English, you can reach them easily as well.

Helping Workplace Diversity Help You

If you want the best talent, you’ll have to pull from as many sources as possible. This is why American companies are reaching out ever further for workers in other parts of the world. Offices in the US, if they want to remain competitive, are becoming more diverse. Hiring managers can take the idea of workplace diversity too far, hiring different people just for the sake of diversity itself, but the demand for new modes of communication in the workplace is high and will continue to grow as diversity increases. Step out in front of this phenomenon by creating materials that can be seen, understood, and used by all. The more accommodating and considerate you are of those different than you, the deeper your talent pools will be, and the wider the distance between you and your competitors will be.

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