Through advancements in tech and infrastructure have played a massive role in decreasing physical boundaries, cultural and language barriers are still a predominant challenge that is yet to be overcome. Companies and businesses today prefer to hire a multicultural workforce for several different reasons.
They include round the clock support, increased productivity, decreased costs, among other reasons. However, with diversity in the workforce, there are also other associated challenges.
What are the challenges that arise from hiring a multi-cultural or multilingual workforce? Here are some of the common challenges that you may have to deal with when you hire a multicultural workforce:
This is often considered one of the most significant challenges with a diverse workforce. Language barriers result in misunderstandings, inefficient communication, misinterpretations, low quality of services, and seclusion, among other challenges.
A diverse workforce is often advantageous for several different reasons. But it also comes with a lot of cultural and traditional differences. You may have to provide special accommodations or exclusions in such cases to avoid hurting sentiments or beliefs.
However, having a diverse workforce is not always a bad thing. It also offers significant benefits and advantages that you can enjoy, such as improved innovation, productivity, diversity, among others.
Fixing the language barrier at the workplace
There are several things that you can do to reduce the linguistic and cultural gaps at your workplace, including:
Requesting for Clarification
A fundamental rule of thumb at the workplace is never to assume. If you are unclear about any particular aspect of a conversation, it is always better to ask for clarification again and again until you understand the concept.
It is a known fact that all people need to listen to something at least 3 or 4 times to fully grasp a concept. Asking for clarification can help you better understand the person you are talking to and ensure that you don’t draw any wrong conclusions from the conversation
Leverage on Interpreters
In the case of essential situations such as employee feedback sessions, meetings, or other similar jobs, hiring an interpreter can help you accurately translate the intended message without losing any value.
Interpreters today have become a vital part of most organizations. Not only do they help in better communication within the workplace, but they can also play a considerable role in serving your clients more efficiently.
Use Visual Communication as Often as you can
A good practice while communicating with your colleagues is to use different forms of visual communication. This can come in handy during sales pitches, meetings, client communication, and other situations.
Visual communications such as PowerPoint presentations, videos, and slides leave little room for ambiguity and ensure that your message is communicated effectively. Visual content is processed more efficiently and faster when compared to other forms of communication. Additionally, visual content is readily retained by the viewers.
Language barriers can be a challenging situation. However, body languages are quite universal and similar throughout the world. Be mindful of how you present yourself when communicating with someone else. It is better to use calm and neutral gestures to be more productive and approachable.
Educate Yourself About Other Cultures
Often times, differences occur due to lack of knowledge about other cultures that may end up offending someone else or cause conflicts. It is essential to respect other cultures and traditions that may be different from yours. Taking some time out to educate yourself can go a long way in reducing the communication barrier with your colleagues.
A workplace can have people from many different cultures and regions. Things may not always be smooth in terms of communication and work culture. However, there are a lot of things that you can do to reduce the communication gap and have a better bond with your colleagues.
This can play a massive role in improving workplace efficiency and productivity. Remember! A happy workplace can be conducive to a productive and innovative environment. Take some time out to keep yourself educated and informed about different traditions and cultures.