How Can I Communicate With My Non-English Speaking Employees?
Nearly 67.8 million people in the United States speak a language other than English in their home, which equates to about one in five people, according to a recent U.S. Census Bureau report. With that many people speaking languages other than English, it’s very likely that you will now, or in the future, be hiring non-English speaking employees. This does present a challenge, however, for employers and managers who have a language barrier with their employees. From training and onboarding to daily communications and even scheduling texts to employees, there is a lot to think through.
Fortunately, there are a number of workplace translation tools that can help you communicate effectively with your non-English speaking employees. In this blog we’ll answer the question, “How do you communicate with employees who don’t speak English?” by discussing tools and strategies you can use to foster better communication and engagement.
How Do You Communicate With Someone Who Doesn’t Speak the Same Language in the Workplace?
There are several tools and strategies you can use to effectively communicate with employees who have limited English proficiency, including interpreters, professional translators, language translation software, and text message translation tools (like Yourco!). Let’s explore how each of these options can empower your team to have better, more engaged conversations with all your employees.
While an interpreter may not always be necessary, they provide exceptional value in the case of long meetings. For example, you may use an interpreter for onboarding or training non-English speaking employees where there may be a lot of back and forth between employees and managers or trainers. These professionals are able to seamlessly convey the message and meaning from a source language (in this case, English) to a target language. With interpreters, you can feel confident that your employees with limited English speaking abilities understand exactly what you’re saying in real time.
While interpreters use spoken communication, translators work with the written word. Professional translators convert written documents, like employee handbooks or training manuals, from one language to another. One of the perks of using a professional translator is that they ensure that the true meaning and intent of the message is being conveyed, which is one solution to how to overcome language barriers in the workplace. Typically, businesses work with translators on a freelance or project basis, reserving these services for only the most important documents.
Language Translation Software
Language translation software is ideal for situations where you need a short document or message converted quickly. These online tools work fairly easily. Simply copy and paste what you want to say into a text box and receive the translated massage. And while these tools can be quite effective, they do require you to juggle multiple tabs or windows on your screen, which can make the whole process feel inefficient.
Text Message Translation Tools
Finally, for day-to-day communications, text messaging translation tools can be a real lifesaver. With Yourco, for example, you can translate text messages directly in our platform without having to deal with additional software programs or applications. With the ability to translate text messages into 135 different languages—including colloquial phrases—communicating with non-native English speakers couldn’t be easier.
How does it work? Youco users simply need to:
- Log into the Yourco platform and select “Message Employees.”
- Type in the name of the person, location, department, or group you’d like to text as well as the message.
- Select “Translate Message” and choose the appropriate language.
- Click “Translate” and then click “Confirm.”
- Send your message to your employee.
Our platform even translates text messages you receive in a few short steps:
- Open the message you’ve received in the Yourco platform.
- Click on the three dots at the bottom of the message and select “Translate Message.”
- Select the language you’d like and click “Translate.”
Yourco makes it easy for everyone, from managers and HR representatives to employees, to communicate via SMS text message.
How Do You Handle Language Barriers in the Workplace? With Yourco
Your ability to communicate with all of your employees, no matter what language they speak, is critical. Not only does it ensure they receive all of the information that they need to succeed at work, but it also guarantees that they feel welcomed and engaged in your company. That’s exactly why we created Yourco—to make it easier for businesses to connect with their employees, especially non-desk employees who rely on their phones and text messaging for communication.
With Yourco, you no longer have to worry about potential language barriers. Instead, you can effectively communicate with English speaking and non-English speaking employees whenever you need to send out a message, announcement, or update. Ready to see it for yourself? Schedule a demo today; we’d love to hear from you!