HR specialist John Crowley writes that “cultural differences can cause professional misunderstandings…it’s actually one of the biggest challenges for international HR.” With more diversity in the workplace than ever before, HR specialists have their work cut out for them.
Getting Everyone on the Same Page
Communication is of vast importance in any business, but it’s especially important in those that have gone global. HR has the responsibility of seeing that everyone within the company is on the same page. Poor communication can create a poor working environment when only half of the staff understands what’s happening. A lack of proper communication can lead to unfortunate misunderstandings that can sometimes create legal complications.
One major perk of good translation in HR is that it can help make a company more inclusive. This plays an important role in creating employee loyalty and retention, which ultimately affects your bottom line.
Major Areas of Importance for Translation
Policies and Procedures. When a policy or procedure is company-wide, city-to-city and country-to-country, it’s imperative that it is understood by all. This is where an improper translation can cost you more than just embarrassment; it can cost you good employees. Avoid any trouble with employment law, and be sure that translations are accurate and understood by all.
Employment Documents. All new-hires need to know as much as they can about their job and the company they are working for. This should include properly translated benefit plans, insurance documents and related website content (such as employee portals). This lets them do their own research instead of taking one-on-one time in the HR department.
Announcements and Communications. Company newsletters, blogs, announcements and corporate notices should be easily accessible to everyone in the company. Employees who speak different languages in other areas of the world should be able to feel included and educated on everything that’s going on. After all, it’s their company too.
Other important documents that should be translated in your workplace include:
• Employment applications
• Employee handbooks
• Workplace safety procedures
• Vacation and personal leave forms
• Training materials including closed captions for training videos
• Confidentiality agreements
• Employee review forms
• State and federal regulation documents
Help for Your HR Department
You might be tempted to use machine translation for your HR needs, but as John Crowley explains, “while this is certainly a useful service, it can lull you into a false sense of security – because, despite getting progressively better, machine translations can rarely translate and localize as well as another human being.”
At ITC Global Translations, our human translators come from around the globe and are trained in both language and industry specialization to ensure consistency and accuracy in all your HR materials.
Human Resource Communication can improve the strategic relationships within your business and support the culture, vision, and mission of your company. In a world where there’s enough to do to keep your business running, entrust your HR translations to an expert in the field. Contact us for more information on what your HR department really needs.