As the world is getting smaller, every company needs to adapt to a multitude of different cultures and languages if they want to expand overseas. However, efficient communication with international partners is the main problem fueling the failure of global business compromises. Hence, the only way to win these deals is to adopt useful strategies for getting past the language barriers.
Your ability to appeal to the best talent around the world is improved since they feel like they can effectively communicate with their leader and teammate. Furthermore, it also makes them feel like they are understood and appreciated without any neglect despite their differences. There are no disadvantages to career advancement just because of language and communication gaps.
Relationships play an important role in business. Showing that you can communicate in the language of business partners is helpful. Even if you’re a new learner, your extra effort is highly appreciated, and they understand that you truly respect this opportunity. Once you become more fluent in the language, this will be your competitive advantage to be outstanding among your rivals. It’s not a big deal if you’re unable to speak in their language, as long as you both can communicate in a third language such as English.
There are plenty of risks related to language barriers in business that can arise when it comes to global development. It may start in both internal and external communication. Some of the most common situations are having awareness and planning to address business complaint issues, country particular laws and regulations, supply chain, and vendor management. One of the most underestimated risks is when managers and marketers lack cultural norms. Especially, it’s also challenging to understand the needs and expectations of foreign customers, packaging problems, marketing messages, etc. Hence, to effectively keep all the potential risks under control, you should implement several linguistic strategies for your firm.
According to statistics, almost half of nearly 600 executives acclaim that language misunderstanding is the main reason for missed global business deals. If businesses don’t handle it correctly, they can also lose their chance to create a credible brand image. So, what are the best approaches to overcoming language obstacles in the workplace?
Adapting all key documents into the employee’s primary language helps them fully comprehend the complicated tasks or instructions. Especially if your business has lots of staff in different offices, it’s ideal to translate vital documents into their native language. In this way, all of them can receive the same message.
A language course will be a great incentive for non-native employees to be familiar with the new culture and agilely overcome the obstacle of cultural and language differences. Teach them the regular and in-use words, phrases, warnings, and other communication elements that are essential for them to perform their work. This will also pave the way for meeting other foreign colleagues with similar backgrounds to quickly blend into the environment.
In some cases, the best way to learn something new is by watching the instruction. According to research, visuals help students to memorize new vocabulary and comprehend the grammar with fewer explanations in their mother language. Likewise, learning a new task will be easier if you can add graphics to demonstrate the guideline of the work for overseas employees. For instance, visuals such as PowerPoint presentations or hangouts may instantly help non-native staff understand what’s the requirement.
As with any new concept, most people don’t attain the key message the first time they hear it. Hence, it’s necessary to have your new overseas crews hear the message again before they fully grasp it. Of course, this should last only the first few times when they’re still the newcomers of the company, once they become familiar with the jobs, it’s unnecessary to apply this method.
It might be more interesting when you use jargon, slang, idiom, etc to express your message with other colleagues. However, this may cause some misunderstanding and awkward moments if some non-native staff involve in the conversation. In this situation, you should use more common words and structures to avoid getting your message lost.
Without proper solutions, language barriers in business may fuel extreme challenges for any company to step into the new market. Therefore, to overcome the very first obstacle of the globalization process, you should have your internal multinational resource communicate effectively.