Businesses today are more global than they have ever been. At the touch of a button, technology has made it possible to communicate with anyone. As a result, more businesses are expanding globally and seeking new markets to explore. However, language barriers at work make international communication difficult for many people.
While technology allows seamless collaboration, navigating multiple languages presents a more difficult challenge. That’s why so many businesses recognise the importance of fully integrated digital workplaces that can bring people together in various languages.
Why aren’t companies experimenting with new languages?
Shortages in various industries—from technology and cybersecurity to manufacturing and construction—could be filled if companies tapped into skilled resources outside of their home country; they frequently refuse to hire these workers because they don’t speak the company’s native language.
For example, up to 75% of the population speaks only one language in some European countries, especially in English-speaking countries. Employers can refuse to hire someone who does not speak the chosen language fluently. Still, it is also possible to facilitate a more open communication policy with the right assistance.
· Train Your Employees
Whether it’s your first time branching out into international markets or you’ve done business in other countries before, your employees must be well-equipped to handle communication with customers worldwide. Employee foreign language training will give your company a competitive advantage and make international integration much easier.
When foreign customers are approached in their native language, it is always appreciated, and it can help your company’s reputation in other markets. Furthermore, language training allows your employees to develop their personal qualities while improving internal communications.
· Have a Close Focus
However, you won’t be able to train your team in every language available. As a result, when deciding on an international expansion strategy, it’s best to concentrate on a smaller market with which you have the strongest business ties. This will allow you to focus on learning the market’s cultural and linguistic specifics and becoming proficient in communicating in that language.
When approaching language barriers one at a time, it is easier to overcome them; spreading yourself too thin by attempting to lead efficient communication across multiple markets can have a negative impact on the quality of the interactions.
· Have a Multilingual Website
Localising your website is crucial in ensuring that customers worldwide are aware of your brand’s message and philosophy.
Having the contents of your website translated into the native language of the markets into which you are expanding will allow you to maintain a personal level of communication with your customers while also demonstrating that you care about how your brand is perceived internationally.
· Give Details Across Multiple Platforms
Some techniques for smooth international communications include creating marketing materials such as newsletters and brochures in your partners’ native language and following up phone calls with emails summarising the discussed details.
Another way to lead a more straightforward and personal communication is to use social media to facilitate a deeper level of engagement – creating interactive videos, and online materials is another way to do so. Avoid using complex language or terms specific to your own culture when creating these materials, as this can be confusing for your partners and lead to unexpected reactions.
· Use Visual Methods of Communication
Visual communication is a very effective tool. Humans, after all, are primarily visual learners. When it comes to overcoming language barriers, this is also important.
You want to use pictures instead of text to convey your messages, instructions, or assignments. This entails providing your team with signs, cue cards, and other visual aids.
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