As the world economy continues to open up and workers around the globe gain more vocational mobility, various cultures and languages have rapidly come together across industries. Hospitality cleaning servicesmake up one of the largest sectors with multilingual workers. This growing prominence of the multicultural workplace has made many organizations more dynamic, forward-thinking, and globally-minded. However, this change has brought about some barriers, too, most notably in terms of communication. Without a common tongue and cultural code, workers on multilingual teams can struggle to connect with one another, fail to work toward common interests, and not feel heard within the company. This disunity can stifle or even tear down teams and the entire organization over time. Businesses must endeavor to break through these cultural and language barriers if they wish to thrive now and in the future. Here are five tips to maximize teamwork in multilingual teams.
1. Focus on Common Goals
A team is not a team until it’s united around a shared purpose. Every industry, whether it’s finance, manufacturing, or commercial cleaning, should have a mission and a set of common goals in place to keep team members focused, motivated, and unified. In multilingual organizations, conveying these details can be challenging and might require additional training, technology, and resources. However, once the message is delivered, every worker, regardless of their language of origin, can maintain a collective awareness of what matters to the team and the company and feel like they’re a part of something bigger.
2. Cultivate a Shorthand for Your Operation
Languages are complex, but they’re all rooted in symbolism. Knowing this, companies can develop a sort of language of their own, using images, simple keywords, and mnemonic devices that are easy to remember for all team members. For instance, a cleaning services provider might include pictures on its worksheets and labels that clearly indicate the purpose or location of an object or task. Additionally, codes based on colors, numbers, or letters might be implemented to signify procedures, areas, resources, or anything else pertaining to the job. Creating a simple shorthand for multilingual teams will streamline every process and reduce confusion.
3. Hire and Designate Team Translators
Organizations can improve the efficiency and communication of their multilingual teams by purposefully hiring candidates that speak more than one language. These employees can fulfill other roles, too, but they can also serve as liaisons between employees and teams. The best janitorial companieswill survey their current employees and potential hires to see who’s fluent in certain languages so whenever a translation is needed, someone is there to facilitate the message clearly. Multilingual individuals are major assets to any company, as they make workers feel more comfortable when speaking and reduce perceptions of power differentials based on fluency and comprehension.
4. Invest in Diversity Training
Language can be a major barrier to overcome. But in many ways, cultural differences present bigger obstacles. Team members from various backgrounds might have disparate views on how to respond to authority, how to collaborate with others, which kind of humor is acceptable, and much more. These distinctions can lead to misunderstandings within the organization that can break down trust and camaraderie. Diversity awareness programs can help team members learn about cultures outside of their own to mitigate misconceptions, encourage acceptance, and bring teams closer together.
5. Embrace New Technology!
Modern technology is beginning to close the communication gap in promising ways. Online translation tools like Wordbee, Smartcat, Memsource, and Google Translate can translate between multiple languages with increasing speed and accuracy. Some of this software can even perform complex translations (accounting for both vocabulary and grammar) in almost real-time. This translation tech will only continue to improve, helping companies with multilingual teams get on the same page with fewer resources.Successful businesses rely on strong communication at all levels. By reinforcing common goals, developing shorthands for your company, hiring multilingual employees, and investing in diversity training and translation technology, your teams can work together more effectively despite differences in language and culture.At The Budd Group, we hire the most qualified, service-focused individuals to take care of our customers. We are an equal opportunity employer based in Nashville TN and provide employment based on individual capabilities and qualifications without discrimination due to race, color, religion, sex, age, national origin, disability or veteran status. To learn more about our janitorial servicesand other offerings, as well as our people and our mission, give us a call today at 800-221-8158!