Maybe you’re trying to recruit diverse or overseas workers. Maybe your business is expanding internationally, and you want your offices to reflect your newfound global scale. Whatever your reasons for thinking about multilingualism at work, here are just a few of the benefits that you’ll enjoy from employees who can rock multiple languages.
Increased Diversity in the Workplace
Diversity and inclusion (D&I) initiatives have been positively linked with mental health in the workplace. They can be used to promote empathy, combat microaggressions, and unconscious biases, and help employees feel seen and supported through cultural or racial representation. Encouraging multilingualism isn’t the only way to practice good D&I, but it can be one of several steps to take when revamping your office in a positive, inclusive light.
Greater Recruitment Opportunities
Are you struggling to fill the ranks? You’ll be able to significantly widen your pool of prospective employees if you take English fluency off the table. There are a number of jobs where speaking or writing English is less important than other skills, and there are also many ways to accommodate employees with limited English proficiency. Translation apps, for example, can be used for everyday communication between multilingual employees. Interpreters can be called in for important things like interviews and orientations.
A Wider Client Base
Just as you can reach more employees with a multilingual business, you can reach more clients and customers by offering language translation services while they try to patronize your business. They don’t even need to be based overseas. America is a melting pot of demographics, and by offering multiple language options for your customers, you’ll be encouraging business from folks from all walks of life. You can utilize multilingual services for your websites, social media accounts, customer service calls, in-person client meetings, and more.
Stronger Cognitive Power
Research has shown that people who speak multiple languages are able to process information more efficiently than those who speak a single language. This is excellent news if you’ve hired any remote or overseas workers who are multilingual, and it can also benefit you if you start any language-learning initiatives in your company. Offer your employees the chance to train in a new language to better connect with their customers or coworkers. You’ll sharpen their minds while also improving their connections and communication skills.
A Globalized Business Environment
You don’t have to be an international company to benefit from a more globalized mindset. You might have overseas customers, for example, or your industry might be sensitive to overseas markets. You might even find yourself wanting to recruit and relocate new employees from abroad. Having a multilingual, multicultural office can broaden the horizons of your business and maybe even prepare you for international expansion one day.
These are just a few reasons why you might consider promoting multilingualism in the workplace. It can come with many advantages for the open-minded, and these advantages can be felt in both the short and long term.