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Effectively manage language barriers at work with this simple tip

by , 18 February 2016
Diversity is what South Africa is made of, and so it needs to be embraced if we are to move forward.

In other words, being able to effectively manage diversity in the workplace is vital to the success of any South African business.

Now, while there are many steps you can take in effectively managing diversity in the workplace, one of the most important has to do with language.

After all, it's effective communication that can lead to understanding, cooperation and results. And those are all things that businesses require to function.

So, having said that, here is how you can effectively manage language barriers in the workplace...

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Communicating for diversity in the workplace:

In a diverse workforce, which is somewhat unavoidable in a South African context, workers will speak different languages.

What this means is that the 'language of instruction' in your company might not be every employee's home language.

So, what you'll need to do is introduce a culture of tolerance and respect in the workplace regarding language limits and barriers.

What can you do?

To help address these language differences, you can introduce translations.

You should ensure that all important messages are translated into the main languages which most of your employees speak.

This will ensure that they understand them.

BUT keep in mind that all languages don't link perfectly. In other words, some words, which exist in one language, may not exist in another.

And so you should ensure that your word choice can be effectively translated into other languages while still maintaining the meaning of the message.
 
*To learn much more on how to manage diversity in the workplace, page over to chapter D 02: Diversity in the workplace of your Practical Guide to Human Resources handbook.

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