In Compliance

There’s no question that there is a direct correlation between a company’s success and the engagement of its employees. Consider a few statistics:

  • Organizations with highly engaged employees average 3-year revenue growth 2.3 times greater than those with employees engaged at “average” levels.[1]
  • Disengaged workers have 37% higher absenteeism, 49% more accidents, and 60% more errors and defects.[2]
  • Organizations with low employee engagement scores experience 18% lower profitability, 37% slower job growth, 16% lower productivity, and a staggering 65% lower share price over time.[3]

Engaging an employee necessarily starts with a simple concept: communication. To create an environment that allows each employee to succeed, employers must communicate vast amounts of information on a host of topics.  For multinational corporations and domestic corporations with multilingual employees, effective communication means translating important documents into employees’ native languages.

But which documents are “important”? While this can and does vary from company to company, there are three main categories of documents that should be considered for translation: Human Resources Documents, Safety Materials, and Operation Instructions.

Human Resources Documents

Human resources documents govern much of the employer-employee relationship. They set expectations of employees. They also provide legal protection, from defending an unemployment claim to protecting confidential information. For multinational corporations, translating HR documents may be required by law.[4] Even in in countries without specific HR document translation requirements, like the U.S., other laws and regulations may impose de-facto translation requirements, such as qualified retirement plans that must be submitted to the IRS and the U.S. Department of Labor.[5]

Key HR Documents to consider for translation include:

  • Employee Handbooks
  • Policies and Procedures
  • Employment Contracts
  • Confidentiality and/or Non-Competition Agreements
  • Benefits Materials

Safety Materials

Keeping employees safe from workplace injury and illness means educating them on the safety practices relevant to your business and their jobs. As addressed more fully in our White Paper, Keeping Your Employees Safe at Work, native language safety materials first and foremost save lives, but also save time, money and resources to positively influence the bottom line.

Key Safety Materials to consider for translation include:

  • Safety manuals
  • Warning labels/posters
  • Safety training

Operation Instructions

Especially in the manufacturing environment, employees frequently must operate machinery or use unique tools as part of their jobs.  Ensuring that employees understand the operation instructions that guide the safe and efficient use of machinery and tools is key for improving productivity, improving workplace safety, and minimizing legal risk. Consider the Dublin, Georgia contractor fined near $50,000 when a motorized compactor run by a non-English-speaking operator overturned resulting in loss of his leg. Key to OSHA’s decision was the fact that the instructions for the compactor were in English only.[6]

Key Operation Instructions to consider for translation include:

  • Machinery
  • Vehicles
  • Non-motorized Tools
  • Safety equipment (like fire extinguishers, emergency shut offs, etc.)

Whether you’re already doing business globally, considering expanding into new countries, or employ Limited English Proficient workers here in the U.S., communicating with your multilingual workforce is key to employee engagement. Translating your Human Resources documents, Safety Materials, and Operation Instructions is a great way to build an inclusive culture that results in high employee engagement.

At Vocalink Global, we understand the importance of engaging and activating your multilingual workforce. Our The InsideOut solution is uniquely designed to enable your multilingual and multicultural employee engagement initiatives.

[1]

[2] See https://smith.queensu.ca/magazine/issues/winter-2014 and http://news.gallup.com/reports/178514/state-american-workplace.aspx.

[3] See https://smith.queensu.ca/magazine/issues/winter-2014 and http://news.gallup.com/reports/178514/state-american-workplace.aspx.

[4] See https://www.littler.com/publication-press/publication/how-make-global-employee-communications-comply-overseas-translation

[5]  See https://www.littler.com/publication-press/publication/how-make-global-employee-communications-comply-overseas-translation

[6] See https://foresternetwork.com/daily/construction/safety-liability-and-productivity-breaking-the-language-barrier-on-construction-sites/

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