How to Handle Language Barriers in the Workplace by Clayton Browne Minimizing language barriers in the workplace will help improve productivity.
Cultural Barriers in the Workplace Posted on: July 29, 0 comments Cultural communication barriers in the workplace can create problems in productivity and morale.
Recognizing these barriers and dealing with them in a constructive, positive way reaps rewards for HR personnel. Verbal Barriers In our global world, many workplaces have individuals who have come from another country and English is their second language.
Not only is their native language different, they operate on a different set of specific idioms and terms. Even when an employee comes from a different region within the States, different nuances and pronunciations can create difficulties.
For example, a three-syllable word in the Midwest may be drawn into a five syllables in the South or chopped into two syllables in the New England states. Likewise, there can be informal language and communication styles that, while sometimes humorous, can also wreak havoc among employees.
Even style of verbal communication can make a difference.
In the United States, we value direct feedback, but in some countries, this is considered rude — they prefer a more gentle indirect communication. We also accept authority from women in leadership roles, while in some cultures; women are rarely assertive with men. Even if they hold a leadership role in the States, they find it difficult to speak with authority to men.
Nonverbal Barriers Personal space can create serious issues. Some cultures are very in-your-face with each other and stepping back from them is taken as an insult, while others are just the opposite — getting too close is a sign of disrespect.
In Latin America and other cultures, business is never discussed until sufficient conversation is spent on family, leisure activities, etc. So how can we effectively deal with these differences? Choosing to address these issues must begin at the top — management sets the direction and pace for implementing steps to break through the barriers and create a productive business culture and high morale.
Translate all pertinent documents. Use visual methods of communication — especially in training. Offer language classes — encourage English-speaking employees to learn some basic words in the second language. Never equate a language struggle with ineptitude.
When communicating, use simpler words, but never talk louder with pronounced enunciation or speak down to the other person.In addition to language barriers in the workplace, other cultural diversity workplace issues can also surface. As manager, or even a co-worker to someone from a different culture, it’s generally best to accept and not try to change your employee/coworker.
Language barriers can be a major problem in the workplace, so proactive managers will take steps to deal with the issue. Acknowledge that poor communication is a problem in your workplace. Language barriers are found at many workplaces simply because no one wants to hurt anyone else's feelings by admitting they frequently have difficulty understanding what is said.
Language Barriers Cause Problems. The influx of Hispanics into the Midwest and South is creating a language barrier in many communities, forcing changes in how governments provide services and. Definition of Language Barriers Language is needed for any kind of communication, even people with speech impairments communicate with sign language and brail.
Communication becomes difficult in situations where people don’t understand each others’ language. The inability to communicate using a language is known as language barrier .
Cultural communication barriers in the workplace can create problems in productivity and morale. Recognizing these barriers and dealing with them in a constructive, positive way reaps rewards for .
In this article, he describes language barriers in the workplace and aims to encourage continued study with a diplomacy degree through Norwich University. Photo Credit: Shutterstock Joshua Turner Joshua Turner is a writer who creates informative articles relating to business.