By Joe Oliveto
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For decades now, running a major corporation frequently involved managing a global workforce. Thanks to major advancements in communications technology, it’s now possible–and common–for small startups to employ workers all across the planet.
From a financial perspective, this is ideal. You’ll save money on office space with a remote workforce, and you’ll be able to hire the best, most productive employees. Depending on the nature of your business, employing a remote team of international workers could also help you reduce the amount of money spent on technology, equipment, and office materials.
That said, keeping your international employees engaged requires making sure all key documents are properly translated for them.
(Keep in mind that some documents may require notarized or certified translations.)
In addition to the basic HR and onboarding paperwork that will need to be issued in the various languages of your employees, you need every member of your team to be fully committed so don’t stop there. Translating the following essential items will ensure that all of your employees understand your goals and values.
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Employee Engagement Publications
Does your company circulate internal newsletters or similar publications designed to instill a sense of purpose and engagement in your employees? If so, make sure every member of your team benefits by translating these publications for them. Due to the cultural nuances of language, you’ll get the best results if you hire a professional translation service. You can defray the costs by issuing the publications in digital instead of paper format.
Any documents you share with your employees regarding the company’s finances require professional translations that account for issues like currency differences. All employees have a right to know the financial status of their company, and translating currency language when necessary can help them better understand the relevance if the information you share.
Anytime you release a new training document for your employees, it needs to be translated for your entire global workforce. Properly and thoroughly training every single worker is simply in the best interests of the corporation. This rule applies even to multimedia training documents that take the form of videos or slideshows. Although translating a video may be time-consuming, it’s one of your responsibilities when your company has employees from several different parts of the world.
A global workforce can be a uniquely valuable asset for your company. If your international employees are enthusiastic about your organization, they’ll be far more likely to promote it in their own communities, boosting your overall brand awareness.
Financially speaking, this offers a major advertising advantage. Some startups are forced to devote substantial portions of their marketing budget to overseas, translated ads. This is simply the most effective way for them to increase awareness in a foreign market. If you have international employees and they’re happy with the company, they can do a lot of free advertising for you.
Take the time to accurately translate all of your branded content, working with a professional to address the subtle cultural differences that can affect its impact. Pay particular attention to translating any materials that encourage your employees to represent the brand’s message in their dealings with customers.
Your company’s branding embodies its overall cultural identity; you want that message to translate clearly in all of your markets.
Corporate Progress Reports
According to The Harvard Business Review, employees tend to be significantly more engaged with their work and the overall company if they are kept up to date on not only the current status of the organization, but also the overall corporate goals. Early data outlined in the Harvard report indicates that increased engagement may have a substantial, positive impact on employee performance.
That’s why many business leaders make it a point to periodically circulate documents explaining to their employees how successful the company has been at achieving its goals, and what additional steps they plan to take in the future to ensure their further success.
Though managers may remember to translate these documents, they may forget that there are plenty of other corporate materials that also serve to communicate the organization’s goals and progress. Whether they’re speeches made at employee events, presentations delivered to shareholders, or even the minutes of board meetings, there are a number of often unofficial corporate progress report documents you should translate for your international workforce. In his research on peak performance, Hungarian psychologist Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi discovered that having a clear goal to achieve, along with clear updates on your progress, plays a major role in improving performance and boosting overall interest in a task.
Essentially, keeping your employees aware of your major corporate mission is key to keeping them engaged. You won’t reach all members of your team if you only translate the basic documents necessary for administrative tasks. If you want your global workforce to thrive, you should collaborate with a translation specialist. By doing so, it can provide all of your employees with accurate, culturally-sensitive translations of any materials that communicate your corporate values, strategy, and progress in an efficient and high-quality manner.
An international workforce represents an opportunity to keep costs low while boosting revenue. Make sure your overseas employees are engaged with their work.