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How to Improve Communication in a Multilingual Workplace


Communication is an essential piece of running a successful business. Excellent communication will impact your bottom line. When your staff can clearly communicate to prospects about how your services and products benefit them, prospects are converted to customers. When everyone is on the same page and understands your company’s goals, everyone feels involved, and with confidence they can work towards reaching these goals.

Effective communication is challenging especially now with the nature of the workforce changing to meet the needs of a global economy and workforce. Developing solid communication plans that outline cultural differences and communication strategies will build stronger teams and enrich company culture.

Below is a brief list of practices that companies have implemented to promote better communication in a multilingual organization.

Bridge the Language Gap

There are a number of practices that will help bridge the language gap. One is to invest in educational programs that prepare management to more effectively communicate with a multilingual workforce. Offer to hire a translator for employee meetings and trainings or when possible hire multilingual employees.

Encourage Employees to Pursue Educational Opportunities. As a perk, offer to send your employees to language and/or communication classes. If budgets allow offer to pay for approved classes, or courses. Even paying a portion of college classes would entice individuals to register. Encourage all of your staff to participate in this learning opportunity. Classes should be available to anyone in the organization, not just LEP (Limited English Proficient) employees. Help staff understand that even a basic understanding of another language will not only help organizational communication but help build better relationships with prospective clients and team members.

Provide training materials, newsletters, announcements, company legal documents and signage in multiple languages. Providing training and other materials to your employees in their first language not only ensures comprehension of the material, but also shows that you care about their professional development. Use many different channels of communication and interact in both verbal and written formats.

Actionpoint360 is a great eTraining solution that can help you deliver materials to users in their own language.

Coming soon to Actionpoint 360 you will be able to present your materials in one language and participants can follow along in the language of their choice. Presenters will be able to upload multiple versions of the same PowerPoint presentation and participants can select the language they prefer. Even remote employees will be able to access and complete translated materials. Want to learn more about Actionpoint360? Visit or stop by our booth at one of the following tradeshows.

  • ATD TechKnowledge: Booth 421, Jan. 24-25 San Jose, CA
  • Training Conference: Booth 618, Feb. 11-14 Atlanta, GA
  • Firehouse World: Booth 1550, March 5-7 San Diego, CA
  • ILEETA: Booth 428, March 19-21 St. Louis, MO
  • FDIC: Booth 9633, April 25-28, Indianapolis, IN
  • ATD International: Booth 1527, May 6-9 San Diego, CA


Many companies have started to invest in multilingual training in this rapidly growing global economy. Providing materials to your staff that are relevant and clearly communicate your organizational goals will create a safer, healthier and more productive work environment. Promoting a multilingual and multicultural workforce will not only open up more opportunities but further improve efficiency and foster relationships among team members and clients. What are some strategies your organization uses to streamline training for a multilingual staff?


Tags: corporate training , Actionpoint360 , multilingual training , etraining , elearning

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