How to promote diversity and inclusion in the workplace with language learning

Now more than ever, HR teams across the world are putting diversity and inclusion at the top of the priority list. Organisations, global ones in particular, are increasingly embracing the challenge to promote diversity. To do so, language learning should be a key focus. Addressing cross-cultural communication is a fantastic way to make everyone feel included and accepted, as well as provide learning opportunities to all employees.

When running and working within a multicultural business environment, strong communication skills are key to success. This is why language learning is crucial to ensure there is no miscommunication or barriers, written or verbally. Teams often work together sharing knowledge, ideas, making decisions and coordinating projects, this can often be a difficult task when there is a lack of understanding between colleagues.

There are many ways to help your employees learn a new language, and this is usually through a training provider offering courses in a range of languages. These courses can also be tailored to suit the requirements of your business and workforce. This may include keywords and relevant terminology. Lessons can be taught in groups, whereby you can interact with teammates and managers you may not usually interact with. There is also the opportunity for staff members to have 1 to 1 sessions with a trained professional.

Benefits of language learning in the workplace

Improves workplace relationships

Whether you only communicate with those inside your office, or if you chat to clients across the world regularly, knowing more than your native language is highly beneficial. It gives people the opportunity to comfortably communicate with one another, without the worry that the message is not clear enough or there are cultural barriers. Culture is a huge part of language, when people break down walls, it makes it easier to create stronger bonds and builds a sense of trust with one another.

Increase the value of culture with inclusion   

By offering language training to your employees, it highlights the importance of inclusion and diversity in the workplace. Embracing languages allows employees to learn about new cultures. This is a great benefit, especially if your business is very diverse, and you interact with overseas clients. Being accepting of cultural differences helps to drive satisfaction and engagement, ensuring that employees are retained, and new talents are attracted. Not only will it make it easier to interact with one another, but it will also make those from other cultures feel more comfortable, respected and accepted in the workplace.

Embrace diversity and inclusion for increased productivity

When your staff members learn a new language, they learn more about each other and will likely become more empathetic with one another. As a result, employees understand how to work with each other on a more efficient level, and stronger relationships are built, making it easier to coordinate work. Great dynamics will be created and workflows can be accelerated throughout the organisation, all of which can result in a highly productive workforce.

Improves listening skills

Communicating across a range of different cultures requires the need to listen closely to what someone is saying, even more so than in your native language. Not only will this mean you will listen more intently to the words being said, but also the meaning behind those words, helping to reduce any conflict. As a result of this, your workforce will become more united.

 

For global and local businesses alike, it's important that diversity and inclusion are promoted in the workplace and language learning is a great way to do this. Focusing on D&I  helps to ensure your workforce is cooperating and collaborating on a higher level. 

Discover more with our Inclusive language guide: Creating a diverse workplace community

New call-to-action

Header image source