The Importance of Training Employees in their Native Languages
We work with a lot of companies and get rather involved in their training programs and HR functions. Often, we are asked to help companies translate their training content and transcreate some of their training materials. Some companies feel this effort is a must for employees who don’t speak the language the of the training material. Some companies question the efficacy and ROI. Of course, we feel it is important, but we are somewhat biased as we have been doing it for years and have seen the value up close.
In the US, it’s more frequent that companies have employees from different cultural backgrounds and who speak different languages. While English is widely spoken, it may not be the primary language for all employees or the employee’s English might not be good enough to comprehend all of the training content. This creates a challenge for businesses when it comes to training and communicating important information to these employees. If the training is only offered in English, it can lead to confusion, misunderstandings, and even mistakes on the job.
One solution for businesses is to provide training in employees’ native languages. This can be done through the use of translations, interpretations, and voice-overs. By providing training materials in the employee’s native language, businesses can better help the employee understand and retain more.
As I am writing this, we have at least three projects I know of today that are employee training. I’ll review them below to help you understand a sampling of our clients and how they are training their employees in their native languages.
The first company is in the service industry and while most of their employees are in the US, they have a Canadian division as well. We are helping the company provide training materials to its Canadian employees in French Canadian. This includes translating PowerPoint presentations and doing voice-over for training videos. This approach has been successful in ensuring that all employees, including those who speak French Canadian, have a clear understanding of the training materials. I believe this is the 4th or 5th comprehensive training we have translated for them.
Another company has an in-person training happening this week. This company is the leading provider of Artemia cysts in the world. They have a portion of their workforce who do not speak English and have periodic trainings that range from employee orientation, safety trainings and other HR trainings. As a result, we send our on-site interpreters to their trainings for their native Spanish speaking employees. This approach allows employees to have a live interpreter translate the training as it is being presented, ensuring that all employees can fully understand and participate in the training. Depending on the training, we recommend it be recorded in Spanish so they can use it for future employees.
Another training I know kicked off today is for a large local construction company. They are training more than 60 of their Spanish speaking employees on OSHA requirements. The training includes, an on-site interpretation, materials translation and interpretation equipment. The training is also being recorded for future use. We have worked with the company to show them how we build online training materials and tests to gauge competency. The work they do today should become a large asset for the company in the future.
It is important to note that providing training in employees’ native languages does come at a cost. However, the cost of investing in training is much less than the potential costs of on-the-job mistakes that could occur if employees do not fully understand the information. By providing training in employees’ native languages, businesses can not only improve employee engagement and retention but also increase productivity and avoid costly mistakes.
Hopefully, these examples and case uses for translation, interpretation, voiceover and subtitling of training materials helps you think about and plan your next training. If we can help you with it, we would love to be a part of your training.
International Translating Company helps businesses by providing a variety of language services that can be used to deliver training in employees’ native languages. These services include document translation, website localization, voice-over, subtitles, and on-site interpretation. With the help of International Translating Company, businesses can ensure that their employees have access to the training and information they need, regardless of the language they speak.