Nurturing Bilingual Employees for Business Success
Workforce development and the importance of bilingualism
Any business that wants to continuously grow and thrive should strongly consider placing a major emphasis on developing a bilingual staff. After all, English isn't the only language that will be spoken by your customers, and you can more effectively reach out to a wider audience if you have at least one employee who can speak multiple languages. For example, Census data indicates that 4.8% of Virginia residents speak Spanish, and this means that your company probably needs someone who is fluent in this language in order to meet the needs of all of your local clients.
How Can We Attract Bilingual Candidates?
The first step toward building a bilingual staff is to make it clear in your employment advertisements that being bilingual is a plus. Keep in mind that it's not necessary for everyone on your staff to speak another language, but it can be very beneficial to have at least one person available who can speak and write in each of the major languages. In other words, Spanish, French, German, Japanese, Korean, Arabic and Chinese are definitely languages to target, and you should also consider the specific needs of your target market areas.
Nurturing Bilingual Employees
Studying another language at some point in the past will not keep your bilingual employees up to date enough to be completely reliable. Therefore, you need to provide them with opportunities to continuously practice their skills and acquire new knowledge. Keep in mind that if you've branched out to an international market, your bilingual workers could be expected to have at least a basic grasp of regional colloquialisms when they speak to your clients. Fortunately, these employees can take refresher courses and sign up for advanced classes that will keep them updated on regional phrases and slang terms.
Preparing Your Management Staff for Success
Even if your management staff doesn't speak multiple languages, they'll need to be properly trained to understand the importance of working with employees who are bilingual. We can offer customized training that can assist with this process. We also recommend selecting a high-level employee to learn at least the basics of the most common secondary language that your company will encounter based on your specific customers and location.
Is Bilingualism Really Necessary?
You should definitely consider bilingualism to be an integral part of your business plan unless you want to appeal to only one customer base in a limited market. As an added bonus, research indicates that bilingual individuals are typically more intelligent than those who speak only one language. If you need assistance with the management aspects of this business reality, contact TCC Workforce Solutions to learn how we can help.