There are 743 million non-native English speakers in the US. The number will continue to rise as more people flood into the US seeking better opportunities.
With this trend, you can get individuals from diverse backgrounds working for you. You’ll be surprised by the brilliance of a diverse team.
However, language barriers tend to slow down the efficiency of multi-cultural teams. Poor communication will lead to delayed timelines, and even worse, it can be a safety hazard.
If you’re wondering if there is anything you can do to improve communication techniques, we got you covered. Let’s look at how managers can best communicate with non-native English-speaking employees.
Use Plain Language
Non-native English speakers may not be the most proficient in the language, but they strive to learn common terms. Thus, you should use plain language as much as possible.
Using complex jargon to sound like a pro isn’t doing your team any good. You will only increase the chance of miscommunication.
Encourage the other employees to do so. The clarity in direct messages is key for smooth operations.
Provide English Classes
Sometimes you have to work with non-native English speakers in technical environments. This will demand the use of complex jargon. Thus, you might consider adding a short English course highlighting your business vocabulary.
Learning English will improve communications across all your teams. Besides, it’ll open up more international opportunities.
Use Visual Methods
Most communication techniques use words to convey messages. However, you can fail to convey the most critical message. Thus, it’s wise to use diagrams and pictures to communicate complicated concepts.
Besides, some diagrams in safety training have universal meanings. Use the visual cues to get everyone on the same page. To better understand how you can train better, read more on safetyskills.com.
Even when both parties speak the same language, repetition is paramount when communicating an idea. This case also applies when communicating with non-native English-speaking employees.
They are likely to remember something that you said more than once. When repeating, emphasize the keywords.
Maintain Your Cool
It can be quite frustrating when you keep repeating a message and your team doesn’t get it. You’ll need to be patient and understand that the person doesn’t understand your language.
In the same capacity, you don’t understand theirs. Thus, it’s important to keep your cool. Going off on an employee will only add to the communication barrier.
Their inability to understand your language doesn’t mean that they are less brilliant at their jobs. So, you can risk losing valuable employees when you raise your voice at them.
How to Communicate to Non-Native English Speakers
It’s in your best interest to foster better communication techniques within your workplace. This will improve your team’s efficiency and lead to more international opportunities.
Proper communication is also key in safety training. It’s best to offer free English classes to non-native English-speaking employees.
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