Being Bi-Lingual Should Not Be Required…

Technology most certainly has had its fair share of uses and has had both beneficial and negative impacts on economic and industrial markets. In the environment of global trade and technology systems, corporations and high-tech industry has evolved over the years into fully integrated systems that have replaced labor forces, increased production while providing record profits. While the shift in demand for labor forces is re-directed toward service industries. There is more of a demand for highly skilled workers, the technology service and repair industry, data and computer logistics system analysis, financial and protective securities, medical applications and a number of operational marketing and development applications geared toward the global markets.


Additional requirements such as experience and broad-based knowledge in several applications are now what companies are looking for when selecting managers and supervising staff to instruct and lead their team while maintaining increased growth and production processes. In the age of multi-cultural business, the demand for multi or bi-lingual managers has increased, leaving a shortage of managers and supervisors with experience in their fields that are multi-lingual capable. Another problem with multi-cultural companies is the mix of teams that have communication barriers that often prevent teams from working together successfully; additional time, errors and internal problems have often lead to negative results that effect production, profits and functionality of the operation.


If you have found yourself wondering how to approach this concern related to multi-cultural and multi-lingual problem, you have not been paying attention. Technology has been available and in use by many organizations to resolve the communication barrier through a wide variety of translators that have improved greatly over the years; Google Translator, Microsoft Droid, Apple and a number of other systems are narrowing perfection in the multi-language barrier. Hand-held devices are now able to download applications that recognize voice commands and sentences that are translated in virtually any language and if you are not using these applications yet, then you are behind the times and your company is suffering because of it.  


In a previous management position that I held in a production company, approximately 40% of my team did not speak, or spoke very little English. Production was down and communication was very slow even though I had someone interpret the language during general and team-based meetings. It was difficult to have a one-on-one conversation and usually involved personal discussion related to work and other aspects of job requirements. After a few weeks I installed an additional computer system in my office and yet another system that was centrally located in the production area and then downloaded Google Translator to both systems. Within hours, I was able to communicate effectively with all my employees and non-English speaking employees were able to communicate effectively with their English speaking only counterparts within the team.  


In a few short months, production increased 20% and within one year employee moral, teamwork and production increased by 40% due to all employees being able to provide input and narrowing the communication gap that once separated a non-effective team. Now many of those employees use hand-held applications for translating languages which has additional voice recognition and translating through audio that even decreased the time it takes to have conversations while effectively developing your team.  While some of these devices are not perfect, it will not be long until the “Universal Translator” becomes a reality….