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October 10, 2019By legaltranslationsGeneral

Advantages of Employees’ Handbook Translations

Many businesses these days don’t just depend on speakers of their own native language as employees. There are many examples of temporary migrant labour being employed for short periods of time to undertake seasonal jobs. This doesn’t mean that these employees shouldn’t be kept fully informed through effective communication by use of a handbook in their language as it is not always possible to engage effectively with employees who have limited English competency.  An employee’s handbook is the communication tool which exists between the company and its employees. It provides a description of the rights and obligations of all employees. In addition, it outlines the legal rights of the employer. It is of the utmost importance that a company’s goal, image, rules, mission, regulations and rules are all clearly spelt out to employees.

The majority of companies in the U.S. and throughout the world hire employees from a variety of different language and cultural backgrounds.  Sometimes, an employee will speak a completely different language while at other times s/he may be multilingual. An employee’s handbook available in the languages of all employees is essential to ensure all employees know company rules and expectations.

What is an employee’s handbook?

  1. An employee’s handbook informs employees of the company’s benefits, policies and expectations. If the handbook is translated it informs the employee at the start of their job everything there is to know about the company. It also gives a sense of belonging from the very start when they can read the important information in their own language. Employees are much more likely to be good at their job and integrate when they have quickly gained a full understanding of the company.
  2. It helps to improve safety and productivity because the translation of the employee’s handbook describes what safety equipment is available on site and what may be required by the employee to use on the job. A good translation improves the knowledge of the employee from the start. Few limited English employees are likely to wade through an employee handbook if it is not in their language.
  3. A well-translated employee’s handbook helps to minimize the risk of a workplace dispute. The sorts of disputes that are often commonplace in a workplace are often over sexual harassment, discrimination and when an employee has not been compliant. A translated employee handbook helps to avoid the most common workplace lawsuits and disputes. It is far cheaper than going through the process of litigation because of a problem caused by a misunderstanding by an employee because s/he did not understand aspects of working with the company.
  4. A well-translated employee’s handbook helps to create an all-inclusive environment. It is a morale booster and improves employee satisfaction as well as promoting loyalty between the employee and the company. The translation shows the company cares at least a bit about its employees and is committed to ensuring full engagement between both parties.

Employee handbook and other translations

Once the handbook has been translated into all the languages of both new and existing employees there are other documents that could do with a translation too. This could include any of the following:

  • training manuals and materials;
  • safety procedure documents;
  • arbitration agreements;
  • contract documents;
  • the company’s policies;
  • review forms;
  • applications for leave;
  • available benefit packages;

Multilingual video conferencing to accompany a handbook translation

Many companies these days who have employees scattered all over the world use multilingual video conferencing as a way of keeping different employees in touch and even conducting interviews with potential candidates in other countries. These could include any of the following:

  • a training workshop;
  • a company meeting;
  • a safety meeting;
  • an interview;
  • reviews;
  • training in dealing with sexual harassment;
  • a conference or other company event.

How an employee’s handbook translation takes place

When a company’s employee’s handbook is translated, all translators commissioned to complete the job are usually required to sign a strict non-disclosure agreement so that the company’s confidentiality is maintained throughout the translation process. After the translation has been completed, it is reviewed by the translation services most experienced translator in that language pair. This ensures that no mistakes have been made which could lead to misunderstandings. Presenting the right information in many languages isn’t always easy. All industries have their own specialized wording and terminology that needs careful attention throughout the translation. When an employee’s handbook is to be translated, the company needs to be sure that German-speaking workers are able to access exactly the same information as the Spanish-speaking ones.  This requires experience and dedication by the translator.

An excellent safety record due to a company’s multilingual employee’s handbook keeps all employees happy and the business’s reputation remains healthy.

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