March 25, 2023
Luckily, there are plenty of resources to help you learn a language quickly, while simply immersing yourself in the culture can
8-Step Guide to Succeeding In a Bilingual Office 

It’s one thing to relocate your family for work, but it can be even more stressful if moving to another country to grow a business. The sudden change can strongly impact you and your family, with your kids starting a new school and your partner looking for a job and starting all over again. 

And you? You need to enter an environment entirely different from what you’re used to. One of the biggest challenges entrepreneurs face when launching a company in a new country is the language barrier, with different languages (and even different local and national dialects) having the potential to serve up problems. Despite this, it is still possible to succeed in a bilingual office, so here are eight steps to make that happen. 

Make an Effort 

You cannot expect everyone else to do the work for you. If you want to succeed in a bilingual (and even multilingual) office, you need to make as much of an effort as everyone else. If anything, as the leader, you should be making the most effort to ensure everyone feels comfortable and understands what’s expected. 

But, learning a language can be tricky, at least if you want to master the language. Luckily, there are plenty of resources to help you learn a language quickly, while simply immersing yourself in the culture can help you become proficient much faster. 

Find Common Ground 

It can be tricky to build relationships with people who do not share your language or who you cannot have deep conversations with due to a language barrier. To overcome this, you must find common ground to foster a positive professional relationship. 

This common ground can be any interests you share with your coworkers and employees. For many countries, (particularly in Europe) football is a great way to spark a conversation. On a more professional level, being a working parent who has moved to another country or another part of the country can help you find familiarity. 

Identify Useful Resources 

There are tons of useful resources that can help you and your bilingual coworkers excel in projects, especially with a potential language barrier. Although you may sometimes struggle to completely understand one another at first, visual communication via presentations or by using a brainstorming app can be hugely beneficial. 

It’s worth making use of these resources as often as possible since the more interaction everyone has, the quicker they will begin to understand each other. This approach is a fantastic way to ensure your overseas business hits the ground running and ensure everyone is on the same page. 

Consider Cultural Differences 

Moving to another country can be a significant culture shock, even countries and cultures close to your own still involve some adjustment. You mustn’t commit any social or professional faux pas because of cultural differences, as this could cause your coworkers to lose respect for you and hinder your business. 

Wherever you go, it’s worth researching how things are typically done in a professional setting. You may be used to working continuously and not allowing yourself a break, but other nations may take a more relaxed approach to their projects. It’s easy to become frustrated by this if you’re not prepared, but that’s just how they do things. 

Put Everything In Writing 

It’s easy for conversations and requests to get lost in translation when working in a bilingual office, so it’s always beneficial to put everything in writing to ensure everyone understands what’s expected of them. Even if you can’t read or write the language fluently yet, you can still give employees and coworkers the gist of what you require. 

You may also want to employ professional interpreters to help you overcome any language barriers early on. These services are excellent for the first few weeks and months as they help avoid misunderstandings. 

Offer Sufficient Onboarding

Onboarding is vital for any successful business as it helps new hires integrate into your business and feel more comfortable. When hiring new employees, these onboarding tips will make it easier for everyone, whether they are bilingual or not, to hit the ground running. 

Besides going over what is expected of them in the office, you can pair your new employees with a more experienced team member. It is best to choose someone who has been there a long time as they will have no trouble outlining the intricacies of the role. Depending on their preferred language, it helps to pair employees with someone they can communicate with easily. 

Hire People Who Speak Your Language, Too

The international job market is much easier to enter than it used to be, and if you don’t want to feel too lonely at work, hiring people who speak your language will make things much easier. 

At the very least, this gives you someone you can discuss everyday needs with or plan the next stage of your business, especially if you’re still getting to grips with the new language. You can also attend language classes or meet-ups together if they are not proficient with the language either. 

Arrange After-Work Events 

After-work functions are an excellent way to encourage team building, and they allow everyone to bond outside of the office’s confines. You can arrange for the standard after-work drinks or choose an activity, such as bowling or quiz nights, and many of your employees who are local to the area can suggest the best places to go. 

Some out-of-work events can feel forced, so you can make them optional while highlighting the benefits of everyone getting to know one another. You can foster a stronger bond between your team even if they do not speak the same language. 

Common Language 

Many entrepreneurs will tell you that business is a universal language. Everyone knows that profits are crucial to success and should work together to achieve this. That said, it is not always about profits. If you want to enjoy success in a bilingual office, you must make sure the team works together, respects one another and feels comfortable. As long as you achieve this, your overseas business will thrive. 

About Neel Achary

13969 Articles

Neel Achary is the editor of Business News This Week. He has been covering all the business stories, economy, and corporate stories.







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