Three Helpful Tips for Multinational Organizations

With global expansion becoming increasingly crucial to success in many industries, Human Resource groups face new linguistic challenges in ensuring all-important communication for the organization is understood correctly. Some recommended guidelines: 1. Many countries enforce workplace language laws that ultimately increase exposure to legal risks and potential fines, limit the ability to let an employee go for non-compliance, and even limit the ability to enforce key policies and procedures. Regardless of the employees language, a local court or council may rule that the documentation provided to the employee is void unless it was provided in the local language. That is why we recommend that all communication and documentation, especially employment and policy documentation, be translated into the native language of each employee location.   2. Be sure to have local employees for each international location review HR material to identify any US-centric content. Many policies and codes of conduct (e.g., cultural diversity, affirmative action, holidays observed) are irrelevant to individual workforces globally. Some may even create conflict with local customs or laws.   3. Consider expanding explanations on specific HR terminology. Even within the US, descriptions such as exempt, non-exempt, and “at-will” employment are uncommon and difficult to understand for non-native employees.  

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