Bi-Lingual Employees Benefit the Bottom Line
By Stormy Lynn Snow, Tri-Lakes Law Firm and Hispanic Legal Center
The importance of having bilingual speakers in the workplace has continued to grow as the number of languages spoken among us continues to increase. Businesses that take advantage of adding bilingual speakers to their staff benefit extensively because of the larger market of employees, clients and customers they can bring in.
Untapped Potential Client Pool
Having bilingual speakers in the workplace can bring business owners the opportunity to reach a wider customer and client base. As the population demographic continues to change, bilingual speakers can serve as interpreters for potential and existing clients. A lag in business because of the language barrier is a very real concern in today’s market. Bilingual speakers can bridge that gap.
Where Bilingual Speakers Are Beneficial
While having a bilingual speaker on staff can be beneficial to any business, there are those businesses where it can be particularly beneficial, including education, financial, law and healthcare. To be better able to teach students who speak English as a second language, it is important that teachers and other educators, like counselors, are bilingual speakers to reach out to the family unit, who are usually less likely to be fluent in English. Medical practices benefit even more so, by having a bilingual speaker on staff to communicate medical information clearly and accurately to patients and physicians alike. Car dealerships can also benefit from having bilingual staff members because car salespeople must be able to effectively communicate the sale and so on. You can equate the benefits of bilingual staff to customers in almost every business.
To Hire or To Train Employees
Bringing on new employees who speak languages other than English is one option. Owners should also consider motivating their existing employees to learn the other languages of the non-English speaking demographic that pertains to their community.
As incentives, a company can offer to pay for the training, offer pay raises and/or bonuses to employees who pursue learning other languages, certificates of skill, even offer elevated titles of their position. Owners may even choose to invest in an on-line training program available to all staff to pursue.
While Spanish is the most prominent foreign language spoken in Taney County, it is important to take note that Portuguese, Russian and Japanese follow as the next most prominent foreign languages in our community.
Tri-Lakes Law Firm recently opened the Hispanic Legal Center offering a variety of translating services for the Latino community and the business community alike.