Important Company Documents to Translate
Almost one in 10 working-age adults in the United States are considered Limited English Proficient, so it’s safe to say that many companies have some LEP employees on their team. But, this LEP designation is not a uniform, across-the-board description of each employee’s English proficiency. LEP can encompass a wide variety of proficiency levels based on how individuals respond to the U.S. Census Bureau’s annual American Community Survey. The survey asks recipients if they speak a language other than English at home. If the answer is “Yes,” the next question is what language, and then “How well does this person speak English?” Any answer other than “Very well” defines the respondent as Limited English Proficient.
With this variety of English-speaking abilities and the number of LEP employees in the U.S., it’s even more important that companies translate vital documents into the languages their team members understand best.
Of course, there are laws in each state that require translation into threshold languages for specific types of documents. But beyond complying with legal requirements, organizations can see significant financial and people benefits by translating common company documents.
Save On Workplace Safety
If employees don’t understand the policies and procedures intended to keep them safe, then they can’t follow those rules. Studies indicate that for every $1 invested in workplace safety, employers realize $3 to $6 in cost savings via direct and indirect costs. Another study shows that close to 43 percent of workers’ compensation claims can be reduced or eliminated if language is not an issue.
Given these numbers, the cost of translating safety documents can be easily recouped by the potential savings.
Engage Employees Actively
Translating documents into an LEP employee’s native language is a way of saying, “We speak your language. You belong here.” Next to physical safety, ‘belonging’ is a basic human necessity, according to Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs. In the workplace, when an employee feels as if they belong, they are more likely to be engaged and connected to the organization’s mission.
What’s the bottom line? Your bottom line. Engaged employees are 21% more productive, and companies with engaged employees outperform those without by 202%.
Types of Documents to Translate
While individual state laws require different documents be translated, it’s up to your organization to decide which important company documents to translate to see the benefits. Here are some examples of documents other Avantpage clients have translated:
- Workers compensation claim forms and responses
- Incentive programs and contests
- Employee handbooks and office/company culture documents
- Evacuation procedures
- Workers rights documents
- Sexual harassment training documents
- Posters and other promotional materials
When employees feel valued by their employer, then their loyalty to the company increases. They want to stay, and they want to do better, and they want to perform their job as best they can.
By translating important company documents, you can better communicate with your LEP workforce and help them connect to your mission and goals.
Special thanks to Joan Weber at English In The Workplace for sharing her insights for this post.
At Avantpage our experienced team can help guide you through the translation process and make it fast and easy. To find out more about our services call us at 530-750-2040 x11, or request a free quote.
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