“The beauty of the world lies in the diversity of its people”
If you think about it, every successful company you know – Google, Microsoft, Apple, Facebook, etc. – has a ton of diverse employees on every level: from the lowest ranked assistants to leaders and top managers. Is this an accident? That’s hardly the case.
Different people bring different views and values to the same company and are able to see things from their own, unique perspective (this is especially true about freelancers). And what’s great about this, that perspective doesn’t need to be a correct one. Just the fact that a certain problem can be approached from dozens of angles and not just one creates an atmosphere where any issue can be solved, no matter how impossible it seems to be at first glance.
Easing the tension
If you are planning to make changes in your corporate culture towards supporting diversity, hiring employees with bilingual skills (English and French can be the easiest example) is the first step to success. It’s hard for people to get used to other cultures, nationalities and mindsets in their usual working atmosphere and employees that speak multiple languages are a great way to help both sides.
On one hand they will be able to communicate with your already existing team perfectly fine, without making anything feel out of order. On the other hand they will help newcomers that speak a different language than English feel more welcomed in the working environment.
The good stuff doesn’t end there. Bilingual employees can be absolutely invaluable when your company becomes large enough to take your business overseas. People, I mean every nation, love to speak with a foreigner who can speak their native language, even if it’s not perfect.
The sheer fact that your company respects their native land enough to have team members speaking their mother tongue can be a tremendous start for healthy, successful working relationships that might not have happened otherwise.
Even if you aren’t considering going abroad just yet, having bilingual staff can help establish yourself firmly in the local market as well. According to BBC London is the sixth biggest French city, with around 250k French people living in London alone. Having staff members that speak French will help broaden your customer reach.
Multitasking and productivity
Multilingual people are better at switching between tasks as opposed to monolingual employees according to a research by NIH. Each language carries certain rules within itself and a person who knows more than one language can switch between those rules depending on the circumstances.
In terms of business, this means that a bilingual person will have an easier time switching between multiple tasks and will be able to complete each task faster while maintaining the high quality of work. This will lead to higher job success, faster task accomplishment and ultimately, higher productivity of your team.
Moreover, if your company’s culture is focused on teamwork, bilingual employees will not only improve your company’s productivity on their own, but they can also help other team members step it up and improve their efficiency a little bit further as well. This will get your business one step closer to really being successful.
Changing your company’s culture is a slow and difficult process. Hiring bilingual staff will help ease this process in more than one way and also create a good fundament for a new, healthy, diverse culture that every business should be aiming for.