In an international setting it is imperative that the company has a language strategy. A language strategy is a formal management response to adopting a company-wide, approved and consistent approach to the use of language or languages. No matter the size of the company.
As in all things strategy, no one size fits all
We have found that the most effective strategic plan is one that takes into account the direction the company is heading in, what their clients expect from them and how their competitors deliver their services.
In the international setting change is a constant
Whether a merger with a foreign company has taken place or expansion overseas is imminent or ongoing, we can help. Dialogue uses its expertise, experience and skills to clarify and simplify the company’s global language needs. We then develop those insights into a meaningful plan of action within the company’s long-term plans.
Language and culture – both matter. It’s much more than talk. Getting it right when communicating internationally is a blend of culture and language. We ensure that the language strategy delivers the right level of cultural sensitivity and awareness to succeed on the international scene.
Monolingual or multilingual? One of the first decisions should be whether to adopt a single lingua franca or to agree on a number of “approved” languages. Once this is agreed the leadership team need to be conversant with and competent in delivering on the strategic language plan. We can help in both the needs analysis phase and also in the implementation phase.
Recruitment and retention: The second major decision when implementing the language strategy is determining how it plays out at the individual level. For instance, does the company’s hiring policy select the best candidates based on their business skills or their language expertise? The answer will depend on a number of variables that need to be prioritised appropriately. But how do you get that message over?
We advise on how best to enable employee engagement
It is not a set of rules but some lines of thought to reflect on. We will show that the workforce will improve its language skills only if all parties are held accountable for progress. In addition, we encourage the leadership team to set high standards and then encourage those who haven’t yet achieved the desired fluency or cultural intelligence to meet the objectives set.
We make designing the language strategy a corporate priority and then support them in making it happen.