From a wider perspective, business scalability entails greater freedom for people to discover “foreign” employment within proximity. Hence, the global workforce is at an all-time high, extending across geographical boundaries and bringing excitement to the labour market.
Job seekers no longer have to travel abroad to get a better work-life balance. Such prospects, however, might present difficulties as companies set to create a common ground for corporate team members of varying nationalities and backgrounds. Such unavoidable problems centre around logistics, communication, and cultural backgrounds.
Undoubtedly, communication is one of the pillars of global team management and a tough one to affix in international business environments. If not handled effectively, this factor can stack up severe challenges for corporate growth and sustainability.
The Essence of Language in Corporate Communication
A global team comprises cultural diversities that help infuse distinct ideas and inspirations. However, ineffective communication can create a cultural gap within the organisation as well as with prospective customers and clients.
Bridging the Gap
Having a language model centred on uniformity in communication can resolve specific challenges by translating the core business values of each international entity while retaining the key essence of their respective cultures. Understandably, corporate cultures are fluid, with constant evolution on the leadership’s part.
Yet, the progress in attaining synergy between cultures should be treated seriously, with emphasis on effective global communication. This approach will ensure that team members from diverse backgrounds remain constructively active to promote international growth.
For example, a Spanish speaking employee could excel in executing a localized assignment from an international firm if there is clear communication between the individual and the communicator.
This person, who is most likely a team leader of the company’s Spanish division, may proceed to brief other co-workers on the assignment and make critical decisions. Considering this scenario, failing to collaborate globally can be detrimental for business.
As a result, the role of communication between diverse teams within a business entity cannot be overstated.
English — The Official Lingua Franca for International Corporate Entities
The international workforce requires a universal language to communicate effectively across members. Thankfully, English is the recognized universal language for the task — with over 1.7 billion communicators.
Notwithstanding, the language has its technicalities and difficulties that may “ironically” impede communication amongst different English speakers. Hence, several writing services exist. For example, Pendrago is a legit service that helps multinational firms create globally recognized business paperwork, among other things.
With Pendagro’s customized writing service, companies can evaluate the quality of their documents to meet international standards. They can also identify critical aspects of English that make communication burdensome.
Noteworthy Examples on Communication Barriers via Language
Employees from different English-speaking countries communicate with distinct idioms, slang, phrases, and other expressions that are easily understood on an indigenous level. But on an international scale, these team members have to relate using the “Global English.” With this format, people can communicate effectively, regardless of cultural differences.
Take, for example, The British English-American English battle in which certain words have different forms but the same meaning. A British employee may use the term “Banging someone to the rights,” while an American employee would rather say “Catching someone red-handed.”
Similarly, where a team may propose a “buy-in for a project,” they could rather “request support for a project.” “Basic”could replace “bog-standard” as well. These seemingly minute changes are important for global team management.
Effective Communication For Global Team Members: Best Practices
While trying to sound professional during interactions, most organizations lose the essence of communication — clarity. To prevent such occurrences, the following rules are applied.
Abbreviations fall under two categories — acronyms and initialisms. Employing them while referring to a particular business terminology may appear professional; however, they might be confusing to individuals, who might also be employees, outside the circle (department, division, and the likes).
Furthermore, some of the abbreviations may have a distinct meaning in a different context. Looking up an abbreviation to understand the intents of the communicator as regards a task or assignment can be daunting, time-consuming, and error-prone.
The best practice for this communication approach is to spell out the abbreviation in full before or after highlighting it — for clarification. For example, a company’s memo may read, “In the last ten years, our key performance indicators (KPIs)…” Additionally, the communicator must keep track of the number of abbreviation appearances.
Avoid Business Jargon
On a national level, using business phrases like “having a lot of moving parts,” “going down the drain,” “learning the ropes,” “on the same page,” and more, are accepted within the business circle as employees (mostly recently recruited professionals) demonstrate knowledgeability and develop working relationships with other team members within the division.
Outside of this zone, “Global English” comes into play to help companies establish international commercial connections with foreign individuals and entities. This is done to guarantee that the process is timely, seamless, and understandable.
Of course, no one would sign up for a contract ladened with incomprehensible technical terms without understanding their meaning.
Replace Phrasal Verbs with Single-Word Verbs
In truth, phrasal verbs are not as strong and concise as single-word verbs. What’s more? These verbs have different meanings when taken apart, which can be confusing for global communicators.
It is advisable to ditch long-tail words, like “see eye to eye,” replacing it with “agree.” Likewise, idioms related to a culture or background should be avoided — a perfect example is “to hit a home run,” a term unique to American baseball. Most people outside the United States wouldn’t understand this term.
Final Thoughts on Communication
Communicating within a geographical location and communicating globally are two distinct factors. As innocuous as it may appear, using the former in place of the latter when interacting with a global team may convey conflicting messages, indicating superciliousness, insensitivity, or ineptitude. These outcomes are avoidable if communication rules are implored to manage a global workforce.