Language Barriers are Problems Faced by Employers in Today’s Economic Workforce

1179 WordsJul 11, 20185 Pages
The modern workplace does not consist solely of employees whose native language is standardized English. In fact, within recent years there has been a large influx of people whose first language is Spanish. While it is not legally mandated that an employee speaks English within the workplace, it is generally left to the discretion of the employer, provided the policies do not violate equal opportunity regulations. However, employees do not necessarily have to comply, unless specifically spelled out in policy, and can speak their native tongues if they choose to. Currently, there are no (or very few) national incentives for people who do not fluently speak English, or do not have English as their primary language to do so in the…show more content…
While an employee’s personal background is not diminished or discouraged, the workshop’s goal is to create a consensual identity that’s focused on the company’s goals. Another tactic that an employer could take would be to create an incentive program to get non-English speakers to use English in the workplace. Though employers can demand or prod their employees to use English at work, a problem arises when they return to their personal lives. Typically, people who are not fluent in English or resort to the use of their native language in lieu of the common tongue, it is difficult to become well equipped to handle the various elements of a given language. An incentive program, such as gift certificates or certifications within the workforce (for fluency in multiple languages), could provide necessary motivation towards solving the problem of language barriers in the business world. Instead of singling out those who speak the foreign language, which could lead towards discrimination lawsuits, these incentives could promote partnership between English speaking and non-English speaking employees. This way, each can work towards the goal of overcoming the language barrier by being able to identify terminology of the other’s language, in order to help translate and create the transition between non-fluency to fluency. It’s a boon for each; in this case, each employee gains something (ideally). The native English speaker
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