by | May 24, 2023

If your workforce is a global audience but you’re headquartered in North America, be aware of the tendency to make your internal communications too US-centric. According to the U.S Bureau of Economic Analysis, there are an estimated 53,900 U.S multinational companies employing an estimated 44 million employees worldwide. But with an audience that large, how can you make sure that your employee communications are consistent across different languages and cultures? Here are four tips on how to make sure your employee messaging is clear, consistent, and tailored to your global audience.

Get Different Perspectives

It can be easy to subconsciously approach communications from an ethnocentric point of view, but in doing so, you are likely to lose significant portions of your global audience. While communications may be come up quickly and be ever evolving, take the time to reach out to your peers and ask how this newsletter, email, or campaign may be perceived in their own culture. It’s important to consider a variety of details from board scope aspects like tone, messaging, and when employees may receive the communication to the more finite and niche aspects of different cultures such as how they format their dates, greetings, and signatures. (Read more here)

Avoid Colloquialisms

While you may think that including colloquialisms in your employee communications promotes authenticity and humanizes leadership, when employees from different cultures or backgrounds read these communications, there is no telling how they may interpret them. These interpretations could be positive, but they would likely cause confusion and may even offend an employee. After all, it’s not about what you say, it’s really about what employees will hear.

Shift Your Mindset

Another important factor to consider when communicating to global audiences is how these cultures may prefer their communications. Maybe instead of an email that would suffice for North America, publish a short video for your European counterparts with added subtitles. Be open to new ideas and ways of thinking, especially if it means being able to build more trusting and appreciative relations with your international counterparts. Read more about valuing multiple audiences here.

Use Translations

In some cases, it may be necessary to use translations, and that’s perfectly ok! For example, if 20% of your global audience is in France, it may warrant translating communications to ensure that this large portion of your audience is clear about what is happening and on the same page as headquarters. Nelson Mandela eloquently illustrated this importance in his infamous quote “If you talk to someone in a language they understand, that goes to their head. If you talk to them in their own language, that goes to their heart.” Read more about avoiding U.S centric communication tendencies here.

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