…Wish I Had an Interpreter

For the majority of us, needing an interpreter might not come up daily. I get that. Although I’ve seen many-an interpreting sessions and have even “tested” a couple out just so I could get a handle on the process but I’ve never had to use one myself. So, today I thought “where might I, average Joe Copywriter, need an interpreter. Here’s what I came up with.

1) A Hospital Abroad –

So, I’m sitting on a beach in the Dominican Republic, drinking a fruity drink, and enjoying the sun.

“Boy am I relaxed”, I think to myself.

Turns out, I’m a little too relaxed. I fall asleep and wake up with a terrible sunburn and near sunstroke. Off to the hospital I go.

One of the first questions the doctor asks me is: “¿Es usted alérgico a algo?”

“huh” I reply.

Turns out he’s asking if I’m allergic to anything. Wish I had an interpreter…

2) A Foreign Police Station

The doctor ends up treating me, although it took longer than it should have. I’m feeling a bit woozy. I stumble out onto the street and begin to make my way back to my resort. I figure the day can’t get much worse. I realize it can as two police offers handcuff me and throw me into the back of a police car.
It turns out that the final “instructions” I was given by the doctor was not “try and take it easy until you get back to Canada”. He was actually telling me to pay at the receptionist’s desk, which I did not.
Sitting in a small room at the police station, passport confiscated, shoe laces removed, my mind wanders.

“Why on earth am I here?” I think out loud.

“¿por qué no pagar?”, an officer replies.

“Did he just respond to me?” I wonder…

I begin to speak, “Can you please tell…”

“Yo no hablan Inglés”, the officer shouts, cutting me off.

…Wish I had an interpreter.

3) Lost in a Foreign City

Alright, my fine is paid and I’m released from the police station, only to find myself lost on the streets of Santo Domingo.

“tweeeeeeeet”, I whistle for a cab.

I get in.

“¿a dónde?” the cabbie asks.

“not this again” I mutter under my breath.

…Wish I had an interpreter.

For More Information on This subject visit Able Translations atTranslations Toronto

7 Steps Toward Managing a Diverse Workforce (Part 3)

7 steps toward managing a diverse workforce: a series of workplace diversity articles

In 7 steps toward managing a diverse workforce part 2, we learned about forming a community outreach, flexible holiday schedules, and the open door policy. Part 3 of this series focuses on translation work as well as evaluating your diversity planning.

If you missed it, you should go back and check out part 1 and part 2 of the series before moving on. They can be found here:

7 Steps Toward Managing a Diverse Workforce (part 1)
7 Steps Toward Managing a Diverse Workforce (part 2)

Step 6 – Translations

In order to facilitate communication, important company documents should be translated into several languages that will meet the needs of your employees. The languages you choose to have documents translated into should close match the demographics of the company. Furthermore, they should also be reflective of local language laws. This becomes even more crucial when the same documents are used in foreign-operated company offices.

To minimize risk, translations should be accurate and complete. Be sure to use a qualified translator from a reputable company like Able Translations. The company you choose should have experience in the translation of technical manuals. Additionally, look for a company that offers cultural consulting to ensure that your company documents are reflective of the cultural nuances associated with the target language.

Some documents that could be translated to meet your diversity needs can include:

Employee manuals
• Worker safety information
• Request for time off forms
• Application forms
• Employee application forms
• Policy books
• Employee welcome packages

Beyond the translation of company documents, if your company uses proprietary software (software built specifically for your company), you may want to get it localized. Localized software would allow the user to change the language used on the user interface. This could result in improved usability for multilingual staff.

If you’d like to get company documents translated, Able Translations offers free quotes. You can call us at 1-800-840-5370 or email us at info@abletranslations.com.

Step 7 –Assessment

Assessment is a critical step in managing a diverse workforce, one that is often overlooked. It is imperative that you take accurate measurements of every diversity and inclusionary initiative you take. These measurements are used during the assessment phase. During this step, you review all of the initiatives you have put in place to ensure that they are operating as expected.

There are three basic ways to assess the effectiveness of the programs and policies you have put in place.

Surveys:

Surveys are a great way to find out the opinions of others. They could provide valuable insights into whether your diversity/inclusion initiatives are effective. In order to set up a proper survey, you must first think about what you would like to find out. In general, surveys that use a rating system (on a scale of 1-10) provide the most useful data for statistical analysis. However, when evaluating initiatives that involve an affective component, it is best to use a combination of open-ended questions and rating systems.

Tip: find a neutral person to hand out the surveys. Having a supervisor give them out could bias the surveys. I.e. the participants may feel obligated to be positive about your diversity strategy if they feel it may affect their supervisor.

Pre-test/post-test:

The pre-test/post-test is the simplest method for evaluating the effectiveness of your initiatives. It requires that you have some data from before you begin your initiative and some data collected at a milestone. You compare your past information with your current information.

Example:

Number of employees that applied for promotions in 2011 = 10
—————————–Mentorship program started Jan. 1/2012————–
Number of employees that applied for promotions in 2012 = 17

Of course, you would have to control for other factors such as turnover and recruitment. If you’d like to look deeper into the relationship, you could survey employees and find out if mentoring was a factor in their decision to apply for a promotion.

Time-series Analysis:

In a time series analysis, is a little bit more difficult to do but well worth it. I highly recommend that your time-series be set up by someone familiar with statistical analysis. The idea behind it is that you have data points arranged according to time. You should have several data points for before the initiative was implemented and after. This allows you to see how things are changing over time and gives you insight into any trends that may be occurring.

For the best possible data output, use a Box-Jenkins time-series. It is the standard in program evaluation.

Final Thoughts

Planning and implementing a diversity and inclusion strategy takes a great deal of time and forethought but most of all, it needs to be genuine. To implement these initiatives because it is “standard practice” or a passing interest will lead to lack luster results.

My advice is to:

• Get excited about celebrating the things that make us unique;
• Get other passionate people on board;
• Listen to the needs of others instead of making assumptions;
• Plan, implement, measure, and re-plan
• Start today

For More Information on This subject visit Able Translations atTranslations Toronto