The Brilliance Of Multilingual Staff


Globalisation And The Workplace

Do you know your Guten Tags from your Ciaos? If you answered no, you wouldn’t be alone. Three-quarters of British adults are unable to hold a conversation in another language. This is truly unfortunate because the benefits of being multilingual have long been discussed, especially when those skills can be applied in cosmopolitan cities such as London. If we look at the bigger picture statistically, more than half of people all over the world speak at least two languages. Many countries have more than one official language, with South Africa, for example, having eleven. There are many social, psychological and even lifestyle advantages to cultivating new languages and embracing the world of multilingualism. Researchers have found a plethora of health benefits, included postponed onset of dementia and faster stroke recovery. Aside from the personal benefits of speaking more than one language there are also specific workplace advantages that can incur economical gain.

Multilingualism is an important element for cultural understanding and adept communication, and this applies even more so to the workplace. As more businesses seek to hone their globalisation ventures by employing people with diverse language skills, it has become apparent that multilingual staff are a valuable resource for any company.

Working Relationships And Language

More than 1.8 billion people speak English around the world making it the language of the world. Consequently; most if not all public sector and hospitality businesses in the UK have English speaking staff. With businesses expanding globally, the need for foreign languages has been catapulted to the forefront of many a managers mind. Languages promote workplace diversity and the ability for customers and employers to emotionally connect. This can only mean a positive boost for businesses; being able to communicate adequately is quite possibly the number one building block in creating and maintaining relationships. Multilingual employees are able to bridge the somewhat large gap between two cultures, and are known to attract new business simultaneously. More than 300 languages are spoken in 30 of London’s 33 boroughs making London one of the most multi-cultural capitals of the world. The hospitality industry in the UK and London in particular has greatly benefited from having a diverse and multilingual workforce. Restaurants, hotels, bars and leisure centres all have a range of employees from various backgrounds who are able to bring their cultural identities and pivotally, languages, to their respective work environments. Multilingualism means good business and if a business has more foreign language skills available to them it can better meet customers’ needs. In this sense, companies are more often than not, seeking to provide better customer service by employing multilingual staff. Globalisation has escalated in the past five years alone, and this phenomenon has extended to and affected tourism. Tens of millions of people visit London and the numbers increase with every passing year. Visitors spend billions of pounds on hotels, shopping, attractions and restaurants and research conducted by independent forecaster Oxford Economics predict that London will have welcomed 35.6 million visitors by 2020.

West End Hotels And Multilingual Staff

Many different nationalities, cultures and languages enter into London, looking for somewhere to stay, eat and relax. For many tourists English is not their first language and as a result it can be troublesome to navigate such a big, cosmopolitan city, with all the lights and noise and need for directions. In such instances, it is immensely helpful for employees to know a few phrases which will no doubt be helpful in assisting potentially bewildered tourists. In some cases it is not essential to grasp the entire dialect of language. Just a few phrases, greetings, and sentences should be enough. However, there is still a disadvantage here and multilingual employees more capable in their linguistic skills will fare better in the long run.

The West End has a multitude of hotels, restaurants, bars and shopping options, all of which are visited by many- often foreign- visitors. It is of paramount importance to bridge this very basic distance in language and, when applicable, culture by ensuring that their customers aren’t going to feel alienated and misunderstood. Thankfully, many establishments do have multilingual staff, which is helpful to not only their businesses, but the long term relationships built between the brands and their customers. The Piccadilly London West End hotel promises to bridge the language gap between customers and staff, and has a whole host of employees who are able to understand customers’ needs, by using their language skills. This hotel is an example of what it means to be inclusive, and to care, above all, about what it is a customer desires.