Translating Safety in Your Workplace: Employee Training

Let’s continue our blog series on workplace safety translation! As we mentioned in a previous post, employee safety training can (among other things) help prevent injury and illness in the workplace.

Henry Ford once said “The only thing worse than training your employees and having them leave is not training them and having them stay.”

Indeed, this is very true. Most organizations have onboarding and training programs that consist of documents, employee handbooks, videos, PowerPoints, eLearning courses, etc. If you are a multinational company, or a company with multilingual employees, translation becomes an important need.
Why? Think about the goals of your employee safety training:
  • Comprehension
  • Retention
  • Engagement
  • Compliance

How can translation help you accomplish these goals?

Employee training materials are meant to help employees understand their role within the organization, important policies and procedures, company values and cultures, and how to safely operate equipment. Employees will better understand and comprehend these items if they are presented in their native tongue. Likewise, they are more likely to retain the information.

By making an effort to accurately translate and localize your employee safety training, you are, in turn, increasing learner engagement. Taking this step shows employees that you care about them. In turn, they will care more about you. This mutual value leads to better performance, profit, and a safer workplace.

Last but not least, translation helps with compliance. Sure, translation may seem like an expense at first, but it is nowhere near the cost of a lawsuit! OSHA mandates that all employers provide training in a language their workers understand. Make sure that you research language access laws and mandates in the countries that you are operating in.

What are some strategies for employee safety training translation? 

First and most obvious, use professional translators. We recommend in-country linguists who have technical knowledge of your particular industry along with local laws and customs.

Second, consider localization with all examples. What is acceptable or relatable in one culture may not be relatable in another. For example, the concept of teamwork. What image comes to mind when you think about teamwork? A group of people linking arms? A sports team celebrating a victory? How would you depict teamwork in your training in a way that would resonate with global learners?  A photo of a baseball team celebrating a victory may not resonate with a Chinese audience the same way as an American audience. Localized content makes training relatable and therefore, more effective.

Whether your employee safety training consists of instructor led training or eLearning or a combination of both, work with a partner who can work with you “soup to nuts” – all file types, all mediums.

Related posts:

Translating Safety in Your Workplace: Getting Started

Translating Safety in Your Workplace: SDS Translation

Translating Safety in Your Workplace: Employee Handbook

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