Inline Translations have been helping teams understand one another in Beekeeper for quite some time. With Inline Translations available in Beekeeper’s newsfeed-style channels—Streams— frontline workers can stay up-to-date on company news no matter what language they speak. Inline Translations was initially released as a feature on Beekeeper’s Marketplace, and quickly became the most popular add-on to the Beekeeper platform.
“For employees who speak a different language, posts are automatically and immediately translated into their respective language. Diversity is an integral part of our corporate culture and another important step towards digitalization.”Rita Brunner, Deputy CFO, Keller-Frei AG
As of June 2020, we’re expanding translations in Beekeeper to make it possible for frontline workers to translate Chat messages, Campaigns, and Surveys!
The Frontline Workforce is a Multilingual Workforce
It makes a lot of sense that Inline Translations was such a popular add-on. The frontline workforce is a diverse workforce, and language barriers are a challenge for distributed teams.
We’ve heard from English-speaking hotel GMs who need to copy and paste each message into Google Translate when conversing with their primarily Spanish-speaking team. We’ve talked to German frontline managers who aren’t able to ensure their Romanian, Albanian, Portuguese, and Serbian team members understand one another, let alone messages from management. Some organizations need to write Surveys in several different languages, just to ensure they get feedback from their whole workforce.
How can you cultivate a culture of safety and inclusivity if you can’t include everyone in the conversation? Without a dedicated in-app translation solution, these are all serious challenges with time-consuming, temporary solutions.
This isn’t limited to the companies we’ve spoken to since initially releasing Inline Translations for Streams on the Marketplace. According to an article in the International Journal of Hospitality Management, “Immigrants are a considerable growing segment of the hospitality workforce, but with an overwhelming majority of immigrant workers having limited English speaking abilities, hospitality managers are often challenged with communication barriers” (Madera, Dawson and Neal).
This trend is also not limited to hospitality. The Journal of Agromedicine published a study that found that “The workforce in all areas of United States agriculture and forestry is becoming increasingly diverse in language, culture, and education.” With a globalized economy, this is a common story across industries and countries.
With this in mind, it’s no surprise that organizations are seeking communication solutions that incorporate translation capabilities.
Language Barriers Intensify Communication Challenges and Slow Down Operations
The global coronavirus pandemic has forced organizations to lean heavily on their communication infrastructure. It’s driven companies to keep constant lines of communication open to update furloughed workers about when they might be able to return to work, let staff know about scheduling changes, and introduce new safety and cleaning protocols.
It’s become clear that language barriers in the workplace pose a particularly acute challenge during times of crisis, uncertainty, and continually changing guidelines. Being able to translate company announcements in Streams is incredibly valuable in this context, but there’s even more to be done to break down language barriers.
Companies need to be absolutely sure messages are read and understood. They need to be able to verify updates are received. They need to be able to ensure managers can communicate seamlessly with their teams.
This is why Beekeeper is expanding our translation capabilities. We’re releasing Inline Translations for Chat messages, Campaigns, and Surveys to help companies adapt fast to changing priorities and keep employees safe.
What Can Customers Do Now That They Couldn’t Do Before?
With Inline Translations for Chats, Campaigns, and Surveys, customers can enable frontline teams to translate important announcements and surveys. Frontline workers can translate personalized announcements about changing protocols or safety procedures into 100+ languages, and tap a button to confirm they’ve received the message.
In the event of an emergency or times of organizational and procedural change, being able to verify that every employee received and understood your message is vital. With this update, frontline workers can also translate Survey questions, so organizations can hear from more of their workforce. Companies can get feedback on trainings or communication strategies, gauge employee sentiment, and most importantly, verify comprehension of new safety protocols.
According to a EHS Today, “A poor understanding of OSHA regulations is directly correlated to higher [workplace] fatality rates…. training [needs] to be in a language that employees can understand.” With Inline Translations for surveys, companies can gauge comprehension of recent safety training among their whole multilingual workforce by creating translatable quizzes using Surveys.
In addition, customers can speed up collaboration and help teams solve problems faster on the front line. With a multilingual workforce, it can be difficult to seamlessly communicate. It takes longer to understand and respond, and it’s more difficult for frontline managers to distribute and monitor work across distributed teams.
Time is wasted copying and pasting text into Google Translate and translating responses. With translations available on every message, this time is freed up for more productive activities like coaching teams and improving frontline operations.
How Can Customers Activate Inline Translations for Chats, Campaigns, and Surveys?
All customers with Business Pro or Enterprise packages will automatically get access to Inline Translations for Chats, Campaigns, and Surveys. If you’re interested in using this feature but you’re not currently on one of these plans, let your Customer Success Manager know, or reach out to the Beekeeper Support team. Speaking the same language has never been easier!