Don’t miss it! The June/July/August issue of the Society for Human Resource Management’s HR Magazine is out. founder, Niki Ramirez, recently participated in an interview with Dori Meinert, Senior Writer/Editor at HR Magazine – – and discussed the importance of, and ideas for building relationships with non-English-speaking employees in the feature article: How to Bridge the Language Gap. Even if you’re not a member of SHRM, you can access the article at this link!

A note from Niki:

The American workforce is build on a foundation of diversity. Workers from around the world come to the United States to grow their careers and build a better life for their families. Often, language barriers create difficulty at work. Niki Ramirez holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Spanish Literature from Arizona State University – and an MBA from the University of Phoenix. Her study of how language and communication impact business success is a life-long commitment. Here is an excerpt from the article (we hope you take a few minutes to visit the SHRM site and read the entire article, which provided tons of great advice from a number of HR experts):

“Language is what connects us and makes us visible to one another. It produces a conduit to build relationships,” says Ramirez, who is fluent in English and Spanish.

“Whether finding a document in their native language or finding a bilingual co-worker to support them, it really goes a long way to creating a civil and humane workplace,” she says. It tells the workers, “Hey, I see you, and your contribution is important to us.”

Ramirez translates company handbooks into Spanish for clients and sees how appreciative employees are when they receive a document they can understand. Another easy way to build human connection: Let your employees choose the music in their breakroom so they don’t hear English-language tunes all the time.

Building relationships in the workplace can be difficult, even without challenges such as language barriers. Here is a quick Top 10 for you! 

Top 3 Tips for Building Strong & Productive Workplace Relationships:

  1. Spend time getting to know each other. Create opportunities for casual interaction (coffee, lunch, use co-working space, one-on-ones, activities geared toward having fun at work, etc.)
  2. Offer support whenever possible. What can I help you with? Is there anything I can do to help? I’d love to take that off of your plate! 
  3. Be gracious with praise. I appreciated your attention to that task! You’re contribution really took this to the next level! I’d love to work with you on another project! I don’t know how we’d have gotten that done without your help! 

How can the HR Answers team help your organization grow and succeed? We’re ready to assist with a variety of HR initiatives from one-time consultations, to projects, to long-term, open-ended consulting arrangements. Contact us to explore options today.