The seven deadly sins of translating employee magazines

  • Rigid channels of communication ... lead nowhere.
  • Lifeless language ... leaves employees out in the cold.
  • Inconsistency and incoherence ... create confusion.
  • Drab stories ... have attention fading.
  • Unclear communication ... doesn’t arouse interest.
  • Monotonous copy ... lacks personality.
  • Too much technical jargon ... excludes readership.

1. Rigid channels of communication …

… lead nowhere.
A company is only as good as its employees. Successful employees develop best in a positive, inspiring environment based on firm guidelines and shared values. Convince your employees that what your company stands for, and what you believe in, is worth their best efforts.
To engage your employees, you need to communicate with them at eye level – and be sure to do so on the channels they frequent. Rigid communication concepts have been obsolete for some time now. You need to approach your employees and reach them where they are, not rely on them coming to you. A good translator is fluent in modern communication channels and their specificities. Your specialist translator should be just as familiar with employee magazines, newsletters and intranet offerings as they are with social media, video, etc. – so that you and your employees are always on the move together.

2. Lifeless language …

… leaves employees out in the cold.
Your employees want to identify with the company they work for. To grip your employees and get them excited about your cause, you have to touch them emotionally. Cold facts may be ideal for convincing an investor – but they won’t ignite any passion for your business activities.
You should also always bear in mind that communication between management and (local) staff often touches on sensitive issues. Difficult topics must be communicated sensitively, preferably in the staff’s native language. Inappropriate, thoughtless wording can create uncertainty among employees. Native-speaker translators know the cultural particularities, sensitivities and linguistic nuances of the target culture, which enables them to prevent frustrations and misunderstandings.

3. Inconsistency and incoherence …

… create confusion.
Uniform terminology in both internal and external communication is always a challenge for multinational corporations, while at the same time being extremely important! A uniform corporate language allows you to create a means of identification and recognition value, making a valuable contribution to your corporate brand. Experienced specialist translators adapt to your corporate language and address your employees like an insider.
Companies operating in many different countries also face another challenge: employees need to be informed simultaneously and as quickly as possible about important decisions and developments. A multifaceted, professional translation agency will be able to translate your employee communications into different languages simultaneously and at short notice.

4. Drab stories …

… have attention fading.
For many people, a company’s fundamental values are decisive. An authentic and convincing vision creates trust and commitment and inspires people to work for your company. Give your company a unique character and connect your products and services with exciting stories. A good translator is also always a good storyteller. An experienced translator for employee communications will be able to create a well-rounded narrative arc in the target language so as to capture the attention of your employees all over the world.

5. Unclear communication …

… doesn’t arouse interest.
Quality always beats quantity. Nobody wants to waste their time reading lots of pages with little to no content. Make sure to provide your employees with relevant information and address topics that directly concern them. An experienced translator will immerse themselves in your company’s mindset and know exactly which employees need to be addressed and how. A long-standing collaboration with a well-coordinated team of translators is the best foundation for target-oriented communication with your international employees that features strong content.

6. Monotonous copy …

… lacks personality.
A good advertising campaign will convince customers and interested parties of the special advantages on offer at your company. And the same goes for your employee communication: inspire your employees and use employee newspapers and other channels to promote, strengthen and further develop your brand as an employer. An experienced translator will have a good instinct for what characterises your brand. They can communicate without having to fall back on the same tired phrasing and clichés already being used by your competitors. Instead, they employ their translation to let your company’s unique character shine through in the text, allowing you to convince the reader with authenticity and personality in any language.

7. Too much technical jargon …

… excludes readership.
You will obviously be able to bank on a more knowledgeable audience for internal communication than with external messaging. Your employees know your products and services and know what makes your company tick. However, you also need to take into account that your employees will not all have access to the same level of information. It is quite likely that an engineer is much more deeply involved in the technical side of things than the employee in HR. Similarly, the marketing colleague will know exactly how the company presents itself to the outside world, while that kind of advertising know-how plays no role whatsoever in production. A good translator will be sensitive to these differences – they will know what needs to be delivered for the respective target audience so that your messages are not only seen, but also understood. Experienced specialist translators can adapt to different target groups – not only with regard to the cultural specificities of the different countries, but also with regard to the particular needs of your varied workforce.

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