In some work fields, there is a deficit of trained employees or employees with university degrees in Germany. Because of the shortage of workers, many German companies have had to look out-of-country to replace the gap in the workforce.
While this tactic seems to be working well, there have been some issues with German translation and language issues in general.
Foreign Employees Work to Improve German Language
For the most part, the employees who are hired from out of the country must have some sort of German language proficiency. However, many businesses are realizing that even though their foreign employees speak German, they don’t always speak it quite well enough to be really productive or efficient.
Some employers have offered business translation workshops, but some German companies, like Teckentrup, have found that their offers do not draw in that many people. Employers have noticed that the majority of their foreign employees don’t like to admit that their German needs a little work.
Teckentrup has found their own solution to this problem though. There are unofficial language representatives in the company, and they usually speak to the management on behalf of a fairly large group of employees who share a common language.
Management has started to petition these representatives to ask the employees to start attending German language workshops, and more people have accepted and begun to learn more in-depth German language that pertains to their specific jobs.
To further help with language barriers that make hiring foreign employees tricky, some companies have started entertainment clubs among the employees like cooking nights or book clubs. Anything to draw more employees into the job force and convince them to learn German well enough to do their job and to do them well.
Integration into the Community
A software development company in Germany called SAP has tried their best to help foreign employees settle comfortably into the community. Not only do they provide language workshops and translation services, but they also help their new employees find a place to live, get to know their neighborhoods, and even where to find the best places to eat and how to get a driver’s license.
Other companies have developed a mentoring system so that a foreign employee always has an emergency contact if they need language help or if they need any kind of assistance in the community.