What is the role of professional translation services in on boarding programs?

Why have a global onboarding program for international employees?

“What if this job doesn’t work out, and I’m making a massive mistake?”

This is persistent, and uncomfortable thought new hires have whilst going through the hiring process. They will not tell you about it but, it comes more often than people care to admit.

Because starting a new job is stressful, especially for new hires entering the workplace for the first time.

So you see, your onboarding program has an important impact on employees’ wellbeing.

An onboarding program that communicates your values, processes, culture, and company procedures; and makes employees feel included in your company, will help to alleviate these fears, helping employees quickly feel at ease about joining your company.

Include the following onboarding success accelerators

You do not want to treat your onboarding program as a set it and forget it affair, especially if you plan to hire global talent.


Because building a strong employer-employee connection starts (or should start) during the onboarding process.

It is here where your onboarding modules communicate your organizational culture, social connections, and role expectations, among others.

Review your programs to ensure the following are included:

  1. Work roles and performance expectations

International employees must understand what their day-to-day tasks and responsibilities are. Part of this is having performance metrics and specific milestones communicated to them; this will keep things fair and establish standard metrics.

Work roles and performance expectations also include:

  • Check-ins and feedback loops: between you and the new hire. Do it often, for project updates and an opportunity to ask and answer questions. Check-ins are also ideal “morale of the employee” check-in opportunities for organizations.
  • Goal setting: this can be an ideal initiation into the job. Get new hires to draft a one-month, quarterly, or annual goals plan… ideally in the first month of employment.

Companies can also outline goals and targets for employees.

2. Organizational charts

Sometimes referred to as “org charts”, this is a visual representation of a company’s hierarchy.

For global employees, this chart helps them understand who to report to, when, and why. More importantly, it helps people to understand their place in an organization – fostering a sense of belonging in the process.

Organizational charts should be part of an international onboarding experience because of their role in informing employees about a companies structure.

3. Expectations around technology use

Onboarding programs must address IT risk management with employees.

Global talent working in different locations means companies now need to think about widening their network endpoints, and thinking holistically about the organization’s security vulnerabilities.

IT security policies and practices should form part of onboarding, and include the following:

  • Data backups
  • Password management
  • Wireless network access
  • Mobile device usage
  • And data sharing

4. HR documentation

Important to remember: employee onboarding and employee orientation are two very different things.

Onboarding is the entire—strategic nurturing of new employees. Whilst employee orientation is the more formal, HR documentation that new hires must complete.

Both form part of the onboarding process.

Human Resources documentation handles the unique paperwork of hiring international employees. This includes payroll, benefits administration to verification, and country-specific labor rights and contracts.

5. Personalized attention

Companies are guilty of onboarding international employees in ways that are generalized and headquarters-centric.

These people that join your company bring unique perspectives your company can benefit from. Therefore, it makes sense to localize and humanize elements of your onboarding programs.

Everyone is different, this is especially true of foreign talent. Ask your international hire about their:

  • Local laws and relevant practices
  • Professional customs that you should know about
  • Communication preferences
  • Work habits

And if possible, use their insights to tailor your onboarding process.

What are the benefits of global onboarding programs?

1. Employees develop a positive image of a company

Presenting your company’s strong institutional values to employees should be a goal of your onboarding. Doing this will acclimate them to your company culture, and quickly build a positive impression of the organization they’re about to join.

2. Help people understand job expectations

Onboarding programs should offer educational resources detailing employee’s responsibilities and performance expectations – so people do not feel isolated, feeling as if they have to navigate the organization on their own, which can be daunting.

3. Helps new hires contribute more quickly

One sure-fire way to ensure the optimal productivity levels of new hires is to ensure they receive effective onboarding.

Research indicates a 20% increase in effort levels when employees receive effective onboarding.

Meaning that how they’re onboarded, affects how much effort new hires put into learning the different aspects of their job. And also determines how long they stay with a company.

What is the role of professional translation services in onboarding programs?

In this article, we’ve made the case for creating onboarding programs that take into account the cultural nuances that come with hiring internationally.

One of these nuances being employee’s native language, and delivering training modules in their preferred language. (Granted, this will not always be possible).

This will require the use of professional translation services—that utilize the linguistic experience of translators to deliver professional, and natural sounding onboarding content.

You’ve made it all the way here…

Thank you for taking the time to read this article.

It was created to offer valuable insights that you can share with your colleagues and co-workers.

We are Afrolingo

A professional translation and language services company in South Africa.

We use our knowledge of:

  • Translation
  • Transcription
  • Interpretation
  • Software localization
  • Mobile localization
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  • And website publishing

To create localized content and messaging that connects your brand to African audiences, and drive profitable action.