Being HR, I want to be informal and hence communicating with the employees orally in their respective mother tongue as i know 6 languages.
Can anyone suggest me is it right or wrong please. Is that irrespective of thier mothertongue, i should speak to employees only in English.
Thanks & Regards,
Vidhya HR

From India, Chennai

It is a good idea to speak in local language or any language to connect with fellow employees.
Idea of communication is to make others understand what is being said.
Speaking in local language does not mean one looses ight of being professional and polite and keeping interests of all in mind.
If off course there is a mixed crowd with people not understanding a particular language then using common language is ideal.
It is indeed great to know 6 languages-please speak and be in touch but remember that others should not get an idea that lingo is being used to win over or do favours.
Professional and correct actions should always follow your communication/discussions with anyone regardless of whether Malayalam or English is used.

From India, Pune
Dear Vidhya,
What is the nature of your industry? Does your company have skilled or unskilled labours? If you do not have labours then nothing wrong to make official language as English.
The important question is whether you have made a formal policy on official language. In many companies, especially MNCs, official language for communication is English. All the meetings and correspondence is done in English. However, that does not mean that speaking in local language has been banned as such. During celebration of cultural activities or festivals, local language is used for communication. Secondly, communication in vernacular language is done where it is necessary (like while dealing with the government officials) but preeminence of English is cherished at the same time.
Uniformity in communication helps bridging cultural gaps. Communication in English helps in maintaining a formal atmosphere in the office. This is also important. If you are from Chennai then making official language as English should not be a problem as such.
India is multi-linguist country. Polyglots like you are found more in south India. Nevertheless, if a communication in local language is permitted, it may form a informal group. This informal group could turn into pressure group and it could pose a challenge.
Dinesh Divekar

From India, Bangalore
Language is the most effective vehicle of expression among human beings. Proficiency in language is not embedded in the person's vocabulary alone. On the other hand, it depends up on how communicative he/she is in that particular language. Effective communication culminates in unity of understanding. That's why Nelson Mandela said : " If you talk to a man in a language he understands, that goes to his head. If you talk to him in his language, that goes to his heart". When you are a multi-lingual and a HR, in fact, your process of communication becomes easier and faster. Then why should you doubt whether it could be wrong? Is there any order in your organization that your oral communication should be only in English? If there is such an order or official compulsion in your establishment, you should think it over on the lines indicated by our friend Mr.Dinesh.
From India, Salem
Dear Vindhya,
This is my second post. I have addressed your primary concern in my previous post. This post is about my observation.
You have started your post by saying "Being HR, I want to be informal". I would like to put forth my thoughts on the part of this sentence.
There is nothing like HR professionals should be informal while persons working in other departments need to be formal. Organisation is a place with people from different background work together for some purpose. Therefore, they need to be in accord with established forms and conventions and requirements.
Against this backdrop, my suggestion is that you may speak in any language but better to be formal. Please be amicable, approachable, communicative and outspoken but within the framework of formality.
The risk of being informal is that informality brings closeness because of non-official reasons. But then HR professionals are the ones who handle matters of discipline or indiscipline. HRs also remove employees from their job. Therefore, informal way of dealing could pose challenge to you when you need to take or execute tough decisions.
Dinesh Divekar

From India, Bangalore
Dear Vidhya:
The bottom line of communication is to be correctly understood - if not then it would be miscommunication.
It is on this understanding of the message that a dialogue advances,decisions are arrived at.
If the need of the culture/environment is the vernacular it is obvious that you would communicate in it. Remember, communication is understanding (the other person) and being understood (you) that leads to effective and meaningful exchange.
Using English - again to be understood - would make no sense if the listener does not know/understand the language. If an employee ( a better word is associate) does not understand English PLEASE DO NOT USE ENGLISH. Your message will be all Greek and Latin to him.
If your management feels all communication must be in English for all staff, then you'll have to begin language training and development courses, which may take up to two to three years.
Communicate to be understood!
Arif ur Rehman

From Pakistan, Karachi
Dear Vidya HR
If you are working with diverse, multi-linguistic set of employees, certainly talking to them in their lingo will give several advantages . Firstly, it will put them at ease , remove inhibitions and make them more comfortable to speak their minds . This will greatly help them to connect better and engage with the organisation.
As is well known, the communication is two way traffic . when you choose to speak in their lingo, the chances of bringing about clear understanding, acceptance to your thoughts in persuasive efforts and acting on it are brighter.
But to my mind, the greatest spin off of talking in their lingo is triggering listening opportunity for HR to listen empathetically to their real and deeply felt thoughts and also to enable clearing emotional clogs . This cathartic effect is of tremendous importance for bringing about understanding about the issues at hand clear knots in the employer- employee relationship.
In short, go ahead and speak their lingo more to listen than to talk.
Vinayak Nagarkar
HR- Consultant.

From India, Mumbai
Dear Vidhya:
I am venturing - please don't get me wrong - to say the unsaid , pertaing to the few lines you wrote concerning your enquiry.
1. "Hi' may be acceptable between the members on CiteHR, otherwise always use a FORMAL SALUTATION
2. Being HR - to me is incomprehensible. You could be an HR Manager, HR Officer, Director HR, and if your intention is the HR department/function the sentence structure would be totally different
3. Since the antecedent is their, the qualifying noun shoul be 'tongues,"
4. The pronoun I is always in the upper case
5. 'Can anyone suggest me is it right or wrong please' rephrase 'Can anyone suggest to me whether it right or wrong to say / write...?'
6. 'Is that irrespective of thier mother tongue' must be followed by a question mark. You should have written 'Regardless of their mother tongue'
7. Do also check the spelling of their
I hope I am not suggesting too much, that you start working on developing your English language skills.
Be of good cheer, always needed of HR personnel.
Warmest wishes
Arif ur Rehman

From Pakistan, Karachi
Dear Mr Arif Ur Rehman,
Thanks for your corrections. This forum need seniors like you who guide the juniors. Nevertheless, your guidance could have been without being apologetic.
Thanks once again.
Dinesh Divekar

From India, Bangalore
Hai Vidhya,
Nice to see your poster on communication with employees. Its a diplomatic process understanding the perception of taking into granted. Being a HR communication plays a vital role so local language helps to understand your part into it.

From India, Madras

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