Translations and culture

I recently wrote a corporate policy that we expect all employees to understand and follow.

The group responsible for deploying this policy asked me for a list of languages that the policy should be translated into. My response was simple: in all the languages spoken by our employees*.

I believe that culture is an outcome of how we do things. And I believe that corporate policies should identify the processes we follow and the behaviors we expect from employees. Thus, if we truly wish to build a culture of compliance, we need to make sure our employees can read and understand our policies.

And there is also a meta aspect to this question: what message about our corporate culture would we be sending if we did not translate these policies?


* More specifically, in the official languages of every country where we operate.

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