In many companies throughout the countries, employees that don’t speak English make us a non-trivial percentage of the workforce. For many parts of the U.S., these non-English-speaking employees are Spanish speakers, although, as refugees and immigrants enter the country and settle in various regions of the country, the number of speakers of other languages continues to grow, as well.
Huntsville’s Wilson Lumber is now working to improve communication with Spanish-speaking employees, which make up about 25% of their workforce. While many of these employees may also speak some amount of English, their mother tongue is still Spanish, meaning they’ll more readily understand and connect with information delivered in that language.
As part of these efforts, the company hired a dedicated bilingual HR Specialist. They also translated employee documents and appointed bilingual team leaders.
Wilson Lumber also put out a monthly newsletter, aptly called “The Splinter,” which is delivered to employee homes through the mail. This newsletter includes a letter from Robb Wilson, the president of the company, as well as safety information. Employees can choose to receive this newsletter in English or Spanish.
Robb Wilson is quoted in this report from Huntsville Business Journal, saying in part, “One of our core values is ‘Always Do the Right Thing,’ and it’s the right thing to improve communications with all our employees any way that we can.”