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Havas CX: "We Speak More Than Just English"

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Havas CX Canada team celebrates the diversity within its team and how this helps them produce top level creative solutions

Havas CX: "We Speak More Than Just English"

Elena speaks Russian, James speaks Spanish, others Turkish, German, Arabic, Serbian, Punjabi and more!

“Havas has open mindedness and the capacity to see the bigger picture.” Jelena, Havas Canada

“It seems like there is always a way. A diverse set of languages reduces the obstacles in the workspace.” James, Havas Canada

Over the last few years, the concept of diversity and inclusion in workplaces has become the hot topic. “The business case for diversity, equity and inclusion (DE&I) is stronger than ever.” reports McKinsey & Company. Eager to jump on this trend, many employers don’t fully understand how to encourage longevity in diversity. What is a DE&I strategy? How can we encourage employees to bring their full and authentic selves to work?

“I had the amazing opportunity to speak about Asian Canadian culture during AAPI month on a panel. I also really enjoy telling others about my culture, even if its small things here or there. I think the more we share and learn, the better.” Havas Canada employee

Better understood as an overall business strategy (rather than a trend to hop on), diversity and inclusion initiatives can focus on ensuring all employees have a safe, healthy, and fulfilling work environment. For years, studies have shown that happy employees are productive employees and encouraging a multicultural, diverse workspace leads to more satisfied employees. In addition, benefits of having a diverse workplace include boosted creativity, more professional growth for employees and better decision making (business decisions or otherwise).

Indeed, studies like this one mentioned in the Harvard Business Review and Forbes indicate that homogeneous teams have worse investment outcomes and diverse teams score higher earnings. At Havas, encouraging diversity, equity, and inclusion isn’t just a trend — it is part of our day-to-day. The Havas CX Network has 25 villages in 18 countries (from Australia to India to Vietnam) with over 1,800 employees.

With our diversity in teams, we have a unique ability to cater to multilingual clients and produce top-level creative solutions from different voices worldwide. One of our best examples is Unilever where our team in Istanbul works to support over 20 of their global offices and brands including well-known brands like Ben&Jerry’s, Love, Beauty & Planet Netherland, Lynx and Switsal.

One area of cultural diversity less discussed is linguistic diversity — having bilingual, trilingual, and multilingual employees.

“Being able to speak French is an asset working in the Montreal office. Although the work we do is primarily in English, we do hire employees from all backgrounds, including French! This allows me to help French employees (with a basic level of English) feel more comfortable, by not only training them in their mother tongue, but also showing them the terms in English.” Mark McKenzie, Havas Canada.

Hiring people who can communicate in multiple languages is an empowering growth strategy for globally minded organisations and their teams. If your company aims to expand your business both nationally and internationally, it is in your best interest to invest in hiring multilingual employees. English is the dominant language in Canada, but it does not have to be someone’s first language to make them a great communicator. People with fluent communication skills in multiple languages are an asset to all departments, from sales and marketing to customer support. For example, we see success across teams to:

  • Bridge gaps in understanding
  • Provide language support in house (how we support Unilever in their multi-country biz)
  • Diverse and innovative solutions to complex problems

How multilingualism helps Havas specifically: “Sometimes during user testing, users can interpret questions a different way, it helps to know what the question or term may directly translate to in other languages to understand the users’ true intentions better.” Havas Canada employee

There is a compelling case for our team of multilingual talent. According to BBC “Most people in the world speak more than one language, suggesting the human brain evolved to work in multiple tongues.” When diverse people are encouraged to come together and speak their truth, the benefits are countless. Some that we experience here at havas include:

  • A superior ability to concentrate, solve problems and focus, better mental flexibility and multitasking skills are, of course, valuable in everyday life.
  • Being bilingual can keep our minds working longer and better into old age.
  • In order to maintain the benefits of bilingualism, you need to use your languages and that can be tricky, especially for older people who may not have many opportunities to practice, but not at havas!

“I learned that Havas employees come from all over the world. We have employees who celebrate every type of holiday and special event, not just the Christian holidays I grew up learning about. It has been enjoyable having my work friends share pictures of themselves at their own holiday events with their families, diverse types of foods, clothing and learning the meaning behind it all first hand, instead from a book or school.” Havas Canada employee

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Genres: People

Havas North America, Thu, 28 Jul 2022 13:03:58 GMT