Multilingualism with Mucci Farms
Over the past few months, Workforce WindsorEssex has noticed an increase in employers prioritizing multilingualism in their job postings. Workforce WindsorEssex Research Associate Marissa Bumanlag interviewed local employers on the topic of hiring those who can speak multiple languages and what kind of benefits they bring to the organization.
Workforce WindsorEssex spoke with Carol Bendo, Director of Human Resources and Ajit Saxena, Public Relations & Digital Marketing Manager (pictured below) of Mucci Farms on this topic.
The Competitive Edge
Multilingualism helps Mucci Farms particularly in the positions of supervisors, managers, human resources management, and health and safety workers. For over 50 years, Mucci Farms has encouraged multi-language capabilities, as there has been growth amongst their workforce primarily of Spanish speaking staff, in addition to other languages. Multilingual employees contribute to Mucci Farms’ overall goals and assist with filling gaps of labour shortages due to a small local population and transportation challenges in the region. They allow many people who struggle with English to find meaningful work with co-workers that can communicate with them. Individuals with these language abilities often help to create a subculture and feeling of community within the organization as often times personal networks are referred in the hiring process. As Mucci Farms grows internationally, the need for Spanish speaking individuals in their organization remains important in a thriving global market.
Communication & Cultural Sensitivity
As a result, another benefit of hiring those who speak multiple languages at Mucci Farms is that there has been a greater focus on “communication and cultural sensitivity,” Bendo notes. As Mucci Farms strives to address this through verbal cues, pictures, and hand gestures, the company hosts English speaking classes that have been developed over the past four years in order to ensure that workers are able to gain an understanding of the company and their roles. These language classes are available for individuals throughout the year.
Mucci Farms also implemented an Immigration Department to help employees through the process of becoming Canadian citizens. Saxena added that “multilingual employees assist with the communication of information which helps our corporate culture as it creates a comfort level for those who struggle with English. Having numerous multilingual employees at our disposal makes it much easier to integrate a variety of team members and make them feel welcome in the company, and the country.”
English language classes have led to increased cultural sensitivity and awareness. As the organization has been able to accommodate individuals striving to learn English, in return, they have received an increased sense of loyalty, strong retention rates and an increase in referrals.
Employees from Mucci Farms who have English as their native language also noted that they were able to benefit from working with those who speak multiple languages, as they were able to pick up on phrases and common words within other languages as well.
When asked what you would tell someone considering hiring immigrants or those who can speak multiple languages, Bendo says that “there will be a return on investment and not only the talent acquisition and retention is there… but people stay because of the culture we have developed. It gives you the opportunity to expand your business with a global mindset that you may not have not thought of before”.
Interested in being interviewed about multilingualism? Contact Research Associate, Marissa Bumanlag: email@example.com.
To read more in our Multilingualism in the Workforce Blog Series, please click here.