Just like how misunderstandings can occur in our daily lives, when we communicate with someone from a different background or culture, miscommunication within an organization can be a big problem. The same problem might be understood or viewed differently by different employees.
Imagine that all your employees come from different backgrounds (Diversity: everyone is unique) and speak different languages. It would be very difficult to communicate effectively. So, how do we deal with this? Clear communication within an organization is one of the keys to success.
In Mujin, there are employees from 21 different countries. This fact makes Mujin a global company. A global company united by a common language.
It is said that people are shy to speak another language because they don’t want to make mistakes in front of others. At Mujin, we share two common languages: Japanese and English. Mujin provides weekly Japanese classes for those who want to learn, and to help some of our employees with their English improvement, we have established an English speaking table.
Basically, during lunch time, one table in the Mujin restaurant is dedicated as a learning table. Every week we choose a topic, prepare some notes, and perform practice exercises.
Usually, one or two employees with fluent English become teachers for 1 hour, and others are students. We are learning new words, discussing interesting topics like global warming, and having a homework. People who join this table are very interested in speaking with foreigners and improving their English skills.
During the lunch time employees feel more comfortable to communicate because it’s less formal and less structured than traditional classes. I personally think that Speak & Lunch is a great way for employees to work on fluency in a second language, free of charge, over the lunch hour. The way we conduct discussions make lessons accessible to employees who may not be able to afford or have time for formal lessons.
By sharing a common language, employees are communicating freely with each other across borders and culture, improving productivity, and sharing of ideas.