This is an interesting article from the United States about a case where employees feel excluded because they overhear people speaking a different language. Particularly interesting because the employees are English speakers from the historically dominant linguistic culture and it’s their managers who are speaking Spanish!

We haven’t heard of too many New Zealand equivalents but know of a number of successful businesses where it’s common and accepted (and more efficient) for employees to speak their own language at work. In the American example, Work Coach’s advice is either to gently let the managers know how they are feeling and get the HR manager to have a quiet word. But it sounds like the business needs an explicit language policy that everyone has been able to contribute towards and that works for all staff irrespective of their first language… and works for the business. We wonder how many businesses in New Zealand have one of these…?