How to get your employee handbook translated

Multilingual teams are becoming increasingly prevalent in today’s globalized world, particularly given the growth of remote work. This gives companies more opportunities when it comes to hiring qualified staff but also comes with its challenges. Translating your employee manual or handbook is one of them.

An employee handbook available in all languages spoken throughout your company ensures that all your employees have a clear understanding of policies and procedures. If your company functions in multiple languages, this article will help you through the translation process.

Below, we’ll cover the benefits of translating your company’s employee handbook and explain how to do it. We’ll also review the most frequently asked questions on employee handbook translation.

Why should you translate your employee handbook?

Employee handbooks are used to communicate company guidelines to employees. They often include information on workplace conduct, attendance, health and safety procedures, pay and benefits, and sexual harassment policies, among many other topics.

As we’ve mentioned, linguistically diverse teams become more common every day. Companies may be based in a country where different languages are spoken or have branches in several countries. You might be hiring remote workers from all around the globe.

Translating your employee manual ensures that employees whose native languages are not English have access to the information they need to do their job correctly and succeed in the workplace. Access to the employee handbook in their native language also ensures staff is aware of their rights and responsibilities.

Below, we detail the five main benefits of employee handbook translation.

  1. Improves the onboarding process

When all employees can access the same material, they will have the same baseline knowledge from the get-go. They will be able to understand company values and business goals properly and are less likely to feel alienated due to their lack of English-language proficiency.

  1. Improves safety

Employee handbooks often include information about safety policies and procedures. Properly translating these will help prevent any accidents or issues that may arise from not following safety guidelines correctly.

  1. Increases productivity

If all employees understand company policies and their role in the workplace, they will perform better. This will increase overall productivity and avoid setbacks.

  1. Creates an inclusive workplace

Employee handbook translation helps overcome cultural barriers and makes employees feel included in the company and respected within the workplace. This aids in boosting morale, encourages loyalty, and increases employee satisfaction.

Moreover, translating company documentation so it is accessible to all shows your staff you are committed to engaging with them and looking after their best interests. All of this helps your human resources team do their job better.

  1. Ensures you follow regulations

Some states require you to translate employee policies (such as those in your employee handbook). In California, for example, you need to translate specific documentation if more than 10% of your workforce speaks a language other than English. You can find more information about this here.

How to get your employee handbook translated

  1. Find an appropriate employee handbook translation services

You should look for a translator or company that is acquainted with your industry and the translation of company policies and business documentation.

  1. Ask for a quote and delivery time

Your quote and delivery time may vary depending on various factors. These include the length of the document, the format, the specific language combination, and if you need the translation urgently.

  1. Submit an electronic copy of your employee handbook

When submitting a copy of your employee handbook, you should also include your company’s contact information and the language of the original document (source language).

  1. Receive your translation

Once the translation is complete, the translator or company will ensure it is reviewed for accuracy. You will then receive an electronic copy of the translated employee handbook.

Other workplace documents you may need to translate

Employee handbooks are just one of many documents you would benefit from translating in a multilingual business. Here are some other documents we recommend you translate if you have employees with different native languages.

  • Contracts
  • Training materials
  • Review forms
  • Benefit packages
  • Applications
  • Arbitration agreements

Employee handbook FAQs

You may still have a few questions regarding employee handbook translation services. Here are the most common questions we’ve come across on this topic.

How much does it cost to translate your employee handbook?

Your professional employee handbook translation will most likely be charged by word. Prices usually range from $0.08 to $0.50/word.

RushTranslate offers translation services in over 65 languages starting at $0.10 per word for standard translations.

In some cases, you might need a certified translation. In this case, the cost is usually calculated by page in the original document. The industry defines one "page" as 250 words and per-page prices vary from $20 to $130.

RushTranslate charges $24.95 per page for certified translation services. You can find more information about certified translations and when you might need one in this article.

How long does it take to deliver an employee handbook translation?

Just like with pricing, the time it will take to translate your employee handbook depends on its length. Your chosen translation service provider will advise you on this and can provide you with an updated past if you need your translation urgently.

Is the translation of employee handbooks into languages other than Spanish possible?

Yes, employee handbook Spanish translation is not the only one available. You can translate your employee manual into any language where there is a professional translator available.

RushTranslate works with professionals in 65 languages, including Spanish, French, Dutch, Portuguese, and Ukrainian.

Will the format of my employee handbook be the same?

Employee handbook translations usually follow the same format as the original unless you specify otherwise.

If you submit a non-editable file format (like a PDF file or a scanned copy), you may have to pay extra for editing.

Which file types are acceptable?

Translators and agencies are used to working with a variety of files.

Editable files (such as Word or OpenOffice files) are preferred as they do not require editing before and after translating. However, non-editable files can also be translated but may incur an extra charge due to the editing they entail.

What happens if there are updates to the handbook after translation?

Updates are standard when it comes to employee handbooks. If you turn to the same translation provider for your updates, they will usually only charge you for the changes made.

Why do you need professional employee handbook translation services?

We’ve already covered the importance of translating your employee handbook. The same reasons apply to hiring professional translators to do the work.

Working with qualified translators ensures your translation is error-free, ensuring employees reading your handbook in all languages are reading the same material. Therefore, all employees will be able to understand your company policies and procedures fully.

Professional services also ensure your translation is carried out in a timely manner and save you money in the long run. If you hire someone that offers a cheaper quote but lacks the relevant skills and experience, you may end up needing to retranslate your employee handbook. This will be significantly more expensive.

Final thoughts

Any linguistically diverse work environment should have copies of its employee handbook available in all languages spoken across the company. This benefits not only employees but the company itself, and the benefits far outweigh translation costs.

We hope this article has given you the information you need to get started with your employee handbook translation and answered any questions you may have about this topic. Not to mention help you find the right employee handbook translation services for your company.

Updated August 16, 2023 in Translation