Communication is always tough but it's even tougher when your workers don't speak your language. With an increasingly diversified workforce, organizations have to recognize that English as a second language is a potential problem. Many of our employees have very important skills, but they don't necessarily communicate in English well. Whatsmore, managing workers who don't speak English as their first language is tricky. Don't deal with it properly, and you risk problems ranging from poor customer service to diminished productivity to poor morale.
Many CEO's see themselves as an accessible, available, good communicator but that belief is often delusional when it comes to the language barrier. If you only speak English but half your workforce hail from China, Malaysia, Japan, Cambodia, Vietnam, Iraq or Serbia then pretty much none of what you have relied on in the past for your communication is likely to work.
If you have a multicultural workforce then it is important to find members of that workforce who can fulfill management posts. The truth is no matter how much you think talking more slowly and loudly helps it doesn't and you are going to need translators. It is not enough to understand the language you have to understand the cultural barriers that come with it. People from within your workforce are best placed to do that and can give you valuable feedback on how to approach communication issues.
The favoured Western communication method of large, open meetings is not a good idea with multicultural workforces either. If you ask if everyone understands the information, they will all nod out of politeness. If you ask for questions, you won't get any for fear of embarrassment given the differing levels of English practised within the room.
Instead, have meetings with small groups of workers who have similar English skills so that nobody feels intimidated about asking questions. Have your translators at every meeting, and ask those managers of yours to check in daily.
The result will be much more detailed feedback from your employees on everything from policy changes to individual career goals. Plus, the new language sensitivity will be a massive boost for company morale.