According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Hispanics comprise 50% of the foreign-born labor force and Asians make up 22%. Among these workers, 2 tiers exist: Latinos with low education and low skills, and educated professionals from Asia.
Although both groups are focused around different industries, they both express problems with communication, as seen in the chart below.
Hispanic and Asian in the USA
|Percent in construction, manufacturing, services||31||69|
|Percent in managerial and professional jobs||46||13|
|Percent with difficulty speaking English||47
Both groups will have problems in the workplace due to language and cultural barriers. For workers in construction, manufacturing and services, workplace language issues may include following procedures, safety and reducing errors. For managerial and professional jobs, language issues may involve communication skills such as participating in meetings, giving presentations or negotiating.
Investing in human capital
Because of poor communication skills, many non-native speakers have limited opportunities regardless of their potential. The organization that doesn’t address these language gaps is not mining its assets or utilizing the full value of its employees.