Communication Challenges and Needs in the Multilingual Workplace: The Case of Security Officers in Jababeka Area Indonesia

Ani Pujiastuti(1), Yogi Saputra Mahmud(2), Haris Herdiansyah(3),

(1) President University
(2) President University
(3) President University


Modern-time workplaces have become increasingly international and multilingual due to the presence of workers from different ethnicities, languages, and cultural backgrounds.  Due to the lack of training programs that are mainly focused on developing communication skills, security officers have faced challenges in communicating with clients, especially those who work in multilingual workplaces. This research aims to investigate the challenges of the workers in communicating in a multilingual workplace and exploring the perceived needs of the workers. This research was conducted in Jababeka Area Industries Jakarta. The research found various challenges and needs faced by the security officers including challenges with their occupational standing, limited training, inadequate workplace support system, and limited access and resources for learning. The security officers realize that the ultimate goal of communication in foreign language in the workplace is not merely shown by correctness and perfection, but how messages are transferred and how instructions are understood. 


communication skill; communication challenges and needs; workplace communication; multilingual workplace; security officer

Full Text:



Angouri, J., & Miglbauer, M. (2014). ‘And then we summarise in English for the others’: The lived experience of the multilingual workplace. Multilingua, 33(1), 147–172.

Cachon-Rodriguez, G., Blanco-Gonzalez, A., Prado-Roman, C., & Diez-Martin, F. (2021). Sustainability actions, employee loyalty, and the awareness: The mediating effect of organization legitimacy. Managerial and Decision Economics, 42(7), 1730–1739.

Canagarajah, S. (2007). Lingua franca English, multilingual communities, and language acquisition. The Modern Language Journal, 91(1), 923–939.

Creswell, J. W. (2012). Educational research: Planning, conducting, and evaluating quantitative and qualitative research (4th ed.). Pearson.

DeVito, J. A. (2015). Human communication: The basic course. Pearson Education.

Djamin, A. (2013). Satpam, security, dan tantangan 2013. Elang-Cakra.Com.

Elnaga, A., & Imran, A. (2013). The effect of training on employee performance. European Journal of Business and Management, 5(4), 137–147.

Gupta, R., Mukherjee, S., & Jayarajah, K. (2021). Role of group cohesiveness in targeted mobile promotions. Journal of Business Research, 127, 216–227.

Heller, M. (2010). Language as a resource in the new globalized economy. In The handbook of language and globalization. Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

Hussain, S. (2018). Managing communication challenges in multicultural organizations. International Journal of Media, Journalism and Mass Communications (IJMJMC), 4(2), 44–49.

Kappel, M. (2017). 5 ways to reduce employee turnover. Forbes.Com.

Keyton, J., Caputo, J. M., Ford, E. A., Fu, R., Leibowitz, S. A., Liu, T., Polasik, S. S., Ghosh, P., & Wu, C. (2013). Investigating verbal workplace communication behaviors. Http://Dx.Doi.Org/10.1177/0021943612474990, 50(2), 152–169.

Lave, J., & Wenger, E. (1991). Situated learning: Legitimate peripheral participation. Cambridge University Press.

Louhiala-Salminen, L. (2002). The fly’s perspective: discourse in the daily routine of a business manager. English for Specific Purposes, 21(3), 211–231.

Mcall, M. (2003). Language dynamics in the bi and multilingual workplace. In R. Bayley & S. Schecter (Eds.), Language Socialization in Bilingual and Multilingual Societies (pp. 235–250). Multilingual Matters.

Moslehifar, M. A., & Ibrahim, N. A. (2012). English language oral communication needs at the workplace: Feedback from Human Resource Development (HRD) trainees. Procedia - Social and Behavioral Sciences, 66, 529–536.

Nassazi, N. (2013). Effects of training on employee performance: Evidence from Uganda. University of Applied Sciences, Vassa, Finland.

Nilforoush, M., & Chalak, A. (2019). English needs analysis in the workplace: The case of engineers in Esfahan Steel Company. International Journal of Foreign Language Teaching & Research, 7(27).

Rana, R. (2013). Effective communication in a diverse workplace. International Journal of Enhanced Research In Management and Computer Applications, 2(2), 1–5.

Risse, L. (2020). Leaning in: Is higher confidence the key to women’s career advancement? Australian Journal of Labour Economics, 23(1), 43–78.

Rodriguez, J., & Walters, K. (2017). The importance of training and development in employee performance and evaluation. Worldwide Journal of Multidisciplinary Research and Development, 3(10), 206–212.

Saville-Troike, M. (2003). The ethnography of communication. Oxford University Press.

Sofia, L., Indah, M. S., Sabila, A., & Mulyanto, S. A. D. (2020). Pelatihan komunikasi interpersonal untuk komunikasi efektif. PLAKAT (Pelayanan Kepada Masyarakat), 2(1), 72–80.

Spence, P., & Liu, G. Z. (2013). Engineering English and the high-tech industry: A case study of an English needs analysis of process integration engineers at a semiconductor manufacturing company in Taiwan. English for Specific Purposes, 32(2), 97–109.

Tange, H., & Lauring, J. (2009). Language management and social interaction within the multilingual workplace. Journal of Communication Management, 13(3), 218–232.

Wenger, E. (2010). Communities of Practice and social learning systems: The career of a concept. In C. Blackmore (Ed.), Social Learning Systems and Communities of Practice (pp. 179–198). Springer Verlag and the Open University.

Wenger, E., McDermott, R., & Snyder, W. M. (2002). Cultivating communities of practice. Harvard Business School Press.

Wenger, Etienne. (2010). Communities of Practice and social learning systems: The career of a concept. In C. Blackmore (Ed.), Social Learning Systems and Communities of Practice (pp. 179–198). Springer Verlag and the Open University.

Winters, R., Winters, A., Amedee, R. G., & Ochsner, J. (2010). Statistics: A brief overview. The Ochsner Journal, 10(10), 213–216.

Yusof, A., & Rahmat, N. (2020). Communication in the workplace: A case study. European Journal of Education Studies, 7(10), 228–240.


  • There are currently no refbacks.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.