Cactus has been providing language training for international law firm Olswang since 2011. Olswang has headquarters in London, offices in a number of worldwide locations, and close ties with firms across the globe. For staff at Olswang, corporate language training is considered a benefit rather than a necessity, and for that reason the group course case study highlights how language training can improve rention rates and employee engagement.
Loretta Bonnano, Training Coordinator at Olswang, explains the history behind language learning at Olswang; “The company has always run ‘language clubs’ – 10-week courses of a minimum 4 students – in order to give staff access to other languages, be it for leisure, travel or personal reasons. During the recession these language courses were stopped but now need to been re-instated, with Olswang contributing £50 towards each course and each delegate paying the rest. With the flexibilty, turnaround time, expertise in beginners language training and pricing structure that Cactus Language Training offered we found Cactus to be the best fit for our requirements.”
Cactus reinstated classes at Olswang in French and Spanish; the uptake was very good, with participants taking one 1.5 hour lesson on one evening each week, over a course of 10 weeks. Loretta says, “Usually participants are beginners in the language and go into the course expecting to just learn the basics, however, having taken a course myself, I learnt quite a lot more and am now keen to take a refresher course.”
Loretta told me that she would recommend other companies consider offering language training as a staff incentive, as the benefits are wide-ranging. Within Olswang, and from her personal experience attending a course, she has seen the language courses as an ideal opportunity to network within the firm and to meet people you wouldn’t have otherwise, all in a fun environment.
Corporate language tuition is also a stepping stone to international development and success, as staff become equipped to effectively communicate with non-English speaking colleagues in global offices.
“The implementation of the courses had been as smooth as hoped with Cactus and we are keen to continue and extend the language training programme to other areas. It has been a really good experience, and lots of fun too.”
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