TripAdvisor, as a highly successful multinational travel company, recognises the importance of language training for its employees. It fully sponsors the cost of providing corporate language training classes for its staff, believing that improved language skills facilitate communication internally, inter-departmentally, with external partners and clients, and in a wider context outside of the work-based arena. Over 50% of its staff enrolled on the first term of classes in the London office alone.
Anna, the language training coordinator at TripAdvisor, explains that the very nature of their global business means that staff are interested in travel and languages, many speaking one or more languages to a decent level – so for these people their in-company language classes are a useful refresher and of particular value when it comes to sales calls or travel to other countries.
Cactus set up closed group language courses within TripAdvisor, each term consisting of 10 weeks of tuition. Courses are offered at various levels, so participants can start as complete beginners for an introduction to the language, or progress up through the levels. Participants are offered language communication tests to assess their level and can then join the appropriate level class to achieve higher fluency in their chosen language.
Employees have benefited from their language training on both a work and personal level; morale is good and feedback extremely positive. Staff feel engaged and motivated, and look forward to the next course once one is over. In every way the business is experiencing the benefits of its language learning programme, which paves the way to international development and success.
Offering language training as a staff perk has been an excellent use of training budget and Anna emphasises that she would recommend other companies consider doing the same, “Setting up the course with Cactus was easy and straight-forward, TripAdvisor putting forward their language learning requirements and soon receiving confirmation that everything was in place. Each term now flows easily into the next”.
As for where we go from here, TripAdvisor’s language training programme looks set to continue and perhaps even expand into new international territories. With such positive feedback and enthusiasm amongst staff this is certainly a case where company investment in language training has reaped reward for both employer and employee.
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