Wolfestone Translation has been shortlisted for the Institute of Welsh Affairs Awards, in the category of Best Use of Foreign Language in Business.
Wolfestone Translation has been shortlisted for the Institute of Welsh Affairs Awards, in the category of Best Use of Foreign Language in Business. The awards ceremony will take place on 9th November, at Cardiff’s City Hall. The shortlisting relates to the use within business, rather than the providing of language services. So how does the translation company use language beyond its core services, and what can other businesses learn from Wolfestone? HR Manager Emma Hughes says language is integral to the company culture, and that language plays a big part in the success of the business. “Successful foreign language has many direct benefits. It helps the company grow, our customer service is better, and our culture is diverse and welcoming. We actively look for staff who have additional languages, because of the benefits the business gets from doing so.” The company has recruited staff speaking over 20 languages between them, and not just in translation roles. Five languages are spoken in the marketing department, as well as foreign language speakers housed in HR and project management. This breadth of language skills means the business can use many languages to reach opportunities that other translation companies can’t. Staff network with business people across the globe in their own languages, and this seemingly simple activity has led to some major international contracts. As well as a permanent core of language expertise, the company runs a successful internship scheme which adds further languages to its arsenal. Students from around the world travel to South Wales to gain experience of the translation industry and learn from the dynamic company, which has a growing international reputation. In one instance, a German intern developed links with the German Chamber of Commerce, which directly led to a £17,000 translation job with an international company. The internship scheme is not just limited to foreign students, with a growing number of British students taking advantage of the opportunity to develop their skills and experience. Wolfestone also uses language to directly promote the business in new markets, in the tongue of the target market. Most translation companies promote themselves in English to UK companies, and this is where Wolfestone is different. Over 30% of the business is now based outside the UK, with a significant growth in the last three years. The company has invested in a German arm, which deals directly with the European powerhouse, as well as a network of agents across the world. By developing a linguistically diverse workforce, the company is now able to deal with customers in their native tongue. This has led to soaring customer service figures of over 99% satisfaction, far above than the industry average. The use of language is not limited to the internal workings of the company however. The company is involved in language promotion in the wider community, and Director Roy Allkin is a regular feature at Universities across the country, encouraging students to invest in their future through languages. He feels this outreach is an important aspect of the company’s work. “We have a strong belief that businesses have a responsibility to develop the communities from which they operate. Business isn’t just about profit, it’s about adding value. We regularly visit schools in conjunction with CILT (The National Centre for Languages) who do some amazing work, as well as promoting the industry in Universities. We also recently had a visit from Cardiff High School, to learn more about the value of languages in the workplace. We have a culture and passion for languages in our company, and we want to share that to inspire the next generation of linguists.” The benefit to the community and culture is apparent, but how can business benefit? The 30% foreign market which grew substantially as a proportion contributed a great deal to the company being named 6th fastest growing in Wales last month. Language skills have helped grow networks with international chambers of commerce and embassies, and with recruitment of language expertise across the world the company offers services in over 150 languages. The message is clear. The use of languages in business can mean better quality suppliers, better relationships with networks and a diverse culture. Wolfestone’s growth figures prove it’s also good for the bottom line.
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