When we set up Version Originale in 2009, we wanted to create a work environment that benefitted our staff as much as ourselves. But we had no idea that this strategy would have unexpected, and positive, benefits for our clients as well.
Moving away from the status quo
We knew exactly what we wanted: to be able to practise a profession we loved (training and translation) but in better conditions compared to previous work experiences.
Because of the competitive nature of the business today, many language suppliers have taken the low-cost route of hiring self- employed staff. This limits payroll and keeps working conditions to the legal minimum. The downside requires managing a high level of turnover.
Our strategy was different — offer ourselves (and our staff ) the best possible conditions (to ensure minimum turnover) and guarantee our clients the highest quality service. Most of all, we wanted to create a positive, benevolent working environment where everyone felt happy about coming into work, any day of the week.
A “lightbulb moment” for VO
A client recently gave us feedback at the end of his training. He was a beginner language learner who was preparing a six-month stay in Singapore. He made rapid progress and we knew he liked his lessons, but his feedback about the course was a revelation for us.
He made a direct link between the positive working atmosphere at Version Originale and his progress. It made a real difference to see everyone enjoying their work and being with each other; it put him in the right frame of mind to approach his lessons. Consequently, he made better progress than he ever imagined.
It was then we realised that what we were doing to help ourselves and our staff was also helping our clients, and consequently, our business. This has encouraged us to explore how we can take this even further, by upgrading our premises, creating an even more supportive learning environment, and by continuing to be open, transparent, and to communicate clearly with our staff and clients.