Petra Schyvynck is a training manager at Belfius Insurance. She recapitulates on the 15-year work co-operation with Lerian-Nti. The importance of language knowledge is on the increase in our contemporary European societies. Lerian-Nti remains a trustworthy ‘compagnon de route’.
Petra Schyvynck: ‘We are a typical Belgian company that has become increasingly internationally oriented. So, the language training programmes are becoming more and more important. Before I used to get one language training request monthly, nowadays I get three such requests in just one month. Because 70% of all our employees are Dutch speaking we make a point of emphasising the importance of French and Dutch language courses. However, the international holding company which we are now part of, increasingly demands that the financial reports are done in English. We also have several employees who studied Italian in order to respond to the requests of the expanding and changing Financial markets.’
'Custom-made' is more efficient
Lerian is always able to respond to each company’s specific language training needs. This also means that the employees of each particular department have the opportunity to be on a language training course that corresponds precisely to their specialised professional demands for specific business terminology. As a rule the courses are adapted to the initial language proficiency level of the candidates.
Petra Schyvynck: ‘Our receptionists learn how to welcome clients while using the visitors’ native language; our colleagues from the commercial departments learn how to efficiantly communicate with clients over the phone in different languages; our managers are taught how to participate in meetings in the target language, how to interrupt politely, defend their point of view or deliver well-structured business presentations … The custom-made language courses are maybe a bit more expensive, but also much more efficient in hindsight. Often the cheaper standard language courses leave our employees dissatisfied with the final result.’
One to one
We at Belfius Insurance mainly make use of Lerian’s semi-intensive language training packages. The packages’ formula features five half days of individual lessons: one language instructor, one student, all face-to-face.
Petra Schyvynck: ‘A one-week full immersion under the supervision of an individual instructor works miracles. After such a course, a non Dutch speaker who begins work in a predominantly Dutch speaking department is already able to communicate in the new language and deliver results. After a month this employee feels more at home with the target language. Of course, we need to make sure that these newly acquired language skills don’t get lost and weakened.The summer language formulas are particularly polpular at Belfius Insurance. ‘During the summer period the work schedules of our employees are less hectic. So, in this period most of the candidates choose for the semi-intensive language courses. These courses are also better for our wallet’, Petra Schyvynck laughs.
Good work relationship
Petra Schyvynck: ‘To describe Lerian in a few words? I don’t need to think long: accurate, punctual and highly flexible. Sometimes we are rather late with the submission of our training requests, but they always find the right solution. I also highly appreciate the quick follow-up on the progress of our candidates. This way the training manager is always up to date. Even more, Lerian teachers fit perfectly our company’s culture. Lerian-Nti keeps us posted on their new services in a non-intrusive informative manner. They never try to ‘sell’ or push. This calm professional approach is very impressive. We foresee many shared projects for the future – also for our foreign offices in France and Luxemburg.’