Entre les lignes – Putting People First

23rd Mar 2021
Entre les lignes

To bring 2020 – a strange year for all of us – to a satisfying close, we introduced the Entre les lignes Magazine, a place where we could share our passion for language and drop nuggets of wisdom on how to navigate the industry and make brands pivot. Since then, we’ve provided you – our readers – with articles on creative marketing strategies for start-ups, our favourite marketing campaigns, and not just one, but two lists of the best translation agencies in the field.

However, there comes a time when you should slow down, pause, and take stock. Why? To remind yourself of why you are doing what you are doing – to reaffirm what really counts. At Entre les lignes, that means focusing on our people and revisiting our core values. Because at the end of the day, those are the things that keep the hearth fires of our hearts burning bright.

In house, we have a small close-knit team, with founder and language designer Tim Renders at the helm, with project designers Olivia Nackaerts and Gyokhan Hamdi responsible for mastering the intricacies of every project and providing client care.

What unites us is a set of unshakeable values – authenticity, honesty, transparency, service, and kindness.

These values are our Pole Star, the spark by which we chart our way, not just to success, but to long-term, authentic relationships in which all our people, from our in-house team to clients and our trusted network of freelancers, always come first. And in turn, the richness of those relationships inspires our holistic approach to translation and copy.

We look beyond project boundaries to suss out who our clients are, what distinguishes their brand, and what they genuinely care about. We really listen. And then we bring the right people in our network together, not to make magic, but genuine artisanry.

Want to get to know us a little better? We love meeting new people. Get in touch.

Entre les lignes values

Translation agencies are a dime a dozen, often trying to maintain a competitive edge with state-of-the-art technology, low prices, and rapid turnover time. And people, from employees to clients, often get lost in the mix.

It’s the antithesis of the Entre les lignes ethos but… it’s an easy situation to end up in. The crush of the maddening crowd, the insistence that success is measured in terms of money, positioning, and likes is a powerful draw. And it can make it difficult to maintain the right priorities.

However, that’s precisely why we cherish our people and our values so dearly. They help us remain above the fray and stay true to ourselves. We want to be a light and remind people of what matters and deliver fantastic service. So, what are our values? What do we stand for?

Authenticity

There’s a cordial exchange of emails. The person on the other end is polite, seems capable, and is friendly. But have you ever wondered who they really are and what kind of relationship you’ve stepped into?

That’s a question you’ll never have to ask yourself with us. Authenticity is undeniably a popular buzzword, but at Entre les lignes, what you see really is what you get. We are real with each other, our freelancers, and our clients and give you the space to be equally authentic.

It’s the basis of trust.

If you’d like to witness that authenticity in action, skim through some of Tim’s posts on LinkedIn. Openness, vulnerability, a little cheek, poignancy, and constant encouragement - you’ll find them all there.

Likewise, he and our team value authenticity in others just as much. It’s a catalyst that reveals talent and creates deeper bonds. When you’re authentic, there’s no room for fear or insecurity; you can push creative boundaries and overdeliver – every time. That’s the kind of beauty we can never get enough of.

Honesty and transparency

To be honest (ha!), honesty and transparency are crucial conditions for authenticity. You can’t have one without the other. At Entre les lignes though, these qualities are what guarantee the integrity of our relationships.

If you’re a client, that means we are upfront about deadlines, prices, and the amount of work that goes into a commission. Why? Because when we enter a partnership, we’re in it for the long haul, and no long-term relationship can survive without honesty. It’s the foundation of respect.

However, if we value honesty and transparency vis-à-vis our clients, we value it all the more in our team, which isn’t limited to our in-house crew. Our ranks are augmented by brilliant freelance writers, translators, copy editors, marketers, and more. We encourage feedback and provide the same, to make sure that everyone feels valued and is on the same page.

Kindness

And that brings us to kindness…  As a value, it’s often underrated in the business world. But we are convinced that it is imbued with transformational powers. A dollop of kindness can go miles towards making people feel heard, understood, and respected.

Why does that matter?

Simple. It inspires people to invest; to go above and beyond because they feel valued. Kindness is a wellspring of creativity. It gives us all the freedom to dream big when we know that we matter and that we aren’t alone.

Trickle-down economics may have been debunked, but the ripple effect of kindness is something we’ve witnessed in action.

The real resource is you

Hundreds of metrics exist for benchmarking company success, from growth to referrals, retention, and product stickiness. Are those metrics important? Sure. But they mustn’t obscure the big picture, which is that our key KPI and our most valuable resource is people like you!

To start, our clients know we take them seriously. We don’t treat them like just another means to an end. Without their insights and openness, we would be flying blind. By taking the time to get to know our clients, to see the people behind the brand, we enhance our service. The wealth of experience and knowledge that clients like Delvaux, Dift, and Gael Maison bring to the table makes our creative content infinitely richer.

Our people-centred story doesn’t stop there though. Bob Dylan shrewdly reminds us that whoever you are, ‘you’re gonna have to serve somebody’. How true that is. However, through trial and tribulation we’ve learned a lesson that’s just as, if not more important – to take care of others, you’ve got to take care of yourself first.

In practice, that means that our team always makes time for me time. We encourage each other to go for walks, spend time with loved ones, or do the things we love. At Entre les lignes – we are the real resource. In contrast with the standard of the day, that means that sometimes we turn down work if we feel it puts our values and ourselves in jeopardy.

Last but not least, we have a select network of freelancers that help us develop our linguistic content. Handpicked for their unique skill sets and expertise and unconstrained by geographical boundaries, they make it possible for us to match the best translators, writers, and transcreators to our clients.

The Circle of Kindness

We mentioned earlier that kindness has a ripple effect. The kindness we show ourselves and each other spills over into all of our relationships - personal and business alike. The same can be said for our values.

Our values are simultaneously who we are and the cornerstone of our business strategy. When you put people first, engendering trust through honesty and authenticity, it inspires excellence. Our people are the font of our creativity, but our philosophy is what makes the relationship work.

From private messages of encouragement to giving others the benefit of the doubt, believing the best about people – we keep the lines of communication open. And that creates ambassadors for Entre les lignes because we live out our truth. What we stand for is clear from the get-go.

The positivity generated by this approach gives our team the energy to overdeliver in terms of value. Clients are never left feeling like just another lead and freelancers who feel like they are part of something bigger, supported by Entre les Lignes’ in-house team, give it their all to produce content that exceeds expectations.

People over product = better product

Guided by its values – authenticity, honesty/transparency, service, and kindnessEntre les lignes will always put people over product. A decade of experience shows that it’s the best way to create superior content and leave the world a happier, kinder place.

If you’re looking for a language design agency driven by a heart for people, where authenticity and integrity are non-negotiables, drop us a line. We’re in this for the long haul – happily.

Want to get to know us a little better? We love meeting new people. Get in touch.