4 Tips to Save Money in Localization

4 Tips to Save Money in Localization 

Before booking localization services, companies usually allocate a budget for localization services. This budget is something they have to keep an eye on when they’re selecting the localization vendor, as well as once they start sending projects. It’s only logical to want to make the most of that budget, so keep reading for insight into four helpful tips for saving money during a localization project.  

Finalize the Source Content 

First things first, it’s a good idea to double-check that the content you are about to begin localizing is in fact the final version of the content. That way, you won’t have to go back later to make changes when the source material is updated.  

If you send your localization team new content after they begin working, this will lead to spending more money and will extend the localization timeline.  

Prepare a Localization Kit  

It’s true that creating a localization kit is an extra step to take before you start a localization project, but the work you put in upfront can save you money down the road. When you create a thorough localization kit, you give your localization team everything they need to succeed from the start. This helps prevent roadblocks that can cost more money to fix.  

Avoid Manual Processes  

Technology can help you save both time and money. For example, you can use technology to avoid manually exporting and converting files.  

Traditionally, localization involved extracting the content that required translation. It can take hours and possibly even days to collect the required content for a localization project. Once collected, you would transfer that content to a central document—such as a spreadsheet or Word document—and then send it to the translators to work on. 

Once fully translated, you would send this central document to the developers to upload back into the product. This process can be very time-consuming and error-prone. When you use a localization platform, you can do your work in a consolidated place that encourages collaboration and that reduces human errors.  

Employ Experienced Professionals 

All localization projects have varying budgets and it’s important to be mindful of the budget in place. That being said, while it may be tempting to choose the least expensive localization partner, you need to make sure that partner can deliver the quality you’re looking for. When you choose the wrong partner, you risk running into issues such as having to delay your campaign or product launch. You may also spend more time fixing mistakes or may incur fines due to incorrect translations. Not to mention, you risk harming the public perception of your brand. Point being—it’s important to always employ experienced translation professionals.  

The Takeaway 

There are quite a few steps you can take to save money during the localization process all while ensuring you’re working towards a quality end product. It’s important to note that if you are in the midst of a localization project right now, it’s not too late to incorporate some of these tips.  

How to Build an Internal Localization Team

How to Build an Internal Localization Team

Large businesses with international presence usually already have a big and well-established localization team. However, other companies that are just venturing into new markets and do not have a localization team can benefit greatly from building at least a small one. While they will most probably need to hire a localization partner for their localization needs, having a small internal localization team can help them centralize and coordinate the different needs from other departments within the organization and work closely with the localization partner so that their goals are met. 

Here’s how you can build an internal localization team that is set up for success from day one.  

Fill the Right Roles 

First things first, you need the right players on your team. 

  • Localization Project Manager (LPM)/Program Manager. The most important role on your internal localization team is that of the LPM/Program Manager. While the other roles you’ll need to fill play an important role in a project’s success, the LPM/Program Manager keeps the entire project on track and helps improve communications between internal stakeholders and language providers.  
  • Language lead/lead linguist. The language lead or lead linguist will be the point of contact for all linguistic matters. Some language service providers (LSPs) have their own language lead, but if you have one in your own team, you make sure this person is aligned with your expectations and the needs of your organization, as well as with your organization’s linguistic preferences. When working with different vendors/translators, it’s key to have a person that settles any linguistic matter and can guide the linguists to achieve consistency.  
  • In house reviewer. These individual reviews delivered files and makes sure the expected quality is met and may provide feedback when there are things to fix or if specific instructions were not followed. The LSP may also have a person in charge of reviewing or proofreading the files before delivery, but it’s always good to have someone internally who can double check

Look for the Right Qualities 

Your internal localization team needs the following three skills to thrive: 

  • Planning and organization. The many different departments in a company (marketing, HR, legal, finance, etc.) may all need localization services at one point or another. Each department will have projects with unique characteristics, requirements, and deadlines. This is where the planning and organization skills come into play for the LPM, as they need to coordinate all of this with the language service provider. Planning also allows for risk management, which can mean anything from foreseeing potential issues or expectations upfront all the way through plenty of cushion time built into deadlines, so that unexpected occurrences don’t disrupt progress or strain deadlines. In all cases, proper planning often results in less stress and happier clients with top-notch final products. Staying organized is a must to make sure projects run smoothly. Keeping track of all the different aspects that go into a successful localization, such as linguistics, culture, technical details and administration details can be daunting, but it’s important to stay focused.  
  • Technologically savvy. Localization projects are often cutting-edge and continuously evolving, meaning the project managers behind them should be flexible and willing to adapt. Understanding tools such as machine translation engines, term base extraction systems, or software localization platforms is an essential part of localization management in order to lead a successful workflow from start to finish. With the use of modern technologies, the technical skills of project managers can help smooth out processes that may have previously been time consuming for localization teams. Keeping up with emerging tools and coordinating their implementation in the project helps managers ensure a successful project every time. 
  • People management and communication skills. Localization project managers are responsible for leading a team and managing their work with different departments within the client’s organization. It is important to be able to communicate well with other localization specialists and their teams, which can include linguists, software engineers, testers, and desktop publishers, as well as being able to communicate well with the company’s internal stakeholders. Logistics on these projects can become complicated as collaborators may be located in different countries, time zones, and cultures. This can add an extra layer of complexity to the management of team members. For a localization project manager to succeed in this role, it is necessary to have strong people management and communication skills.  

The Takeaway 

Building an internal localization team is one way to ensure that your products and content are accurately translated and culturally relevant. Creating a process and foundation for your team will help them succeed and allow you to focus on other aspects of taking your business global. 

Nurturing a Culture of Compliance Terra's Journey and Approach

Nurturing a Culture of Compliance: Terra’s Journey and Approach 

A culture of compliance encompasses a set of values, behaviors, and attitudes guiding individuals within an organization to adhere to policies, procedures, and regulations. This framework facilitates better decision-making at all levels, ensuring alignment with the business’s rules. 

At Terra, our commitment to fostering a culture of compliance goes beyond mere adherence to standards. We emphasize cultivating a sense of belonging and shared purpose among team members. Our dedication to continuous improvement stems from the firm belief that there is always room for enhancement, presenting opportunities for growth and innovation. 

This commitment to compliance is evident in our ISO-certified services maintained since 2019 and our strict adherence to HIPAA regulations. Read on to learn more about how we nurture compliance culture at Terra.  

ISO Certifications 

We strive to select certifications that truly enhance our operations and client services. The ISO 9001 and 17100 standards drive our quality-oriented translation services

To maintain these certifications through the years, we develop structured training programs and strategic initiatives to provide each team member with the latest tools and encourage them to embrace new technologies. Throughout this process, we constantly review our procedures. Thanks to these efforts, our team members understand their pivotal role in our quality management system and diligently apply best practices in their daily tasks. 

HIPAA Compliance 

As a language service provider, we have a strong commitment to language access. However, we understand that in the healthcare space specifically, a lot of sensitive and confidential information is shared in the translation projects our client entrusts us. As such, we need to handle these files with the utmost care. The compliance culture we first cultivated among our team with ISO allowed us to pursue HIPAA compliance with confidence. Every individual handling ePHI projects understands the importance of safeguarding this information, shares these values, and does everything in their power to uphold them. 

Compliance is a Team Effort 

If a compliance issue arises, the focus becomes identifying the root cause of the problem—not the person responsible for it. During non-conformity analyses, individuals from diverse company teams work together to examine deviations, gain a deeper comprehension of the origin of the problem, and collectively devise solutions. 

While compliance is mainly an internal process, external validation is essential to maintain our clients’ trust. Terra hires experienced external auditors to conduct comprehensive reviews. These internal audits are invaluable learning experiences, where team members see firsthand the impact their compliance efforts have on the team results. This independent evaluation leaves no room for improvisation. At the same time, it enables us to identify areas for improvement in our processes. 

The Takeaway 

Fostering a culture of compliance isn’t easy, but organizations that prioritize it set themselves up for long-term success. At Terra, we navigate the path to continuous improvement with a compass of transparency, collaboration, and an unwavering commitment to excellence.

Translation and Business Management Systems Adding Value, Subtracting Risk

Translation and Business Management Systems: Adding Value, Subtracting Risk

Computer Assisted Translation (CAT) tools are decisive within localization workflows. Not only do they assist linguists in their work with multiple features, such as translation memories (TMs), automation rules, built-in glossaries, and more. Many also include tools that help project managers (PMs) and vendor managers (VMs) with their daily tasks, offering reporting, allocation tools, and workflow management. Software solutions that have both functions are called Translation Management Systems (TMSs), and here we’ll address how they can enhance localization processes. Furthermore, we’ll discuss the main difference between TMSs and another type of tool, Business Management Systems (BMSs), which are often mistaken for one another.  

TMS support  

A TMS helps the project management team automate and customize repetitive processes. For example, if they manage a large number of projects with identical requirements daily, TMSs offer templates that can save time and clicks. Furthermore, TMSs allow tracking and reporting. Reports are crucial because they inform stakeholders within a project about the exact volume and scope. Without data from reports, planning or scheduling is not possible. Some TMSs allow tracking other variables, such as time spent on editing, costs, and profitability.   

Most TMSs include powerful quality assurance tools and some even allow storing localization resources, like TMs, references, or term bases (TB). This is a big deal for project management purposes since it offers a built-in quality management solution for workflows while also offering data storage. Repositories are more common in cloud-based solutions and they help maintain resources classified and organized.   

A TMS can also feature vendor management solutions. This includes elaborating databases of vendors with detailed profiles where VMs and PMs can search and filter according to their needs.   

These are just a few of the ways how TMSs can support localization management teams. There are a wide variety of TMSs in the market aimed at different needs, products, and processes, that offer solutions for specific workflows.  

Manage businesses  

In the localization landscape, another type of software is a must when users are in need of organizing workflows and operations. When a business scales up and its processes grow and become more complex, BMSs come to their aid. Language Service Providers (LSPs) benefit from BMSs because these tools efficiently manage and monitor business operations, mainly by performing the following functions:  

  • Comprehensive workflow and project management  
  • Allocating and coordinating multiple vendors  
  • Creating and storing databases of vendors and clients  
  • Reporting and tracking multiple variables, such as profitability, services, types of projects, etc. 
  • Invoicing  
  • Project and vendor rating  

The main difference between a BMS and a TMS is that the latter also includes CAT tool functionalities, while the former doesn’t. Some BMSs are helpful across industries, yet some are customized specifically for localization workflows. Some companies even develop customized BMSs, like TerraSoft.  

Drawing the line  

While always useful and handy, spreadsheets fall short when businesses thrive and their data volume grows. TMSs and BMSs go beyond offering solutions for data storing, workflow tracking, or reporting. Their features also add value to the workflows LSPs manage and reduce potential risks. Counting on TMSs and BMSs ensures cross-checking of data, consistency across projects and time, data management, and thorough monitoring. 

The Role of Cybersecurity in HIPAA-Compliant Translation Services

The Role of Cybersecurity in HIPAA-Compliant Translation Services

As healthcare cyberattacks surge, cybersecurity is paramount. A 60% year-over-year rise, affecting over 40 million individual patients’ data in 2023, highlights the growing complexity and harm. Robust cybersecurity is crucial to protect individuals from evolving threats and safeguard the integrity of sensitive health information. 

Let’s take a closer look at the role of cybersecurity in HIPAA-compliant translation services.  

Building a Strong Defense  

Terra is a language service provider (LSP) that handles the translation of very sensitive information, as such, we understand that cybersecurity is imperative. These are some of the measures we have in place to build a strong defense:  

  • Proper monitoring. All electronic devices owned by Terra are monitored through Microsoft Azure tools, which detect potential threats. Our translation management system tracks all log activities for projects, generating a distinct timestamped record on projects with ePHI
  • Secure on-premises servers. We have our own secure on-premises server in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, which ensures that the data stays within our safe environments. This also gives us more control over information management in real-time and on demand. 
  • Unique logins. Everyone with access to ePHI has a unique login and strong password—which is frequently updated for additional security.  
  • Microsoft Defender for Endpoint. Terra utilizes this program to ensure security through MFA for all Active Directory users.  

An Ongoing Commitment to Improving Cybersecurity  

There are some other steps the Terra team takes to continue to improve our cybersecurity efforts: 

  • Continuous risk assessment. Terra executes risk assessments on a yearly basis under the most stringent guidelines and practices to preserve the security of all private information entrusted to us. During this assessment, our processes are audited by an external consultant specialized in HIPAA compliance and IT security. Their recommendations are then implemented so our processes, protocols and software comply with the latest regulations and stay at the cutting edge in terms of cybersecurity. 
  • Security protocols. Our routers actively track and log all attempted security breaches. We conduct regular evaluations to detect any unusual behavior in our processes. 
  • Data protection measures. Our IT department explores new advanced technologies to strengthen security and implement robust backup and recovery plans for ePHI integrity during emergencies or system failures. 
  • Fostering a culture of compliance. Our team regularly trains to uphold our commitment to safeguarding sensitive information. Continuous collaboration with the IT department and our Privacy Officer allows each team member to play a vital role in compliance. 

Cybersecurity beyond healthcare 

Terra places the highest importance on maintaining robust cybersecurity measures and not just because of HIPAA compliance. In the language services industry, all sorts of confidential and sensitive information are handled in a digital format that is usually shared electronically.  

“In the healthcare field, it could be a medical record that would really hurt people if it were made public. But at the same time, in our other verticals, we handle court statements, sometimes from extremely dramatic situations, that no one would want to see disclosed. In other sectors, the damage can be just economic, but it can be huge and disrupt industries,” Dr. Matías Giannoni, Ph.D. and Privacy Officer at Terra explained.  

The takeaway 

The imperative role of cybersecurity in ensuring HIPAA compliance cannot be overstated for LSPs. As technology bridges geographical gaps and facilitates the global exchange of information, the responsibility to safeguard sensitive patient data becomes paramount. Terra’s Privacy Officer, in conjunction with our vigilant IT Department, plays a pivotal role in fortifying cybersecurity measures not just as a regulatory requirement but as a fundamental pillar in safeguarding privacy, maintaining confidentiality, and preventing potential harm to the different industries we work with. 

8 Benefits of Staffing Services for Your Business

8 Benefits of Staffing Services for Your Business

Finding the right talent efficiently is crucial for sustained business growth. Staffing services provide a solution that goes beyond conventional hiring methods, offering a range of benefits that can significantly impact your business. In a previous article, we delved into the importance of effective staffing strategies. Now, let’s explore eight compelling benefits that make staffing services a valuable asset for your company. 

Cost Efficiency 

One of the primary advantages of staffing is cost efficiency. Traditional hiring methods involve various expenses such as recruitment, onboarding, benefits, and social charges. Staffing services help businesses reduce these additional expenses, making it an economical option for acquiring talent. 


In the fast-paced business world, time is money. Staffing services streamline the hiring process by providing access to pre-screened talent through their extensive databases. This not only saves valuable time but also ensures a quicker turnaround in the recruitment process, particularly when faced with multiple rounds of interviews and evaluations. 

Expertise and Knowledge of the Hiring Process 

Staffing providers bring a wealth of expertise to the table. With experienced recruiters who understand the intricacies of the job market and industry-specific requirements, they employ effective candidate-sourcing techniques. This expertise ensures your business benefits from the best possible talent acquisition strategies. 

Temporary or Contract Staffing 

Businesses often experience fluctuations in staffing needs due to growth or downsizing. Staffing services offer a flexible solution with customizable contract durations and scalability options. This enables you to efficiently manage temporary or contract positions during peak seasons or special projects without the hassle of long-term commitments. 

Reduced Administrative Burden 

Handling administrative tasks such as payroll, benefits, and taxes for temporary or contract employees can be time-consuming. Staffing services alleviate this burden by taking care of these responsibilities, allowing your business to focus on core objectives and strategic goals. 

Flexible Agreement 

Every business is unique, and staffing services recognize this diversity. They provide tailored plans that adapt to your specific business goals and hiring needs. This flexibility ensures that the terms of the agreement align seamlessly with your company’s requirements. 

Strong Work Relationships 

Building strong, enduring relationships between your company and top industry talent is crucial for sustained success. Staffing services play a pivotal role in this aspect, understanding your company culture, values, and long-term goals. A staffing partner who aligns with your vision can foster trust and collaboration, ensuring a healthy working relationship with new employees

Risk Mitigation 

Staffing vendors often assume liability for issues such as workers’ compensation and unemployment claims for temporary employees. This proactive approach helps mitigate legal and financial risks for your business, providing an additional layer of security. 

The Takeaway 

Partnering with a staffing expert can offer your business affordable and productive paths forward for your hiring needs. The expertise, time-saving benefits, and strong work relationships fostered by staffing agencies can streamline the recruitment process, allowing your company to focus on core objectives while accessing top talent. As you explore options to expand your team, consider the numerous advantages offered by staffing services. If you’re contemplating staffing solutions or need guidance on whether it’s the right move for your company, feel free to reach out to Federico Colombo, Customer Success Manager at [email protected]

The Importance of Language Access in the Manufacturing Industry

The Importance of Language Access in the Manufacturing Industry

Effective communication is the backbone of success in the manufacturing industry. It ensures not only the safety of the workers but also compliance with regulations and overall operational efficiency. However, for companies dealing with a diverse workforce that includes individuals with Limited English Proficiency, language barriers can become a significant roadblock. Let’s discuss the importance of language access in manufacturing and explore practical strategies to overcome these hurdles. 

Understanding the Key Role of Language Access 

These are some of the main considerations you should keep top of mind when it comes to language access in the manufacturing industry: 

  • Safety first: On the factory floor, where precision and caution are paramount, language barriers can translate into safety hazards. When workers struggle to comprehend safety instructions or warnings due to language differences, the risk of accidents and injuries significantly increases. Implementing language access measures becomes a crucial step in mitigating these potential dangers. 
  • Efficiency and quality boost: Effective communication—facilitated by translation services—is the key to enhancing efficiency in manufacturing processes. When workers can understand instructions clearly, they are more likely to perform tasks accurately and efficiently. This not only contributes to increased productivity but also elevates the overall quality of the manufacturing process by reducing errors and defects in the final products. 
  • Cost-effectiveness: While some may perceive translation services as an additional expense, they can be a wise investment in the long run. By preventing costly mistakes and accidents, these services contribute to improved overall efficiency. Furthermore, addressing language barriers can reduce onboarding time and costs, a significant benefit in industries where training is complex and time-consuming. 
  • Employee engagement and retention: Language access initiatives go beyond operational benefits; they also play a crucial role in employee engagement and retention. When workers feel understood and included, their morale and engagement levels increase. This, in turn, fosters a positive work environment and enhances the likelihood of retaining skilled personnel in the organization. 
  • Compliance matters: In the manufacturing sector, staying compliant with regulations, especially those set by organizations like OSHA, is non-negotiable. Providing training in employees’ native languages is not just a good practice but a regulatory necessity, ensuring that your company aligns with the required safety standards. 

How to Boost Language Access in Manufacturing 

To help improve language access in manufacturing, consider taking these steps: 

  • Implement translation services: Utilize translation services to assist workers in understanding critical documents and instructions, including safety guidelines, operating manuals, and employee handbooks. This ensures that information is accessible to all employees, regardless of their language proficiency. 
  • Offer multilingual resources: Make the work environment more accessible by providing multilingual resources and tools such as visual aids, bilingual signage, and language-friendly navigation systems. This promotes effective communication and ensures that everyone can move around the workspace safely. 
  • Provide native language training: Conduct training sessions in the native languages of your employees to guarantee comprehension. Translate manuals, eLearning courses, and add subtitles to training videos. This commitment to language access will reinforce safety protocols and proper equipment usage. 

The Takeaway 

Providing language support services is not just a luxury but a necessity in the manufacturing sector. By addressing communication challenges through translation services and other language access initiatives, companies can foster improved collaboration, increased efficiency, and a safer working environment for all.  

How Localization Can Play a Role in Good and Not So Good App Reviews

How Localization Can Play a Role in Good and Not So Good App Reviews

These days, consumers spend a lot of time on their smartphones and much of that time is spent engaging with apps. Why? Some apps are really fun and some are super convenient. From playing games to checking emails to navigating a new city to ordering food, smartphone apps play a major role in our daily lives.

If an app developer wants to capture the attention of multiple markets (and they stand to gain a lot by doing so), then they need to prioritize localization. Here’s why.

Why localization can boost reach for developers

When you develop an app for a user, you have to do just that — develop the app for their exact needs. It’s only natural a user won’t go out of their way to understand an app that isn’t in their native language.

When you localize your app to the languages spoken in your target markets, you make yourself a stronger competitor in the space and can compete with local developers who designed their app with their local population in mind.

While it can be very tempting for developers to turn to machine translation to make the process of localizing their apps faster and more cost-effective, this usually isn’t the best way to go. Why? App content typically is made up of short strings of text that have little to no context. Machine Translation can struggle to accurately translate this style of content. You need human involvement to translate and test this content effectively.

How localization can influence app reviews

Localizing your app helps improve the user experience and that can lead to much stronger app reviews. Understandably, if someone struggles to understand and navigate an app due to a language divide, the true quality of the app won’t even be taken into account. A frustrated user who walks away from an app due to a language divide isn’t going to leave a positive review and may even leave a bad one.

You don’t want to sleep on reviews. Having good reviews helps your app rank higher in the app store. Which means when consumers are searching for apps, they’re more likely to find yours.

Important considerations when localizing

When you do start the localization process, there’s some important factors worth keeping in mind.

To start, you don’t want to only focus on the language your target audience speaks. You also want to pay close attention to their culture. You want the content of your app, as well as the form and functionality, to resonate with your audience and to be intuitive to use. This is why it’s a great idea to hire a localization expert who is from the region you’re looking to target, since they have a strong understanding of the local culture.

It’s also important to test your app before you launch. The last thing you want is to receive bad reviews because you didn’t perform a quality assurance test before launching.

The Role of LQA in Ensuring Successful Video Game Localization

The Role of LQA in Ensuring Successful Video Game Localization

Behind every exciting gaming experience, there is a team of developers working tirelessly to create a masterpiece that not only entertains but also immerses you into a different world altogether. One of the most critical factors in ensuring the success of a video game is its quality.

Quality encompasses all components of a game, from its graphics and sound to its localization. This is where comes into play as a crucial aspect of the development process that ensures that the localization is accurate, appropriate, and flawless in the intended target market.

Keep reading for a closer look at what LQA is, why it matters, and what the different types of LQA are.

What is LQA?

In a highly competitive gaming industry, LQA has become an essential component in ensuring the success of a game’s localization. By working with experienced LQA experts, video game developers can deliver high-quality localized versions of their games, which not only resonates with players but also increases the likeliness of success in the global marketplace.

LQA testing is designed to catch any localization errors that can detract from the overall gaming experience. These errors can range from mistranslations due to lack of context to cultural inaccuracies, and even improper font usage. With thorough LQA testing, these issues can be detected and fixed before release.

To guarantee quality, during the LQA process, experienced linguists who are fluent in the target language and culture, and most probably are avid gamers themselves, play the game and thoroughly review every aspect of it. This step allows them to pick up on any linguistic nuances that could potentially take away from the gaming experience. If any errors are found, they are flagged and fixed to make sure that players can enjoy the game without any language or culture-related issues.

What are the different types of LQA?

LQA encompasses three different types of quality assurance (QA): linguistic, visual, and functional.

  • Linguistic QA focuses on any grammatical errors, spelling mistakes, and punctuation issues in the content. It also ensures that culturalization problems, inconsistent translations, and untranslated names or terms are flagged for correction.
  • Visual QA deals with font issues, user interface problems, and any graphics or images that are incorrectly placed or formatted. They also check for content that has been left untranslated or any issues with missing characters or line-breaks.
  • Functional QA is the most complex type and involves testing on different hardware and gaming devices such as Android, iOS, PlayStation, Xbox, Nintendo, and PC. During functional QA, specialists test for compatibility, performance, AI behavior, and accuracy of audio text and subtitles.

Why LQA?

LQA is a crucial step in game development that ensures all localized versions of your game are just as good as the original version. By investing time and resources into LQA, you’re showing your gamers that you care about their experience and value their feedback. Not only does this lead to happy players who are more likely to recommend your game, but it also prevents potential bad publicity that can arise from poorly localized games. With the rise of online communities and social media, it’s more important than ever to make sure your game is of the highest quality in all versions. So, we strongly advise against skipping LQA—it not only saves time and headaches, but it also helps to ensure the success of your game.

The Takeaway

LQA is a critical aspect of video game development and localization. By upholding the highest quality standards, video game developers can ensure that their games provide an immersive experience to players, thereby increasing their chances of success in the global market.

Thriving Together The Impact of Company Culture at Terra 

Thriving Together: The Impact of Company Culture at Terra 

Having a strong company culture—also known as corporate culture or organizational culture—helps businesses retain the best talent, increases productivity, and improves employee happiness. Let’s explore what organizational or company culture is, why it is important to cultivate a good culture, and what benefits it can bring in the long run for organizations that prioritize it.  

What is “organizational culture” and why is it important? 

The term “organizational culture” is often discussed in business, but a clear definition is hard to pin down. It comes from social anthropology and includes the knowledge and beliefs people acquire in society. In the 1970s, this term became crucial for meeting the needs and values of workers. Today, companies value it more than physical assets, using it to shape new strategies.  

Since we spend over half our day working and interacting with colleagues, a positive organizational culture significantly impacts our well-being and satisfaction in both professional and personal aspects of life. At Terra, we focus on building a strong company culture, recognizing its importance in our success. 

Company Culture at Terra 

Being a 100% virtual company since its inception in 2000, Terra has always prioritized creating opportunities for connection and support amongst our team despite the lack of face-to-face interactions. We understand the importance of fostering a sense of companionship and collaboration, especially in a remote setting where traditional avenues for communication are often limited.  

To address these challenges, we implement various strategies such as prioritizing phone over email communication, hosting monthly company-wide meetings led by our leaders to discuss business updates and vision, team-specific monthly meetings with our CEO, and weekly check-ins within each team for progress updates. Additionally, we provide recreational spaces and flexibility to ensure a well-rounded and fulfilling work experience for our team members. 

Impact on retention 

Within each team, microcultures inevitably form, even within the broader organizational culture defined by the company’s mission and values. These microcultures develop unique values and work styles. While these microcultures need to maintain respectful and functional dynamics that align with the company’s overall objectives, it’s equally crucial to respect their individuality.  

Numerous studies demonstrate that factors beyond compensation influence an individual’s decision to remain with a company. Therefore, acknowledging and respecting the unique microcultures within teams contributes significantly to employee retention and overall organizational success.  

Thanks to these efforts, Terra currently boasts a remarkable 95% retention rate. Positive feedback from climate surveys underscores the effectiveness of our approach, demonstrating that employees continue to choose Terra not only for the supportive team environment but also for the career challenges it offers and the growth opportunities it provides for every collaborator. 

The takeaway 

Finding and training the right talent takes a lot of work and money. To retain top talent, you need to prioritize building a strong company culture that reflects shared values amongst your workforce. Doing so will help both the organization as a whole and individual team members thrive.