How to Use Technology to Motivate and Reward in‑house Teams

We are happy to share with you a case study that we recently received from one of our clients. We believe this might serve as an inspiration for the wider public. Enjoy reading this and don’t hesitate to contact us with your own success stories or questions.

In-house translators can be costly – but they can also be a profitable resource driving growth and business development. Using a smart motivation system makes a difference for us.

VERBA CENTAR is a Croatian translation company. It comprises a team of translators, reviewers, language editors, certified court interpreters, and translation project managers, who offer private individuals and companies high-quality linguistic services, specialized in South Slavic languages, from its office in Zagreb, Croatia. It is a member of the VERBA group which also has a branch office in Christiansfeld, Denmark.

To meet the strict requirements of the ISO 9001:2015 and ISO 17100:2015 standards, as well as all clients’ expectations with regard to quality, expertise, reliability and service speed, the company employs 20 in-house translators. While they are committed to providing high-quality translation services, however since the very beginning in 1998 to this day, our greatest challenge was finding a solution to boost their motivation. One idea was by implementing a special reward and recognition system that encouraged our in-house translators to increase their work productivity, without compromising the quality of their work.

This is why we needed a software solution and system which would enable both management and the workers to reliably and objectively measure work results so that the employees who get a fixed monthly salary could also be rewarded for above-average results and thus motivated to work more efficiently.

We needed a software solution and system which would enable both management and the workers to reliably and objectively measure work results so that the employees who get a fixed monthly salary could also be rewarded for above-average results and thus motivated to work more efficiently.

We tried several software solutions but they were always missing something important that they could not implement. In 2017, we started developing a translation project management software ourselves, but we gave it up after a year because the development could not keep up with the fast changes in our business.

That is when we decided, after “schlepping in all kinds of trailer trucks and self-made vehicles, to drive the best Mercedes.”

We considered several well known comprehensive software solutions for the management of translation projects, reporting, CRM and financial management of translation companies.

They all usually have a system for measuring the efficiency of employees based on the hours spent on work.

However, we wanted to give the opportunity to our employees to work from home and from other locations according to their preferences. That is why we needed to measure results and not the time spent at work.

We wanted to give the opportunity to our employees to work from home and from other locations according to their preferences. That is why we needed to measure results and not the time spent at work.

 

We opted for XTRF, which solved all our problems and met the need for measuring the efficiency of in-house translators and creating the possibility for a result-driven reward system.

XTRF included the following options:

  • Upload of analyses from different CAT tools to determine the (weighted) word count in translators’ tasks
  • Report on the number of (weighted) words translated by a translator or the number of hours assigned for different linguistic tasks (QA, proofreading, PDF check, LQA…)

Given that we have two units of measure (word and hour) in the reports, we decided to introduce a special measurement unit: point. In doing so, we determined how many points are assigned to the translator for every translated weighted word, and how many points for every assigned hour of work.

The XTRF support team developed for us a Custom Column in the system that calculates the number of POINTS achieved by a vendor in a given month. This way, the number of points can be shown in the view of our choice, and the system takes care of the necessary calculations.

Now we have a system for rewarding our in-house translators for their work based on efficiency and client satisfaction.

Of course, we had to adapt our internal work procedures, because the quality is of the utmost importance and we do not want the translators to be driven only by the quantity of their work. Our project managers have been specifically instructed to assign additional hours to translators when they work on more complex projects that require more time for their preparation and execution.

In addition, translators also receive additional points any time they are praised by a client.

Now we have a system for rewarding our in-house translators for their work
based on efficiency and client satisfaction.

A great advantage of XTRF is the fact that we can have an unlimited number of registered vendors for whom we do not have to pay licenses. One issue from that is that they did not have access to all reports. Fortunately, the XTRF support team solved that problem for us.

In case of in-house vendors, who don’t have Home Portal licenses, there was no report or view which could be made available to them, so an appropriate report is generated daily/weekly/monthly (according to our preferences) and sent to any of the users, and manually or automatically forwarded to any group of recipients (outside XTRF).

The view is also sent in the form of a CSV attachment and we use it for our additional BI analysis and business reporting. This way, our in-house translators are informed of their work achievements in regular intervals. Moreover, our special workplace mentoring system enables quality assurance and translator training.

 

More than 20 years of experience has taught us that success can be achieved only with good organization of internal processes, good staff management and automation of routine tasks in all business segments.

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Vanja Keindl
General Manager
VERBA CENTAR d.o.o.
Hebrangova 32
Zagreb, Croatia
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Luciano Lykkebo
Partner & Managing Director
VERBA Translation ApS
Torning Møllevej 11
Christiansfeld, Denmark
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