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motivating your translators
Thread poster: cunninglinguist
cunninglinguist
Netherlands
Local time: 03:14
Dutch to English
+ ...
Mar 10, 2003

I\'m about to start a 10-week simulation of a translation bureau: my final project in my translation studies. I will be the office manager of this bureau, which will have roughly 20 translators. Now, my question to you \'fellow office managers\' is: how do you motivate your employees? I\'m planning to reward them with compliments and show a personal interest. Any other ideas?



Big thanks



Anne

Maastricht

Holland


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Gillian Searl  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 02:14
Member (2004)
German to English
It's amazing how motivated people are Mar 10, 2003

when you pay them well and FAST! And are really helpful answering their questions, give clear instructions and a purchase order. The fastet way to demotivate translators: don\'t pay them, criticise them, don\'t answer their emails!

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Parrot  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 03:14
Member (2002)
Spanish to English
+ ...
Stay on top of the hierarchy in pricing Mar 10, 2003

Fully agree with Gillian.



It\'s also curious how an agency that pays well communicates that it cares about quality, making translators pore over finished products with an eye to finesse and detail. Likewise, such an agency always gets priority and inspires greater effort -- many translators would rather lose sleep during a busy season than miss out on a job from such an outsourcer, if not for the money, for the sake of good public relations.


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Uldis Liepkalns  Identity Verified
Latvia
Local time: 04:14
Member (2003)
English to Latvian
+ ...
By carrot and stick :))) Mar 10, 2003

Subj.
[addsig]


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Ralf Lemster  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 03:14
English to German
+ ...
Information is key Mar 10, 2003

Make sure that you provide information along the entire process chain:



- Provide reference material (term lists/term bases, project TMs, other reference material).

- Keep the terminology updated throughout longer projects.

- Always return the edited version, and communicate that you expect translators to check the changes made.



Obviously, Gillian\'s point of timely payment also reflects a very important issue.



Best, Ralf


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cunninglinguist
Netherlands
Local time: 03:14
Dutch to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
We're working with virtual money Mar 10, 2003

Thanks all, but as this is a simulation, I can\'t pay my employees in real cash, as that would mean the end of my bank account within a week I\'ll try to pay them in coffee.





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Nicolas Rick
Local time: 03:14
English to French
+ ...
Money ! Mar 10, 2003

As Gillian says : pay them well and FAS and of course feel free to tell them what you think of the job done wether good or bad.

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Libero_Lang_Lab  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 02:14
Member (2006)
Russian to English
+ ...
as, in fact, you clearly recognise... Mar 10, 2003

...given your choice of nickname - oral stimulation is always the best - whatever tongue you\'re dealing with.

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Alison Schwitzgebel
France
Local time: 03:14
Member (2002)
German to English
+ ...
I'd say trust is probably the most important element Mar 10, 2003

Trust between the agency and its freelancers, trust between the agency and its in-house translators, and trust between the employees themselves.



If that foundation isn\'t there then you can forget any of the other useful stuff about dissemination of information, on-time payments, etc. I\'m not saying that that doesn\'t play a role, but that it needs a solid foundation.



HTH



Alison





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xxxMarc P  Identity Verified
Local time: 03:14
German to English
+ ...
Employees? Or suppliers? Mar 10, 2003

>my question to you \'fellow office managers\' is: how do you motivate your employees?

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Ralf Lemster  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 03:14
English to German
+ ...
True, but... Mar 10, 2003

Quote:


Do you really mean employees? The other posters in this thread generally seem to think you mean freelance staff, for some reason.



Well spotted, Marc - probably due to the fact that most people active in here are freelancers rather than employees. However, I believe what I posted about information is important regardless of status.



Best, Ralf

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corinne durand  Identity Verified
Local time: 02:14
English to French
+ ...
Respect!!!! Mar 10, 2003

With the right attitude, the right expectations, the right information (and the right way to communicate it), the right price, the right recognition (a simple thank you) for receiving and appreciating the work and the payment on time!

Simple really...that is why I find so amazing it does not come naturally (or at all) to everybody.

Cheers to all!


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Susanna & Christian Popescu GbR
Germany
Local time: 03:14
Romanian to German
+ ...
Don't forget *non-material* elements Mar 10, 2003

Communication, respect, Christmas/Easter Cards will maybe contribute to a more proper spirit of partnership, at least in some countries or at least in relation with some translators. Such small - let\'s call them attentions - may, at a first glance, provoke smiles, but who wouldn\'t appreciate beeing remembered not only on occasions of a certain project/job?!
[addsig]


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cunninglinguist
Netherlands
Local time: 03:14
Dutch to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
My people will be in-house... Mar 10, 2003

...but they will have the liberty of working wherever they want to, as long as they deliver on time and remain contactable during office hours.

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xxxPaul Roige
Spain
Local time: 03:14
English to Spanish
+ ...
Coffee! Mar 11, 2003

Quote:


On 2003-03-10 17:02, cunninglinguist wrote:

Thanks all, but as this is a simulation, I can\'t pay my employees in real cash, as that would mean the end of my bank account within a week I\'ll try to pay them in coffee.



Now, that\'s cunning, my dear linguist! If you try coffee, please try well: have decaf just in case, heat the milk properly and get enough froth for them all, never ever serve it cold or lukewarm, keep the coffee machine clean, and have a cloth handy to wipe out stains from the keyboard. Croissants and bagels on the side will be highly appreciated. And the background music, please be sensitive, do NOT play neither Cliff Richard nor Engelbert Humperdinck. Tom Jones and Abba OK.

There is nothing virtual about coffee, it\'s more real than you and me together.

And please, don\'t expect payment for your waiting services. Motivation would sink ipso facto...

Happy virtual whatevers

Paul





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