Mika Pehkonen is Documentation and Localization Manager at the global security software company F-Secure. Based in Finland, he has over fifteen years’ experience in localization and is a frequent speaker at industry events. Mika has championed a unique way at looking at how to motivate and empower the translators who work with the F-Secure products. He recently shared how working collaboratively with the Welocalize team, he has broken new ground in bringing happiness to all his teams.
Translation is an innovative profession for highly trained individuals. Yet, some buyers and language service providers (LSPs) still reward and motivate through outdated models, emphasizing volume and timeliness. To increase motivation and productivity, it’s not always about the money. It’s about giving your translation teams the respect they deserve and an emotional connection to you and your product range.
Where quality is concerned, pre-set metrics are mostly arbitrary and more suited for manufacturing and less for creative work. I wanted to explore other ways of improving the well-being of the translation teams by empowering them – enabling them to share, discuss ideas and issues. This meant they improved their working day with more openness and flexibility to be creative. I benefitted from incredible knowledge and insight that could shape future F-Secure products and their localization.
How did we (me and Welocalize) go about this?
I decided to explore the concept of motivation by moving away from algorithmic word prices and implementing hourly work. We set up Translator Innovation Days and introduced paid free-time to the translators, allowing them ownership, self-guidance and time for self-certification. We’ve been realizing some great results in terms of cost savings, motivation and quality of output. At the Translator Innovation Days, the translation teams have been able to get insight into future F-Secure localization and business strategy and work on language-related projects, like glossaries, style guides, terminology management and query management.
I spoke about this at Localization World in London in June of this year as part of a joint presentation with Welocalize. Our “Quality is a Ménage à Trois” presentation detailed our case study on translator motivation by looking at the three-way relationship between client, LSP and the translator.
Sometime, you just need to look at things differently and explore new ways.
Documentation and Localization Manager