One of the highlights of CLINT 2019 (Congreso Latinoamericano de la Industria de la Traducción) was the session with Natalia Quintás, our Chief People Officer. She led an in-depth session on how to manage high-performance teams in the competitive and challenging scenario of the localization industry. Natalia has 5 years’ experience at Terra Translations. She has worked as a vendor manager, permanent staff administrator and training and development manager. In addition, Natalia has a 15-year background in first-level global companies. Her bachelor’s degree in psychology and postgraduate courses are a supplement to her solid expertise. Because of this, she is a specialist in employment relationships, staff selection and team management, key aspects that shape the translation workflow.
The digital era
Natalia’s professional background was fundamental to the success of the presentation. On Sunday, September 15th, she took center stage in the packed conference room of CLINT 2019. Natalia began her lecture by defining the context of where the localization industry is set today: a digital era in which the internet is a featured part of the productive process. In this framework, companies can operate completely under a remote model without losing their high-performance profile, establishing new skills, leadership models and monitoring processes that Natalia knows very well.
Competences and monitoring
With this context as a new reality, Natalia explained that companies tend to have a more horizontal, interactive structure with flexible shifts and workplaces. The scenario requires different professional skills as well as new ways of monitoring everyday work. For instance, constant feedback, follow-up meetings and using psychological assets like the enneagram for team composition are some of the methods that allow leaders to have control over their vendors and processes, in the same way leaders can take monitoring actions for on-premises companies. That is why HR personnel should know, like Natalia does, how to find the right vendors that adapt and provide their best for digitally connected high-performance teams. Complex problem-solving, staff management, creativity and teamwork are some of the features that Natalia values in both linguists and operations staff. In companies like Terra, they result in the quality of the final product and the success of a project’s development.
Advantages of remote localization work
Remote companies like Terra have advantages that improve their employment conditions and, moreover, the value of the linguistic product delivered, she explained. First, savings in structural expenses (like office rent or electricity) can translate into more competitive rates for clients. Second, employees save time and resources. As Natalia outlined, not having to commute to work has a positive impact on employees because it results in enriched well-being and work-life balance. This directly influences the team’s high performance. The most salient asset of remote localization teams is that the vendor’s and managers’ location doesn’t interfere in recruitment because geography is not a limit for being part of the team. As a remote company, we can work with top professionals in their fields regardless of where these vendors are.