The following workflow is based on a tip provided by Jamie McKee (@MacKeyComp) in the course of private exchange. Jamie McKee (@MacKeyComp) is the author of a high recommended post entitled Moving Text From Word to InDesign.
This workflow is for translators and graphics layout teams working for translation clients aiming to produce a target language documents laid out using Adobe InDesign from mostly unformatted source language documents in Microsoft Word. More specifically, this workflow is for cases where that described in Really smart workflow for .docx to .idml is not feasible for whatever reason.
1) Run a test by compiling a short Word file using only Word's "Normal,n" and containing local character attributes (bold, italics, etc.), non-breaking spaces (NBSPs), non-breaking hyphens, curly apostrophes, curly quotes and so forth. Ask the layout team to import the text into InDesign using the Place command (in the French version of Adobe InDesign this is called Importer) and to check that the said NBSPs) non-breaking hyphens, curly apostrophes and curly quotes are preserved.
2) If the test fails, find out why and repeat until successful. It may, for instance, be necessary to use a different style or styles in the Word document.
3) Ask the authors and translators to build their Microsoft Word files using only the Word style or styles successfully tested in step 2 and local character attributes (for bold, italics, etc.). From the outset authors and translators should use non-breaking spaces (NBSPs), aka hard spaces, non-breaking hyphens, curly apostrophes, curly quotes, and any other relevant tricks to ensure that layout and proofreading progress as smoothly and quickly as possible.
4) When the translation work proper has been completed, the translators should run Stanislav Okhvat's TransTools to ensure the consistent use of apostrophes, quotation marks, non-breaking spaces (NBSPs) and the like.