EWC Bootcamp heralds a new era for European Works Councils

EWC Bootcamp heralds a new era for European Works Councils

On December 14th, The Presence Academy celebrated another edition of its popular concept: The EWC Bootcamp.

As always, the ambitious goal is to provide management involved in running EWCs with a 1-day comprehensive program covering the topics that contribute to EWCs succes.

This edition brought together an enthusiastic group of HR professionals and was kicked off with an update on the future of European Works Councils, the EWC Directive and the position of Business Europe and ETUC (European Trade Union Confederation).

Brexit was a topic of interest for a large number of participants. They wanted to know what will happen to their UK EWC members after the United Kingdom leaves the European Union.

The bulk of the session concentrated on the EWC Roadmap. By building this Roadmap, EWCs start creating real value, and become ambassadors of their company’s corporate values. EWCs can only be relevant if management and employee representatives jointly decide what makes their European Works Council UNIQUE and different from other EWCs.

Many companies are currently thinking about how to move their European Works Council into the digital space, using the advantages offered by the latest communication technologies.

Presence has developed a number of solutions over the past 4 years that allow EWCs to get more return on the budget they invest in EWC operations. Solutions range from hybrid EWC meetings where some participants are present at the meeting venue whilst others stay in their office, to virtual meetings where nobody has to travel at all.

The technologies used are equally diverse: multilingual webcasts and conference calls, and a mix of live and digital tools.

For the translation of documents, we have computer-assisted systems and a diverse range of translation modes to quickly make EWC documents available in all EWC languages. There are quality solutions for every budget.

It is fair to say that nowadays language barriers can no longer be the reason why European Works Councils do not communicate in-between meetings.

However, before any technology is implemented, a careful analysis of the EWC’s meetings, languages and objectives is to be carried out. By asking the right questions, we can advise you on the of solutions that best fit your EWC. Unless you get a solution that makes sense for your specific EWC, you might as well keep on doing things the old way.

Here are some things to consider before getting started:

  • what is the structure of your EWC?
  • what is your EWC meeting format?
  • where are the EWC meetings organised?
  • how many participants and languages do you have?
  • which meetings could you do differently by no longer transporting all crew and participants?
  • which meetings would you like to do if budget was not a constraint?

Next it is important to define a communications plan so that everybody is on board with the solutions you want to implement. As soon as stakeholders buy into the plan, we start defining an implementation protocol enabling all EWC members to learn how to use digital technologies.

Indeed, moving your EWC into the digital space requires some time and efforts in a first phase, to make sure that it produces the expected value and savings in the future.

Are new technologies enough to take your EWC to the next level?

Whilst technologies are important for success, it is at least as crucial to define a digital protocol for the European Works Councils. This should include a code of ethics and a training on how to conduct virtual meetings.

Once the right format and mix of technologies is defined and the do’s and don’ts of the digital environment are understood and endorsed by your group, you will be able to create EWC interaction in ways that seemed impossible as recently as 5 years ago.

The time is finally right for European Works Councils to really play their role and to show their added value.

Presence will help you reach that goal.

That’s our promise.

Would you like to experience our platforms for multilingual online meetings? We’ll set up a demo for you in the blink of an eye. Drop us a line or call us at: +352 2 619 6054