Organising an EWC meeting is definitely not something that is done overnight. A lot of effort goes into planning the logistics, preparing the content, and making sure that everyone is happy with the outcome. Unfortunately, the momentum that was created during the meeting all too often vanishes as soon as everyone is back home, caught up in the frenzy of their day-to-day activities.
Out of sight, out of mind; and EWC members find themselves repeating year after year that after this meeting, things will be different and they will keep in touch. However, if everyone keeps doing the same thing, how can the result be any different?
To be fair, keeping the interaction going with colleagues who speak a different language, work in different locations, performing tasks that may be very different from yours is not all that easy. That being said, organising a monthly in-person meeting just to build and maintain the relationship amongst EWC members is not realistic (or affordable) either. That means that we have to get creative and explore roads less traveled in order to keep the communication flowing
When customers ask us how to break through this cycle of meeting momentum/deafening silence, we suggest three things:
1. Specific action points - specific leads
Every EWC meeting should result in a list of action items and ‘owners’ accountable for them. Assign one person per action point, and make sure that they understand what is expected of them. Keep track of the status of every item on a document and share it with the whole team. A simple, colour-coded overview with green-orange-red to indicate the level of completion of every task, works best. It is easy to understand for everyone, irrespective of language.
2. Embrace online meetings
Online meetings and conference calls with simultaneous interpretation are very easy to set up, and more budget-friendly than live meetings. A quick call or webcast between EWC and/or select committee meetings helps to keep members invested in their EWC activities. It is the alternative that comes closest to in-person meetings. You can request a free demo of our online and telephonic meeting platforms here.
3. Schedule updates
Keep people in the loop of what is happening behind the scenes. Set a couple of dates on which you send a quick email update on the follow-up status of the action points. The EWC’s Select Committee is usually best suited to take the lead in this. Use the opportunity to ask members for an update on their local situation. Do not let the language barrier hold you back, we have a translation workflow designed specifically for email translation: you get quality translations and keep your budget on track. Many EWCs are already using our email translation counter, contact us here to know how it works!
Do not let time and distance get in the way of achieving your EWC objectives. Do you want some guidance on how to run EWCs or are you looking for EWC best practices? We will gladly help you out!