Championing Global Teamwork: Welocalize Exchange Program
Global organizations often rely on geographically dispersed teams. Quite often, team members don’t meet face-to-face. Travel costs and environmental considerations mean excessive overseas travel just doesn’t make good business sense. However, international mobility is good for teamwork and a driver for personal and career growth, especially in an industry that is underpinned by driving global growth for international brands.
Established in 2013, the Welocalize Exchange Program gives employees the opportunity to work at other Welocalize offices for a week. The trip aims to give participating employees a strong development and cultural experience, enabling people to connect and interact face-to-face with global team-mates.
Over the past six years, we’ve seen over a hundred people participate and visit different Welocalize global offices. In 2019 alone, there were 19 exchange trips across offices in China, US, Romania, Spain, and the UK.
Here are some insights into trips that took place in 2019:
In December, Yuriy Porotnikov, project manager at Park IP in New York visited the London office, meeting team members to discuss and share best practices on foreign filing activities. He also got to accompany the team to the pub on a Friday night – a weekly tradition!
Project manager Emily Jin travelled from Jinan in China to Cluj in Romania in November to learn more about client workflows and was able to take part, in person, in a client quarterly business review.
In August, Language Project Manager, Joanne Zhao and Senior Services Director, Linda Gai from the Welocalize Jinan and Beijing offices traveled to Barcelona, Spain. Joanne works with the Barcelona team on a daily basis but they have never met: “I usually communicate with my colleagues via emails and video calls and it was great to finally meet everyone in person and build stronger friendships.”
On her visit to Barcelona, Linda took part in some hands-on training and met with local clients: “The energy, passion, and dedication of the team there inspired me tremendously! The lean methodology, squad interaction, expertise was impressive. The dynamics and engagement brought gave us knowledge to be able to grow and develop areas for clients in China.”
They also made sure to visit the sights and the team took them to see some Barcelona’s famous sights, allowing them to see more of the fantastic city and its culture.
Andy Zhang travelled from China to Japan in July. Although both Asian offices, they have different business climates and cultures. Andy’s trip involved meeting other language project managers to discuss optimizing workflows. “Welocalize people in the Tokyo office are impressive, enthusiastic, professional, and diligent. It is no doubt one of my best memories.”
Romania-based Marius Oprea experienced his first trip over the Atlantic in April to visit the Welocalize office in Portland, US. His key objective was to spend time with innovation teams to learn more about how major clients are deployed on Welocalize’s cloud-based platform. As well as spending time with colleagues, Marius was also bowled over by the American landscape and culture.
Alexandra Bara headed from Romania to NYC to learn more and collaborate with team-mates on the processes used in our legal translation and interpreting services. ‘I’m pleased to say that after one week in the New York office, I have checked all the boxes for all the things I wanted to learn!’ Plus, colleagues took her sightseeing at the weekend.
Technology has opened up new working practices, allowing us to work effectively with team members who are based on the other side of the world.
When it makes sense, face-to-face contact does enable a level of social and emotional connection – you can chat informally and spend unstructured time with people who you deal with on a daily basis.
Expenses do have to be monitored, but if you can empower employees to travel and make personal connections with overseas colleagues, it is worth it and creates a stickier, happier workforce. You create a global village founded on teamwork and quite often, although the trip is over, the effects and benefits can last for a long time.
If you are interested in joining the Welocalize team, explore our career opportunities here.
If you would like more information about Welocalize’s Exchange Program, please contact Courtney Ermac, Courtney.firstname.lastname@example.org