Are you someone who thinks corporate meetings are a boondoggle, dreamed up by people who want a party and don't care about wasting valuable time and money?
SAP's CEO Bill McDermot argues in this CNBC OpEd that corporate meetings can be highly productive and extremely influential in improving employee moral and productivity, even helping companies to turn themselves around. Additionally, they inject money into the local economies where they are held, providing a positive ripple effect to local businesses.
McDermont's right, you can accomplish far more with people when you're all in the same room. But, when you bring together employees from all over the world to meet each other and get aligned with corporate strategy, you're likely to run into some language barriers as well. In order to foster productive discussions and make sure that everyone's voice is heard and that everyone leaves the meeting feeling valued and knowing what direction to take in their corner of the business, you should have materials translated and hire interpreters. Don't make employees use their second or third language skills. This can lead to misunderstandings and a failure to properly communicate. By having linguists on hand to help your overseas employees navigate the meeting, you'll ensure full participation and money well spent.