What’s a wash-up?
A wash-up meeting is important so you can:
- Work out what went well, what went wrong and the lessons that can be learned from the production
- Achieve greater wellbeing on future productions and ensure contingency plans are put into place
Every production starts with a production meeting where everyone has an opportunity to discuss how things should go and ensure they’re all on the same page – this should happen at the end of a project too.
It takes time for change to happen, but by committing to a wash-up session at the end of each production, you can identify what you want to continue doing or adjust.
Honesty and learning lessons
It’s often the case in our industry that we feel like we’ve been pushed to the limit, giving all of ourselves for a sustained period of time to get to the other side.
It may feel daunting to discuss problems and so much easier to move on to the next job without spending time processing or acknowledging experiences.
But giving team members the chance to provide honest feedback means valuable learning can take place.
Of course, there might not always be time, with many freelancers lining up their next jobs – but creating opportunities for closure sets the right parameters for mentally healthy productions.
Be positive: celebrate success
It’s important to celebrate successes and champion great work.
You can do this by:
- Making sure you listen to your team and their suggestions, as this will help to make improvements going forward.
- Remember to go into this process in a positive way, talking as a united team and creating an opportunity for junior members to share their thoughts too.
How to run your wash-up meeting
You might want to assign a facilitator or chair to the meeting, whose job it is to ensure the meeting stays within a certain timeframe and that all agenda items are covered.
Outcomes, actions and questions should be properly recorded and actioned – and passed on to senior leaders such as commissioners, execs and broadcasters.
The specific agenda is up to you, but you may want to include these questions:
- What went well/not so well?
- Did team members respond positively to wellbeing conversations?
- Did you feel supported? / Did you know who to turn to for support, if needed?
- Could more mental health support have been provided for crew?
- Were there any gaps in knowledge or skills needed for a mentally healthy workplace?
- Did any other issues arise that might have impacted mental health?
- What lessons have we learned?
- What can we do better and/or to avoid making the same mistake(s) going forward?
- Are we working to squeezed budgets, unrealistic timelines and schedules?
- What is one learning to take away from this production?
This is an opportunity to remind your team of what (if any) aftercare support is available to them and for how long.
As we regularly review Toolkit content, if you have any suggestions to improve this guide, or any part of the site, we would love to hear from you.