Something that is crystal clear is; remote work has disconnected even the closest of teams, departments and even work friends.
This is creating performance issues in many businesses.
Company culture has never been as important as today’s forced working from home environment.
As per our deep dive into the future of work we have seen the workplace completely change from clearer dynamics to messy dynamics where colleagues fail to connect.
The Future Of Work TLDR
Workshopping Is A Solution
The way many are attempting to tackle this issue is in workshops or one big workshop. In the workshop environment, you are juggling a good facilitator alongside personality types.
Introverts will be introverts, extroverts will be extroverts and many ambiverts will have to lean into their extroversion to compete.
You are then relying on individuals to get out of their comfort zone and then challenge louder voices.
Big collective sessions are currently being managed over a video conferencing tool like Zoom, with an open document, with a virtual shared space or open canvas like Miro and a series of notes.
This approach can work, however, often this doesn’t allow for questions or follow up sessions with more personalised and connecting questions between colleagues.
At Focus, we believe connections happen with natural interactions, with infrequent connections, with questions and answers and natural connections being formed by uncovering connections or quirks.
A Fresh Focused Approach
When you join a business you are often provided with a new starter form or a template to complete, it’s shared around and then nothing happens until the next new starter or a conversation happens.
Why wait for this to fizzle out or to be ignored? Especially when many businesses will struggle to hire and are struggling to connect colleagues together.
Below is a series of questions to share around to everyone to complete, all answers are shared on the knowledge centre or your internal wiki and encourage teams to explore each other’s answers and discover new and old colleagues by the questions they answer.
You can encourage connections over email, over instant messenger or over video calls. You will be surprised how connections are made from uncommon questions or different answers.
The Question Template
- What does your work day to day look like
- Like about your discipline
- Dislike about your disciple
- What did you want to do when you were growing up
- Best working memory
- One book you would recommend
- Two songs that gets you every time
- A film that has stuck in your memory
- Favourite cuisine
- Favourite drink
- Favourite snack
- One brand you admire
If you would like a Google Doc’s version please click here
The important part of this exercise is to phase the rollout, in the big organisations there will be a flood of internal get to know me’s, this means many in the middle to the end will be lost.
Roll out week by week, have a morning where you share a batch of profiles or department profiles and encourage conversation directly with colleagues you don’t know, whatever peaks your interests.
Some organisations have randomised coffee catch up’s where you can meet your colleague or follow on the conversation. Suggest a time slot each week which is for connecting. This will allow connections to form and to become more habitual than feel like it’s something you have to squeeze in.
Make These Profiles Accessible In Many Digital Places
It is important you enable these profiles on instant messaging profiles, into your email directory and ensuring the profiles are on the internal wikis and knowledge centres.
The secret – always have one home, one canonical home that is the home for all information.
Proactive Leadership Required
Leaders will be looking at other ways to improve this working from home phase, we have recommended in our weekly leadership newsletter two different ways to be proactive including The Mad Glad Sad Retro and developing internal Interview Training & Practise.
Although there are a number of virtual HQ’s now available and being developed, with long IT and software sign off process, this internal framework will enable better connections and refresh a way to bump into each other and or have hallway conversations and enable this in a flexible framework.
In the future, these answers and new connections will enable your leadership team to proactively host ask us anything sessions where the team can come closer together and communication improves.
Remember to suggest refreshes and all new staff that join to complete and share. The smarter the sharing, the better the engagement, the better connections will be formed.
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