Creating and maintaining a company culture where employees feel interconnected and engaged can be difficult, especially in hybrid work culture, while organizational silos, geographical distance are increasing, especially after the pandemic.
Many people leaders came to a realization that they need to facilitate more informal conversations across different teams and locations, but if you have hundreds of employees waiting for the introduction to their colleagues, manual work isn’t scalable. Many leaders might struggle with how to get their ideas approved by their financial departments if the solution is somewhat new.
There are ways to smoothly go through the proof of concept (POC) and get your dream software LEAD.bot launched team-wide or company-wide! We will go through the stories of how great people ops from the property management company, Quadreal, launched LEAD.bot company-wide and nurtured cultures of collaboration and connection within their organizations.
Path to build a culture of collaboration and connection: Evaluation, Implementation and Measurement
You probably have experienced new hires complaining to their friends that they don’t know anybody in the company and they feel lost in a new environment. You probably also see people who have worked well in the company for years but suddenly quit. We have learned that it’s very hard to maintain company culture and relationships across offices and teams during remote or hybrid work. Employees express the need for connection, and the connection makes them more engaged and happy. We already know that employee engagement and happiness lead to higher retention.
HR Experts suggest that introducing new communication channels that would keep information flowing across the global workforce, and rebuild the sense of connection is necessary. You can collect good articles that are related to your ideas and share that with your boss. Once your boss is onboarded, it’s a good time for a quick proof of concept.The path for adoption:
Step 1: Evaluation – IT Due Diligence
These key stakeholders need to be looped in from the get-go when HRs explore new platforms. Once they finish the due diligence, they’d love to give a green light to implement LEAD.
Step 2: Pilot Run
There are important steps when structuring the pilot
- Define program goals, and identify measurement criteria
- Centralize resources and educate participants
- Collect feedback throughout the pilot
- Evaluate feedback and make a decision based on measurement criteria
People Ops from one of our customer companies initially tried pairing people in the IT department and Financial department. They had 20-50 people on each team, and after receiving excellent feedback after 2 to 3 pairings over half a month, HR decided to propose extending access to LEAD across the entire company.
Step 3: Get approval from leadership
This is a critical step. The HR manager needs to gather positive results from the pilot, share the findings with leadership, and craft plans to launch company-wide. In addition, HR managers can share the value proposition: how LEAD builds bonds between employees by serendipitously connecting employees across teams, departments, and locations.
Measurement was key, but it is very hard – especially for leaders to connect with employees in remote or hybrid work environments – to let leadership know an extra investment would help the company reach its culture goals. You can consider using employees’ voices from the pilot run as a data point for the leadership.
If you haven’t gotten enough data points from running a pilot, please also consider sharing articles from experts so that leaders who are less familiar with people operation, can learn and understand the value as well. Here are some samples you can use:
- TO BUILD YOUR BUSINESS, SMASH YOUR SILOS
- CREATE COMMUNITY AT WORK BY CHECKING IN WITH YOUR COLLEAGUES
- HOW DOES CASUAL CONVERSATION IMPACT YOUR EMPLOYEE COLLABORATION
Step 4: Preparations!
1. It is important to assign project leaders if you would like to launch LEAD.bot company-wide. It is like any other company-wide project, we suggest you have at least one HR and one IT admin as the main controller of this project.
2. Create a motto in your branding of this program. For example, Quadreal creatively created their own motto as below:
3. Create swag and recruit Culture Champions. You can give the swag to your culture champions. Culture champions are critical, you recruited pre-launch, and their job is to promote your program to their teammates and colleagues. You can give them LEAD X your company logo printed T-shirts, Mugs, and interview their stories to share in the newsletters later on with your employees.
4. Set up communication rules and communicate the expectations and best practices to each team leader.
Step 5: LAUNCH!
After getting buy-in from leadership, get leadership involved in the process to make the launch successful by participating in LEAD channels, and encouraging their teams to participate.
Make an announcement in the weekly employee newsletter, or general channel.
Printing out LEAD channels, providing LEAD mugs for meet up, and encouraging employees to take selfies and share their key takeaways on the general channel.
Step 6: Make it a new cultural habit
LEAD is seen as an ongoing program, with new pairings every week on the schedule. Employees are encouraged to connect not only for a set of times but in their own interest. It’s important to keep the momentum and build LEAD as a new cultural habit. The teams are encouraged to connect and share screenshots and takeaways from the meeting on matching channels.
LEAD can be used not only to connect employees, but also for embracing a culture of learnings, mentorship, and DE&I discussions, to share additional content and tools to handle microaggressions, interruptions, and inappropriate speech, to build an inclusive workplace.
It would be great to have your Culture Champions enlarge their team, and give recognition or rewards to the highly active employees.
Step 7: Measuring employee experience
After implementing LEAD, HR also suggests running a survey to understand the impact that LEAD has on employee engagement.
- How does LEAD make a difference in their experience of hybrid work
- How the experience could be improved
- What impact LEAD had on workplace culture
- Other ways they’d like to see platforms used
- Preferred frequency & duration
While connection can be tricky in the enterprise, there is much to gain, and seemingly endless combinations and permutations of programs to try. LEAD builds intentional bonds between employees by serendipitously connecting employees across teams, departments, and locations. The net result is a more connected, happy, and productive remote workforce.
(If you like this article, please also take a look at our article about culture change management. If you would like to share your company stories, please email email@example.com and our editorial team will reach out to you shortly.)