Missing The Water Cooler?

Recently, I worked with a client who wanted to build a personal Teams channel for employees. Gasp! As a seasoned Organizational Development professional, the risk of inappropriate use sent me into shock.

The client shared they missed the proverbial water cooler vibe they had pre-pandemic and were looking for an alternative to spur personal connections within the team that now worked primarily from home. I could certainly see their perspective.

Here’s what Compass did:

  • Built a policy to set guidelines that maintained the standards of business conduct, appropriateness, and respect.
  • Partnered with IT to manage content operationally.
    • Developed sub-channels to help guide the desired content – family vacations, pets, and upcoming events.
    • Limited retention to 14 days so content stays current and uncluttered.
    • Determined employee participation is voluntary, they can use a code to opt-in.  
    • Pinned the guidelines to the channel for easy reference.
  • Communicated the purpose and guidelines in an all-staff meeting. 

The results:

Since launching the new channel, team members have gushed at baby pictures from a new mom who recently returned to work, the clubs/activities page has been expanded to include impromptu invites to meet at a local brewery after work, and they added a book club channel, too.

Is this right for your team?

Be aware that adding another channel like this may not be the right fit for your culture.

  • Take the pulse of a few of your employees first. 
  • What is the appetite for this type of technology? How big is the learning curve?
  • Does your team feel bombarded by emails and instant messages already?

The way we work continues to evolve. Instead of handcuffing your employees from using social media tools while at work, we’ll help you find ways to listen, enable and empower them, while still minimizing your risks.  

If you are looking for customized ideas to adapt to our ever-changing workplace, let Compass lead the way. We won’t leave you stuck in the past.

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