New Work: Communication and Collaboration as Keys to Success
Why internal communication is fast becoming a core element of our hybrid work model here at imc
Hybrid working has transformed how people at imc interact with one another. While some employees prefer to work in the office on certain days, others prefer to work remotely from home – in some cases from a different country or even a different time zone. And as people head out the office door, those chance encounters at the water cooler and shared coffee breaks start to fall by the wayside. We still want to share and connect with one another of course – we just need new ways of making that happen.
High time, then, to put in place some global communication and collaboration standards to ensure that the collaboration continues to work successfully. This latest move! article presents the formats we’ve come up for this and outlines the specials that the individual locations have already developed.
The golden rules for successful communication and collaboration
Our task was to review existing strategies and create new interaction formats to put our hybrid work model on a global and more professional footing while preserving our open corporate culture.
It was clear that the success of the hybrid work model hinged in part on the introduction of harmonised (quality) standards as the basis for day-to-day communication and collaboration.
We set to work developing global standards that would facilitate further creative forms of collaboration and hence opportunities for sharing and exchange. The result? Our Communication & Collaboration Guidelines. The guidelines contain ground rules for communication, hints on meeting netiquette, social media playbooks and recommended best practices. Their purpose is to guide us in our day-to-day shared work and dealings with one another. The guidelines also set globally applicable quantitative and qualitative standards for communication and collaboration at imc.
Inspirational speakers discuss hot topics: Our imcINSPIRE sessions
As well as standards, we wanted to create formats that both bring imc employees together and create real added value.
And so were born our imcINSPIRE sessions – short, punchy learning nuggets that employees can do in the time it takes to have a coffee. The sessions cover a wide range of fascinating topics, so there’s something for every imc employee. So far, we’ve had nuggets by the internal IT people on the proper use of commonly used collaboration tools like MS Teams, SharePoint, and OneDrive, plus all manner of sessions on subjects ranging from diversity and personal branding to effective time management to team building. Based on the positive feedback from our colleagues, we will definitely continue to use and develop these sorts of formats.
Welcome to imcUNITE
The standards and guidelines were all well and good, but there was something else that no effective internal collaboration system can be without: an informal communication channel for all employees. We had already set up a channel for this purpose, but hardly anyone knew about it, let alone used it, so we gave it a complete revamp and breathed new life into it. The result is imcUNITE.
Our aim with this internal MS Teams channel is to bolster informal communication at imc so as to break up team silos and build an active imc community where everyone supports each other. The idea is that it should be quick and easy for all imc employees to keep up to date with current internal news and developments. Of course, the channel needs to be fun, too, which is why the relevant community managers regularly run a range of engaging formats and interactive specials, such as Christmas quizzes and GIF challenges.
Team Switzerland: When office day becomes a major highlight
Our colleagues in Zurich head into the office every Tuesday in a shining example of how “office day” can go from a normal working day to the highlight of the week. Being on site offers valuable opportunities for informal chats with workmates during breaks. On office days, employees are encouraged to keep off-site meetings to a minimum so that they can benefit from on-site exchange and team building.
The icing on the cake is the shared team lunch, which, at the express wish of the team, is always held at a nearby restaurant. “Working at the office, you’re much more in tune with what’s going on than if you’re at home,” says Vildan Ljatifi, a sales consultant in the Zurich office. “Everyone looks forward to office day because it’s the perfect antidote to working from home.”
What better way to spend your lunchbreak on a fine day than indulging in coffee and cake with your colleagues at your favourite local cafe? This quintessentially German of pastimes has, it seems, caught on with our Australian team, who have instituted regular Coffee & Cake Meetings.
The idea of these outings is that getting together in a relaxed setting over coffee and tasty treats from the desserts cabinet is a great way to foster informal interaction and dialogue outside of work. “Obviously, it’s also a way of connecting with our company’s German heritage and its ‘coffee and cake’ tradition,” says Tyson Priddle, Director Digital Learning, Australia.
Upskilling and team building with learning days
Team spirit and collaboration are also the name of the game at our headquarters in Saarbrücken. The marketing & newsroom team, for example, holds regular “Youlearn” learning days that provide professional development on self-selected topics. They are also a welcome opportunity to get the whole team together at the office. With everyone in one place, it’s so much easier to disseminate new knowledge – and chat over a shared lunch.
More soon – stay tuned!
As you can see, people at all our individual locations have been working hard to create more opportunities for face-to-face collaboration and interaction. There’s a lot more to be done of course, and we’re pleased to say other teams have already signalled plans to institute their own little rituals and head back into the office more regularly, COVID restrictions permitting. We can’t wait to see what amazing ideas and creative forms of collaboration will take root to keep our imc sense of togetherness alive despite the distance that separates us. Stay tuned!
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I' ve been working as a permanent member of the imc Marketing & Communication Team since 2021. The mix of creative content creation, social media and online marketing activities excites me the most about my job.
My goal is to inspire people with creative and innovative content and to make the imc brand more tangible.
My passion besides my job? Travelling a lot and discovering the world. I am always happy to receive feedback or suggestions at [email protected]!