I consider technology both a blessing and a curse in the workplace. While it enables employees to communicate and collaborate across time and distance, it also makes work more insular as people seem to engage more with smart devices than with co-workers, customers, and channel partners.
So as workplace technology continues to expand, I’ll continue to advocate the power of employee gatherings. Bringing people together in an effective face-to-face forum can provide a rich and satisfying experience. This was the case for a large company that brought together marketing and sales support staff from its regional offices as part of an “all hands” planning event. The company is in transition as a result of restructuring, and its divisional leader recognized the need to bring staff members together. The event combined training, planning, and team-building activities in an informative and comfortable setting.
Employees appreciated the opportunity to step back from the daily grind and focus on:
- better understanding where they fit within the “big picture” of the company
- expanding their internal resources through networking and relationship-building with co-workers
- enhancing organizational capacity through shared learning and planning.
The event also provided employees an effective forum in which they could get answers to their questions, contribute their ideas and be heard.
Regardless of whether your team’s goal is learning, planning or problem-solving, sometimes there is no substitute for getting off the cloud and bringing people together, face-to-face.
“One of the single most effective ways to enhance your creativity is to regularly break the cycle of isolation and interact, talk, and share your work.”
– David Burkus, Why Sharing Your Work, Setbacks & Struggles Breaks Creative Blocks.