Tuesday, November 29, 2011

How Do You Maintain That Family Feeling When You Are 500 People?

As your organization has grown, are you more like the UN than a family? Alliances being created and alternative budgets for country specific items or regional events?

When you were smaller, everyone could gather once maybe twice a year and spend some quality time together. Maybe it was technical, maybe it was fun, maybe it was brain storming, but you did it and everyone liked being one big family.

Now you are too big. The tipping point could have been at 100 people or 1,000 but there is the problem. What do you do when the travel alone is going to be a logistical and financial nightmare?

Social Media and Social Business tools help everyone feel connected, to a point. but do we all want to stay in our little houses, basements, attics or coffee shops instead of meeting the rest of the staff?

Do we care?                     Should we care?

Generational differences aside, can you have a 1 or 2 day event where EVERYONE is locked in/down to only be online or at the event? Cruises might be the closest thing to locking everyone in.

Can you really be close with someone you only know digitally or via UC/Skype calls? Is it important? As your company gets bigger, is it more important that there be better corporate messages and goals?

When an executive blog post can get more interest from the staff than an appearance, is this the future? Do employees really play better or nicer with each other because of these events? How can we provide the same benefits of in person events from a virtual or digital event?

Lastly, how do you encourage employees not to look at this as a cost cutting or financial issue? The problem is employees are skittish and the idea that an event people look forward to is now another webinar type event makes them wonder about the future of the company. Something must come out of it that restores faith in management, the organization, employees and the future.

I don't know the answers and I think many are trying various ways, remember Second Life meetings or even Sametime integration to Second Life? Are monthly all-hands calls for maybe 2-4 hours once a month equivalent or enough? Must you start looking at regional events and start segregating areas or do it by topics? The all for one and one for all attitude gets harder and harder to do especially if management is not ready to adjust their style of management for the new plans. On the other hand, if management is up to the task, they can marshall the forces even better than before, but it will take more of the executives time.

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