Moments of Share: How well do you know your colleagues?
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Moments of Share: How well do you know your colleagues?

As one of Australia’s most innovative companies, we believe health innovation starts with a proactive working culture of human connection and cross-collaboration. In this article, we reveal how our ‘Moments of Share’ initiative helped open exciting new ways for our people to share diverse ideas, different perspectives and connect in more meaningful ways – all over a simple cup of coffee.

Creating a deeper sense of connection across a large organisation

At MedicalDirector, the challenge we face is shared by many organisations all over the world: how do we create a greater sense of connection and collaboration amongst busy people, working in different departments and in different physical locations? Well the solution might be simpler than you think.

In April this year we launched our first-ever ‘Moments of Share’ initiative. The formula is easy. Every staff member enjoys a free coffee and an hour out of their day to spend time with one of their colleagues in another department that they didn’t know. Think of it as a bit of a lucky dip getting ‘buddied up’. You might end up with a member of a team in a different location, it could be someone new to the business or someone who has worked here for their entire career. You might even be paired with the CEO!

The process of matching up ‘Moment of Share’ buddies

Firstly, we asked staff to register for the initiative and complete a brief online registration form which asked them 3 simple questions (such as favourite food, holiday destination, what they like to do on a weekend). We used Microsoft forms for this step of the process.

All staff were then randomly ‘matched’ with a buddy. To do this at scale, you can use Excel or software such as www.donut.com to manage this part. Our People & Culture team then reviewed the matchings to sense check it.

On the 1st of April, we emailed each buddy pairing, introducing them to each other and shared with each pair their answers to the ‘get to know you questions’ from the registration form. The intention was that the pair could use these as conversation starters or fillers if they got stuck.

We then gave everyone who registered a coffee/drink voucher for use at a local café within a short walk of our office building. Some staff were paired with people in a different city and so they simply collected their coffee and then conducted their ‘meeting’ via video conference using Microsoft Teams.

Staff had the entire month of April to schedule their ‘Moment of Share,’ have their catch up and claim their coffee voucher.

All staff were encouraged to take a selfie of their ‘Moment of Share’ and then post it in a special Teams channel along with any social media comments they wanted to make. These were then shared across MedicalDirector’s social media channels such as LinkedIn and Facebook.

The true value of human connection

Internally, we were inundated with positive feedback from our Moments of Share program. In summary, our survey of all participants revealed 95% of people found value in the initiative, 97% said they were likely to participate in the initiative if it was run again in the future and 0% responded unfavourably!

Here’s a taste of some of the fantastic, positive feedback we received:

  • I loved this initiative as it gave me the opportunity to go out for a coffee with someone I’ve worked with for a long time but never had the chance to talk to them about anything other than work. I also learnt a lot about other colleagues through reading their posts on the Moments of Share Teams channel.
  • It was refreshing and enlightening to get to know someone new to me – even though neither of us were new to the organisation. We found that we had lots in common and have agreed to catch up again.
  • I was really sceptical about this as I am not a great conversationalist, but I am glad I was a part of it because (a) I realised it was so easy to open up to a complete stranger irrespective of the position or location & (b) it made me feel more connected at work. 
  • It was great to reduce the disconnect between our 2 major offices. There has always been an ‘us and them’ mentality. This initiative made great strides in bringing the staff together and making everyone feel like part of the same family. Great work! 
  • If we can understand and relate to what others do, we become more empathetic to their issues and consequently it makes us more considerate with our own work. This initiative was important for the wider company as well as within our own teams.

Externally, our social posts resulted in an unprecedented amount of interest and engagement in our Moments of Share initiative, with many organisations and people requesting follow up information or greater detail on how we implemented the initiative.

Lessons learnt

What we discovered through this initiative was that in this fast-paced, social media, digital device obsessed world we now live in, ultimately what people really value most is human connection. The beautiful thing about this initiative was watching people discover what they had in common with a complete stranger within the organisation.

This goes to show that there is real value in genuine human connection and all we needed to do was create the space for this to naturally occur. The initiative proved to be so valuable for our people and so successful, we’re now planning on rolling it out multiple times per year.

We’d love to hear from you if you’ve already implemented a similar initiative in your own organisation, or planning to in the near future! Simply comment below. We’re passionate about making healthier around the world, and we feel this is a small but significant step forward in making people feel more connected.