Dan Lifshutz | May 7, 2015
Good communication is the lifeblood of any successful business. This is especially true of a company like Arraya, which is always on the move. Communication gets trickier when employees are out of the office, traveling to customer facilities to work on projects or visiting with new prospects.
We believe one of Arraya’s great strengths is our team. In order to deliver the high level of service we pride ourselves on, we need every member of our team pulling together with the customer in mind. To accomplish that, we’ve used a number of ways beyond traditional department meetings and conference calls to ensure employees – no matter how often they are or aren’t in the office – can stay in the loop and have a voice in what’s taking place.
- Town Halls – Our town halls bring the team together in the same room, three times a year, to talk Arraya. The format is interactive, not just informative. Employees can participate by asking questions, adding in their thoughts on a subject, etc. We recognize not all of our employees are going to be able to make it to the town halls, so we make sure they have the option to listen in through a live webcast or check out the recorded version later on. The topics covered in our first town hall of 2015 included our newest partnerships, upcoming business initiatives and our refreshed brand identity.
- Adaptive Product Development – As a company, we want to stay on the cutting edge of innovation. So when our employees asked for a more efficient way to share their creativity, we jumped at the chance. We put our heads together and the Arraya Adaptive Product Development lifecycle was created. This system is currently in the design phase, however, once we’ve worked out the kinks, it will provide our company with a systematic methodology for vetting employee suggestions for products and services we should look into adding to our repertoire. This way we can more easily gather employee feedback and act on it.
- Quarterly Company Newsletter – For our employees who are frequently out on the road, our quarterly digital newsletter is a big deal. It’s available on our internal SharePoint site and it’s often the most convenient way for them to catch up on any developments at Arraya they may have missed. The newsletter includes topics like biggest wins, which let our sales team show off some of its hard work. We also mention corporate milestones, upcoming events, general company updates and really anything that can help employees feel more connected to Arraya – even if they’re not in the office regularly.
- Employee Surveys – We’ve also found a great way to stay close to what our team is thinking is through the use of regular employee surveys. These give employees a chance to anonymously let us know how they think the company is doing and where improvements can be made. You never know what you’re going to hear in an anonymous survey. So far though, we’ve been thrilled with the practical and worthwhile feedback we’ve gotten from them.
Beyond those methods, we also have a number of special events on the horizon that should deliver new and exciting opportunities to improve communication. These include our 2015 Arraya Tech Summit. This event is going to feature breakout sessions led by the members of our world class group of engineers. Many of the sessions will be co-presented by teams of engineers, offering them a chance to work together more closely and share their knowledge with each other and our customers.
Also, the team-building benefits of our participation in charitable events, like our upcoming participation in the Muckfest mud run to benefit MS, can’t be understated. This event, along with social outings like company happy hours, enable employees to interact with each other on a more personal level, so employees feel more comfortable going to each other with questions or problems.
We also rely on social media tools like Yammer and instant messaging services like Jabber to allow employees to share info no matter where they are, while reducing the amount of clutter in their email inboxes.
We’re all used to having our pick of communication methods in our personal lives thanks to the plethora of social media sites and technologies like smartphones. That’s a concept we’ve sought to carry over into our employees’ work lives. The more opportunities to bond and communicate we give employees, the more confident we can be that they’re staying engaged with Arraya.