Beating the Spread: How to Unite Colleagues Across Offices
Published: September 27, 2018
Author: Laura Rodnitzky
When I joined 3Q Digital (then PPC Associates) in 2009, there were three people in the company. THREE! Even though I was in Chicago, and the other two were in California, it was easy to stay connected and feel like a team. (It probably also helped that one of the other two was my brother!) We now have about 300 employees spread out among nine offices, as well as a strong contingent of “Remotes” who work from their home offices. Not only are we geographically spread out, but we’ve also gone from a small company where everyone was a search engine marketer, to a diverse group of experts across multiple marketing channels.
Needless to say, staying connected and feeling like a single team isn’t easy anymore. In fact, it’s one of the biggest challenges we have.
As we’ve grown over the years, with each successive milestone (10 employees… 50… 100… 200… 300) and each new office, we have had to find new ways to bring our dispersed employees together and help people to get to know others outside of their office or team. Even in my role as VP of People, I often have trouble keeping pace with all the new faces across the company. Imagine how it must be for someone just joining!
This year, we’ve put a lot of focus on company-wide Spirit Days, charity drives, and contests to create opportunities for 3Qers to share experiences across the org. Each office is encouraged to participate in their own unique way and share what they do in our company-wide Slack channels. (Slack, by the way, is an amazing tool to bridge the gap between teams and offices.)
Our 2018 Spirit Days have included Pajama Day, Spring Cleaning Day (surprisingly fun), Stress Awareness Day (think massages and essential oils), a 5k walk for charity, and most recently, Twins Day.
In September, we’ll have a fitness challenge pitting office against office, and all our miles will be tracked with the CharityMiles app, so we can not only get active and have some friendly competition, but also raise money for the charities we each value most.
One of our most successful contests this year was our first ever “Guess that 3Q Baby” contest last month. About half of our employees submitted photos of themselves, ranging from newborn to grade school age. Each day, we released a group of photos and employees had the impossible task of matching the photos to current 3Qers. Our daily winners spent hours poring through the 3Q website team page, Facebook, and LinkedIn. And we all had some good laughs (sorry, Sad Monica and Sad Leslie).
These are just some of the ways we’re trying to bring our People together. What has worked for you?