Any company with a number of offices throughout the country will understand the importance of promoting inter office collaboration. This enables the sharing of best practices and builds the companies team spirit.
Why Shadow Days?
Building team work is even more important when the majority of your staff are on the road. Our mobile engineering workforce have little time to spend to get to know their office colleagues face to face so we thought we should encourage the office team to go and spend time with the engineers and other departments instead.
We recently asked staff if they would like to get involved in ‘shadow’ days, where they could nominate the role that they would like to shadow. Many of our office team, including service desk, accounts and marketing asked to be included and here are their words when asked about their shadow day experience.
Leicester Admin & Royston Accounts
“I really enjoyed it, very interesting and nice to see how the other half lives! The most useful part was learning how the interaction between the admin and accounts impacts on what they do and vice versa.”
Here is what Trish had to say:
“I found it to be a very positive experience. It was good to meet Chris who I interact with on a regular basis and show her what my job entails. What I found most useful was being able to discuss and show how important it is that queries are resolved promptly.”
Service Desk Staff & Engineers
Some of our service desk staff requested to shadow engineers. These two departments work closely together day in, day out. Both are extremely busy areas of our business and for them to work together is integral to providing a smooth operational service. Helping the service desk understand how an engineers typical day is spent, helps them in understanding the logistics and time involved when they set up their daily tasks. Here are just some of the comments made from our service desk staff:
“I hadn’t considered the logistics side of an engineers work day with regard to tools required, access equipment, even the fact that certain places have parking restrictions that need to be taken into consideration.”
“An engineers role is far more physical than I imagined, also they often work in very small areas with limited space to move.”
“Spending the day with Andy gave me some really useful knowledge about the systems he maintains. I didn’t realise how dirty air conditioning units can get with regular use!”
“I didn’t realise the amount of equipment a service engineer is required to carry for the different callouts. It was great to see how engineers work together to resolve faults quickly.”
Marketing & Engineers
The marketing department often write about the services we provide. To be able to spend time with engineers who are at the frontline providing these services, is essential in having a deeper understanding of what is involved. Jenny recently spent the day shadowing two engineers who have worked together as a team for the best part of 12 years, here are her comments:
“I had no idea just how physical the engineers role was. The amount of boxes alone that needed to be hauled up a lot of stairs simply to complete a filter change!”
“It was great to see how closely Andy and Steve work together, total understanding of each others responsibilities and everything just seemed to flow.”
“The engineers had a great relationship with the customers we visited, they were really well received, just like they were part of the store team.”
Feedback from our Engineers:
“It was good to show her the strong relationships that we have with the stores and also our signing in/out and paperwork procedures.”
“It was great to show her what we do as engineers and how full on our days are. It was good to get some help with the boxes too!”
“I think the day was really helpful for both of us. Being mobile, I don’t get much chance to visit the office, so it was great that someone took the time to spend with me and get an idea of the work I do.
“If other staff are interested then I think it may be beneficial to them to get an insight into an engineers working day.”
Shadow Days Continue
Seeing how enlightening these days have been so far, our ‘shadow’ days continue as more staff have requested to be involved. It is all too easy to let our day to day jobs take over, being able to reflect on our own roles and how what we do affects other team members and vice versa is an essential part of self-development. We can all be more understanding of each other, and by being so, will continue to build a strong team where all the cogs, each as important as the other, can seamlessly work together.