How many digital interactions have you had today? Texts + IM + email + social media – all facing a screen. Now count the number of face-to-face conversations you’ve had. The world we live and work in is highly skewed toward the digital. The reasons for that are clear: efficiency, expediency, and effectiveness. In 24/7 global teams, we cannot work without the benefits of digital. But is it enough, without face-to-face, to create meaningful connections that build an employee’s engagement to a company’s brand?
At Capgemini, we’ve put a stake in the ground on what we what to stand for as a company: a human-centered approach to technology. We cannot bring that to life in the way we innovate and provide value for our clients without a highly engaged workforce.
As a leadership team, we’ve learned we have to make the time to pause – no matter how swift the pace of change and disruption around us – to build a solid sense of local community everywhere we work. A cornerstone of this approach is a town hall program that we call Capgemini Connects – a global event built on a foundation that is 100% local.
Twice a year, Capgemini Connects brings together team members into locations across North America and India to connect with each other about the markets we serve, our talent agenda and our community involvement. We highlight different voices, at a variety of levels and roles in the organization, and enable all to celebrate their work. No two offices are alike and no two Capgemini Connects are either.
We invest in these sessions because we believe in the power of face-to-face conversations to create a team DNA of collaboration and innovation. Building connections at the local level encourages our people to share best practices, problem solve together, co-innovate, and see the world through our clients’ eyes.
We create communities every day in other ways beyond Capgemini Connects – we do this at our account teams at the client site, through our membership of ERGs, through our shared support and sponsorship of charities, and in our combined commitments to our people in programs like Mentoring Matters – to name a few. At Capgemini, we know that people spend a lot of their time at work, and we want that time to be spent building connections and fostering community as much as we want it to be spent doing amazing things for our clients. We pay close attention to the channels we have available to us daily to realize our ambitions for building community.
I’d encourage everyone in leadership to understand and unlock the power of engagement by connecting your teams around a shared purpose. Carving out face-to-face time to chat about your talent agenda, development programs, what you stand for as a company, and your community investments, and making time to celebrate innovation and cool projects are evergreen topics. We always want to learn more about our company’s impact in the market and investment in us as team members. Remember to keep it simple, keep it local, and if you want repeat attendance – don’t skimp on the fun!