Thanks for tuning in to the second part of this guide to working out loud. If you didn’t catch the first part, check it out here to get the rundown on what working out loud is and how it can help teams be more productive and connected while they’re working from home.
In this post, I’ll be talking about how you can support everyone in your team to embrace working out loud.
One of the key problems with working out loud is people’s resistance to write something down because it might not be good enough.
When I joined Enablo, I experienced this myself. Being a bit of a perfectionist made me reluctant to share things before they were ready. But, as I saw everyone around me working out loud, I realized it was necessary to join in, not only to grow and build relationships but also to keep up with the pace.
For me it helped to take things slow; sharing into small groups to start and then building the confidence to share more broadly.
John Stepper, the author of the definitive book on working out loud, also emphasizes the importance of sharing in safe spaces first: “The mistake I made early on was asking people to do too much too soon. The first step is just finding some connections in a psychologically safe space.”
Guide your employees and slowly transition to working out loud by making them feel empowered and engaged. For example, ask them around 4 pm each day what they have been working on to encourage working out loud and sharing. You can also ask them every Monday morning to share “what do you plan on working on this week?”.
Last but not least, make sure you emphasize the benefits of working out loud and acknowledge any reservations that the team might have.
Below are some tips that might help for anyone that feels a little anxious:
Frame things as a learning experience. Ideas don’t need to be worked out into a beautiful presentable plan. Share ideas early to gather feedback and insights. Input from others can transform your ideas and push them in new directions.
You don’t need to be an expert. Don’t feel like you shouldn’t have a say in something just because it is outside of your remit. Working out loud gives you the opportunity to share your talent beyond your day-to-day role. Research has found that, when presented with a challenge, diverse groups with different skill sets would solve problems better and quicker. So don’t assume your input isn’t valued – it most definitely will be.
You get out what you put in. Make an effort to respond to work from others and share your feedback and ideas. You will see that the more you collaborate on other people’s posts, the more input and feedback you will receive on yours.
Don’t be afraid. We are most often held back by our fears of what others will think, fear of being vulnerable. In reality, it is our sharing of doubts and mistakes, asking of questions and admission of not knowing everything that connects people. It not only opens up pathways to collaborative learning but also creates a safe space for others to come forward with their own doubts.
Others feel the same. You are probably not alone! There are most likely lots of others within your organization that find it challenging to work out loud. Create an empowering environment by being positive and encouraging.
Workplace from Facebook: your secret weapon for working out loud
Now that we’ve identified the benefits of working out loud, you might wonder: “How do I start creating this working out loud culture within my organization?”
Part of creating a successful working out loud culture is about having the right tools to do so. Being able to share documents and hold discussions in closed groups, wider communities, or even across the enterprise is a key enabler for working out loud. Employees need a platform to connect, communicate, and collaborate.
Social enterprise networking tools are a natural fit because of the emphasis on networking and social collaboration. Partner this with a tool that is easy to use and familiar means you are on to a winner.
Workplace from Facebook ticks all these boxes. Most employees will have already used Facebook in their personal lives, making it super easy and familiar. Workplace is able to connect the whole organization from senior leaders all the way to front-line staff. On top of that, it will allow you to quickly find colleagues and experts across the organization through the org chart and search functionality. In return, working out loud will help with platform adoption and familiarity. As the adoption of Workplace grows, it’s only natural for working out loud to grow too.
At Enablo, we’ve even developed a stand-up bot that integrates with Workplace to help encourage working out loud. A ‘stand up’ meeting is a quick check-in, held frequently to get a short status update from members of a team. The stand-up bot can be programmed to ask members of a group specific questions (via work chat) at a particular time of the day e.g. what are you focusing on today? And, what do you need help with? Everyone’s answers are automatically posted into the group and can be used either in place of a meeting altogether, or to develop an agenda to run the meeting more efficiently by only focusing on critical items or challenges people are facing.
There are many examples and best practices of how working out loud can help you shape your organization. If you’re interested to find out more or you want to see some examples of how Workplace can help you build a collaborative company culture, please get in touch!